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The Chelsea Girls

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  3,214 ratings  ·  597 reviews
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 a twenty-year friendship that will irrevocably change two women's lives--from the national bestselling author of The Dollhouse and The Address.

From the dramatic redbrick facade to the sweeping staircase drip
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 30th 2019 by Dutton Books
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Jennifer In her author's note at the end of the book, Fiona Davis mentions ten different titles, including Naming Names by Victor S. Navasky, The Chelsea Affect by Arthur…moreIn her author's note at the end of the book, Fiona Davis mentions ten different titles, including Naming Names by Victor S. Navasky, The Chelsea Affect by Arthur Miller, and Over Here, Over There by Maxene Andrews & Bill Gilbert.(less)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  3,214 ratings  ·  597 reviews

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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
I finally read my first book by Fiona Davis, and I absolutely loved it.

The Chelsea Hotel in the 1940s and 50s New York is the hotspot for all the creatives in the city. Artists, musicians, poets, filmmakers; they are all here.

Maxine Mead, an actress, and Hazel Riley, a playwright, plan to use the Chelsea to get the ball rolling for their careers. They soon find, however, that making a Broadway show isn’t just about who you know; it’s about politics.

With fear over co
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A haven for artists, musicians, writers, and actors, the iconic Chelsea Hotel provides the backdrop for this fictional account of friendship and McCarthyism. The main characters meet in Naples as USO entertainers during 1945. Their friendship continues into the 1960’s. One becomes a famous movie star while the other becomes a playwright and, at times, both live at the Chelsea. During the Cold War, people in the entertainment suffered blacklisting, unfair allegations and investigations leading to ...more
Katie B
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This one had a bit of a different feel than the author's other books, but I liked it. The story is centered around the era of McCarthyism which I knew the very basic history of before reading this book. I'm now feeling motivated to seek out other historical fiction or nonfiction books exploring the topic. To me that's always a sign of a good historical fiction book when the author is able to get you interested enough to want to learn more.

It's the 1940s and Hazel Riley and Maxine Mea
Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
Hazel Ripley left her unfulfilling career as a constant understudy to join the USO Tour during World War II. Her new job takes her to the Old World where she meets Maxine Mead, a vivacious and outspoken actress. The two women bond over their love of theater and mutual formative experiences in Italy.
Their friendship endures beyond their stint abroad; the two cross paths again at the iconic Chelsea Hotel - a haven for artists and creators - in the 1950s. Hazel catches a break as a playwrigh
Jennifer Blankfein
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read cover to cover on s perfect summer day at the beach! So many reasons to love this...The McCarthy Era, NYC theater, and the Chelsea Hotel…Fiona Davis has treated us to another wonderful novel, The Chelsea Girls!

I love the historical setting of the Chelsea Hotel in NYC in the 1950s, with writers, actors and musicians in residence; READ FULL REVIEW WITH AUTHOR Q & A NOW ON Book Nation by Jen
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
What a fun, interesting place The Chelsea Hotel must have been.

Hazel was in a family of performers, but Hazel wasn’t a performer. Hazel was a playwrite.

We meet Hazel when she was on tour with the USO during the war. Hazel met many actors and became friends with them.

We follow Hazel as she moves out of her childhood home and into The Chelsea Hotel during the McCarthy Era. When her friend, Maxine, from the USO, moves in too their friendship is renewed.
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, overdrive
I couldn’t get through either “The Address” or “The Masterpiece” by this author, but I enjoyed this book. Fortunately, it did not have dual time periods and I liked the theater setting and the description of the impact of the blacklisting in the 1950s.
Lisa Zetes
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the way this Author writes and each book I have read of her's I truly enjoyed. This book is based at the beginning on 1947 with the film industry coming under attack for being suspected of being in the communist party. This book is based on the true story that happened to many in the industry who's career's were destroyed by being blacklisted unfairly. Author Fiona Davis makes a great story out of this with moviestars, writer, spys, FbI and close friendships within a beautiful hotel where ...more
2.5 stars The Chelsea Girls follows Hazel and Maxine from 1940s Europe, near the end of WWII to the late 1960s New York. The titular Chelsea is a hotel known for its many resident artists of various stripes...both political and professional. The bulk of the story takes place during the 1950s at the height of McCarthyism in the US, which led to the blacklisting of many in the entertainment industry for supposed communist connections. Maxine, an actress on the rise, and Hazel, an under
Camille Maio
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fiona Davis has captured the hearts of readers with the way she brings life to New York City landmarks through compelling historical fiction. Setting her sights on the Chelsea Hotel, she delves into the world of theater in the McCarthy era. As two women wrestle with wartime memories, fractured friendship, love, and trust, readers will find themselves immersed in the world that Davis created and will be eager for more.
I had high hopes for this book as I greatly enjoyed the other novels by Fiona Davis, but this book fell flat for me. The time period was interesting, especially because there isn't much historical fiction set during the McCarthy Era. Unfortunately the book was overly dramatic and tragic without much character development. I was disappointed.

I received an ARC from NetGalley. It will be released on July 30, 2019.
Robert Sheard
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a little bit of a departure for Fiona Davis. No dual timeline, and the landmark—the Chelsea Hotel—plays a slightly less crucial role than the landmarks in her previous works. But the examination of McCarthyism and its impact on the theater world is dark and devastating.
Jamie beauty_andthebook_
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
Fiona Davis is absolutely one of my favorite voices in historical fiction and her latest, The Chelsea Girls, proves why. This time around, Davis takes on post WWII communism and does so within the world of theater and performing arts in NYC. Deviating from the dual timelines of her past work, The Chelsea Girls begins in Italy where Hazel & Maxine meet on a USO tour and then a few years later, they are reunited in NYC at the Chelsea Hotel to work in theater together. Underneath all the friend ...more
Susan Johnson
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
This story set in the McCarthy era is chilling. It is a reminder what happens to people who are persecuted for their speech or opinion. This centers around the entertainment world and two friends, Hazel and Maxine, and how the McCarthy investigation impacts their lives.

The two meet in Naples, Italy in an USO troupe entertainment troupe. Hazel becomes a budding playwright and Maxine a famous actress after the War. They unite to put on Hazel's first play on Broadway when the charge o
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Yet another fabulously intriguing story by Fiona Davis!!
Catie (deargentlebookworm)
Life is too short to waste on mediocre books. So for your own sanity, skip this one. The Chelsea Girls is rife with poor character development, typos, and stilted sentence structure. It simply cannot compare with historical fiction greats by authors such as Philippa Gregory or Sharon Kay Penman.

But also, as a random aside, my love for Sharon Kay Penman knows no bounds so it is *almost* an unfair comparison. Almost.

The Chelsea Girls features, to no one’s surprise, the Chel
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Between a 4 and 4.5

Fiona Davis always writes an entertaining, historical-fiction novel; with a powerful ending.

Author’s notes are stellar.
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5⭐ rounded up to 4 because I felt the second half was stronger and grabbed my interest more than the beginning. My first by the author and I'll try her again. I love the setting but would have loved more detail on the interior of the Chelsea!
On a recent Italian USO tour, actress Maxine Mead and playwright Hazel Riley become fast friends in spring of 1945. After WWII, Max successfully transitions into a Hollywood starlet while Hazel relocates to NYC ending up residing in the illustrious famed Chelsea Hotel. With great delight, Hazel again meets up with Maxine, and the two set sights on making their theatrical mark in the Big Apple. But a black cloud hovers over the country due to political pressures and the communistic Red scare due ...more
Julia Kelly
A dazzling story of loyalty, friendship, and betrayal in 1950s Bohemian New York amid the danger of the Red Scare. It will leave readers wishing they could spend a night at the Chelsea Hotel for a taste of Broadway glamor and a well-shaken cocktail.
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great book by Fiona Davis, who always frames her books with a famous building in New York City. This time, the Chelsea Hotel is her inspiration. The story is about friendship, betrayal, McCarthyism and the witch hunt for communists, Broadway, and artists. As always, I can't wait for her next book, which centers on the New York Public Library!
Savannah's Book List
|Thank you to @NetGalley @duttonbooks #partner|
The Chelsea Girls opens during WWII. The two main characters, Hazel and Maxine, meet on a USO tour in Italy and their friendship is born out of shared trials and circumstances. After the war they return to the states. Hazel returns to New York and her life in the theater world. Maxine goes to Hollywood to try and make it on the silver screen. The rest of the book follows the next 20 years as they endure separation, develop their own liv
This is Historical Fiction set in the early 1950's. I liked the setting of this. It is frustrating though to think these events or similar, actually took place. So I liked the history in this, but overall, this was a solid 3 stars for me. It seemed kind of light in some areas considering what was going on regarding Un-American Activities and the lives that were ruined because of it. And for some reason I expected more from Hazel. Her life seemed kind of uneventful in the latter portion. I would ...more
Mayke (acozyliving)☕️
Review to come
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
3.5 STARS - New York City's Chelsea Hotel was a haven for its bohemian inhabitants who were a melange of artists, musicians and performers in the mid-1900's. It's around this iconic hotel that Fiona Davis sets her latest Historical Fiction novel. The story focuses on the friendship of two women and how Red Scare accusations and the ensuing blacklisting, often lead to horrific results for those who were (often unjustly) under suspicion of being Communists.

Davis pulls her readers into
Maureen DeLuca
Aug 14, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoy historical fictions, and I also enjoy them by this fine author. But for me, this book was just so-so. It was a struggle.
Linda Zagon
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Linda's Book Obsession Reviews "The Chelsea Girls" by Fiona Davis, Dutton, July 2019

Kudos to Fiona Davis, Author of "The Chelsea Girls" for writing such intriguing, intense, captivating, riveting, enthralling, historical and entertaining novel. The Genres for this Novel are Historical Fiction and Fiction.  The author writes about The Chelsea Hotel and its history, and the entertainment industry. In a good portion of the novel the McCarthy era, and witch hunt for Communists is mention
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whether it’s the Barbizon, the Dakota, Grand Central Terminal or The Chelsea Hotel, Fiona Davis has the great talent of weaving her wonderful stories around some of New York City’s most interesting and iconic landmarks. I’ve long been intrigued by the Chelsea Hotel and its history with its wide range of artist inhabitants (check out Leonard Cohen singing about fellow resident Janis Joplin in Chelsea Hotel No. 2.) In The Chelsea Girls, we are taken back to the 1940s to 1960s and the lives of Haze ...more
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I've discovered that Fiona Davis writes the kind of book that I just want to curl up in and stay for awhile. The Chelsea Girls absolutely gave me all those feelings.

Hazel Riley and Maxine Mead meet when they are both serving as actresses in a USO tour in Naples, Italy. The events that they witness and become a part of during that tour irrevocably change their lives all while forging a bond between them.

After the war ends, their paths diverge and it is many years before they encounte
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Fiona Davis is the nationally bestselling author of THE MASTERPIECE, THE DOLLHOUSE and THE ADDRESS. She began her career in New York City as an actress, where she worked on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in regional theater. After getting a master's degree at Columbia Journalism School, she fell in love with writing, leapfrogging from editor to freelance journalist before finally settling down as an ...more