The Girl From The Savoy is a charming story set in early 1920s post WWI London where eager to forget the pain left by war for a little while, many found distraction in the glitz and glamour of the dawning jazz era of the theater, obsessing over each new starlet to grace the stage.
Housemaid Dorothy Lane is no different. Joining the gallery girls in the high seats at every show she can attend, she dreams of seeing her own name on the marquee outside, the spotlight following her as she dances across the stage. Hoping it will lead her one step closer to her dream of becoming the next great theater star, she moves to London, taking a job as a chambermaid at the famous Savoy Hotel.
A chance encounter on a rain soaked street on the way to her first day at the Savoy sets her on a path she’d dreamed but never really thought possible – friendship with current sweetheart of the stage Loretta May, muse to a composer on the brink of greatness, and time spent in the company of the up and coming Bright Young Things. And an audition. As her dreams become reality, Dorothy has to choose between the future she’d always hoped for – and the past she thought she’d lost forever.
I have to admit it took me a couple tries to read this book. The first few pages just didn’t grab my attention. Thankfully I finally committed and pushed through, quickly becoming engaged – and very happy I did. Author Hazel Gaynor does an excellent job of exposing the hidden wounds of war- the emotional scars left on both the soldiers and the families and loved ones left behind. It’s easy to compare the diagnosis of ‘shell shock’ given to the emotionally damaged soldiers of that era to the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) our soldiers deal with today, making this story set in the glitzy and glamorous 1920s jazz age theater of West End London very real and relateable in today’s world.