My Review:From Fiona Davis, the nationally bestselling author of The Dollhouse and The Address, the bright lights of the theater district, the glamour and danger of 1950s New York, and the wild scene at the iconic Chelsea Hotel come together in a dazzling new novel about the twenty-year friendship that will irrevocably change two women's lives.
From the dramatic redbrick facade to the sweeping staircase dripping with art, the Chelsea Hotel has long been New York City's creative oasis for the many artists, writers, musicians, actors, filmmakers, and poets who have called it home—a scene playwright Hazel Riley and actress Maxine Mead are determined to use to their advantage. Yet they soon discover that the greatest obstacle to putting up a show on Broadway has nothing to do with their art, and everything to do with politics. A Red scare is sweeping across America, and Senator Joseph McCarthy has started a witch hunt for Communists, with those in the entertainment industry in the crosshairs. As the pressure builds to name names, it is more than Hazel and Maxine's Broadway dreams that may suffer as they grapple with the terrible consequences, but also their livelihood, their friendship, and even their freedom.
Spanning from the 1940s to the 1960s, The Chelsea Girls deftly pulls back the curtain on the desperate political pressures of McCarthyism, the complicated bonds of female friendship, and the siren call of the uninhibited Chelsea Hotel.
Had I not read City of Girls right before this book, I may have liked this one better. Unfortunately, however, both books are set in the theater world in NYC in post-WW II and City of Girls was far superior. This book started of well but quickly tried to take this turn and/or twist to surprise the reader but it just fell flat. By the end, I was bored and ready for it to end. Hope you have more luck than I did or just read City of Girls instead!!
By renaming those who have already been named, you confirmed the politicians' view that there are subversives lurking around every corner who might be a danger to this country. You reminded everyone in the artistic community that they could be fired, have their career upended, have their lives ruined, if they don't do what you just did. You've prolonged the agony for all of us. These aren't just names, they're real people who'll be turned into pariahs because you added fuel to the fire.