What does it really take for a woman to make it in NYC?
I love when a city or landmark debuts as a character in a novel. In The Chelsea Girls, both New York City and The Chelsea hotel play part in the drama of two young women trying to make it on Broadway in the mid-twentieth century.
Spanning the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, The Chelsea Girls tells the story of Hazel Riley, a playwright, and Maxine Meade, an actress trying to make a name for themselves on Broadway against the backdrop of the Communist witch hunt led by Senator Joseph McCarthy.
The women soon learn that talent isn't nearly as important as political pull when trying to make one's mark in the Big Apple, and if they aren't careful with their positioning, they could easily find themselves on the wrong side of Mr. McCarthy.
Fiona Davis explores the complicated bonds of female friendship along with the effects of McCarthyism on art in mid-century America.
I love Fiona Davis's historical fiction. The Address was my introduction to her, and I've read everything since. If you love her as I do, try The Masterpiece, which features Grand Central Station, and The Address which takes place at The Dakota. Ms. Davis knows New York better than Carrie Bradshaw herself.