Tuesday, 13 September 2016

The Girl From The Savoy by Hazel Gaynor

Dolly Lane is a dreamer; a downtrodden maid who longs to dance on the London stage, but the outbreak of war takes everything from her: Teddy, the man she loves – and her hopes of a better life.
When she secures employment as a chambermaid at London’s grandest hotel, The Savoy, Dolly’s proximity to the dazzling guests makes her yearn for a life beyond the grey drudgery she was born into. Her fortunes take an unexpected turn when she responds to an unusual newspaper advert and finds herself thrust into the heady atmosphere of London’s glittering theatre scene and into the sphere of the celebrated actress, Loretta May, and her brother, Perry.
All three are searching for something, yet the aftermath of war has cast a dark shadow over them all. A brighter future is tantalisingly close – but can a girl like Dolly ever truly leave her past behind?

I'm delighted to be today's stop on the blog tour for The Girl From The Savoy.
I immersed myself in this story and loved every page of it.
Dolly is seeing her sweetheart Teddy off to war the same way hundreds of other girls did in the first world war. While Teddy is feeling upbeat about getting the job done and returning Dolly feels that everything will change once he's gone.

Seven years later and Dolly's life is about to change as she leaves her job as Maid of all work in a big house to working as a maid at the Savoy hotel. Dolly really longs to be a dancer on the stage and she feels that the Savoy can at least bring her in touch with the people who already have what she wants.
On a wet day Dolly bumps into Perry and he drops manuscripts that she takes back to the hotel to dry out. Here begins their friendship.

Dolly doesn't know that Perry's sister is the famous theatre star Loretta May and at the moment she bumps into him his sister is waiting for him in Claridges for their Wednesday ritual of afternoon tea. Loretta has a secret, in fact a few and one of them is she wants to make someone else a star to take her place. Could Dolly fit the bill?
 Dolly is told at the Savoy that she has to be invisible She is never to be seen at the front lobby of the hotel by any residents. This doesn't sit well with her as she wants to be noticed by everyone.

I loved the writing in this book. The descriptions of the Savoy and of the theatre, on stage and behind. I could hear the gallery girls (of which Dolly was one) shouting and clapping and rushing to get a space to watch the show.
 There is another storyline concerning Teddy and what happened in the war but I'm telling you no more than that as it would spoil your read.
Loretta May is a lovely character and I warmed to her from the start. Perry is like a lost boy who needs some guidance. Dolly is a girl with a goal and that is to be on the stage and I wanted her to get there.
This book is a real treat for anyone who misses the TV series of Mr Selfridge. Its not set in a department store but the different classes of people are the same and when I read about Loretta May I immediately thought of Lady May from the show. I cried buckets at the end.

Paperback or kindle download here

  Hazel Gaynor is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME and A MEMORY OF VIOLETS. Her latest novel THE GIRL FROM THE SAVOY hit the Irish Times and Globe & Mail Canada bestsellers. Hazel was selected by US Library Journal as one of ‘Ten Big Breakout Authors’ for 2015 and received the 2015 RNA Historical Romantic Novel of the Year award for THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME. As features writer for national Irish writing website writing.ie she has interviewed Philippa Gregory, Sebastian Faulks, Kate Mosse and Cheryl Strayed, among others. Hazel lives in Ireland with her husband and two children.


  1. Sounds like a cuddle up on the sofa and read one, Anne! Maybe I'll get this one for the dark winter evenings!


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