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 encounter each other again at the Chelsea Hotel in New York City. Hazel is getting ready to mount her play on Broadway based on their experiences in Naples and Maxine manages to secure herself the lead role. The novel provides insight into the McCarthyism prevalent during the time and also draws back the curtain on how Broadway was effected by it. I loved learning more about the Chelsea Hotel itself and its history. One of the things I appreciated the most was how the author kept surprising me with plot turns. I also particularly enjoyed the way the relationship was depicted between the two women. It felt real and genuine. I alternated between sympathizing with Hazel and then relating with Maxine. The book also excellently portrayed the strength and courage these women showed during that time period.
This was a terrific five star read for me. Fiona Davis is quickly securing a spot on my must read author list. I highly recommend this engaging novel.
I received this book courtesy of Dutton Penguin Group through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.