First of all, THIS. COVER. Second, Fiona Davis is a queen of chic historical fiction and Chelsea Girls is no exception. The stunning Chelsea Hotel and two fierce females looking for stardom during a scary time is all you need to know that Davis can craft a novel like the best of them. This has hit multiple “Best of Summer” lists and I am thrilled Fiona joined us for Open Book. When an author lists Nora Ephron for any answers in the Q&A, I know we will hit it off!
via Amazon ~
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 dripping with art, the Chelsea Hotel has long been New York City’s creative oasis for the many artists, writers, musicians, actors, filmmakers, and poets who have called it home—a scene playwright Hazel Riley and actress Maxine Mead are determined to use to their advantage. Yet they soon discover that the greatest obstacle to putting up a show on Broadway has nothing to do with their art, and everything to do with politics. A Red scare is sweeping across America, and Senator Joseph McCarthy has started a witch hunt for Communists, with those in the entertainment industry in the crosshairs. As the pressure builds to name names, it is more than Hazel and Maxine’s Broadway dreams that may suffer as they grapple with the terrible consequences, but also their livelihood, their friendship, and even their freedom.
Spanning from the 1940s to the 1960s, The Chelsea Girls deftly pulls back the curtain on the desperate political pressures of McCarthyism, the complicated bonds of female friendship, and the siren call of the uninhibited Chelsea Hotel
- What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a bookclub with?
Nora Ephron, Alva Vanderbilt, and Jon Stewart.
- Current binge series?
Euphoria. I can’t look away, it’s so haunting.
- Last favorite book?
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert. Fun, frothy, but with an emotional punch.
- What 3 things to you pack in your bag for your dream vacation? Where is it?
Off to a mountain resort to read and hike. I’d include a novel, a swishy dress for a fancy dinner, and a moleskin notebook.
- Sunday NYT or US Weekly?
Sunday NYT, with the crossword puzzle.
- Last person you sent a text message to?
Cynthia – one of my best friends – as we’re coordinating a girls’ weekend in the country.
- Book you read that you wished you wrote?
Longbourn by Jo Baker
- Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer?
My AP English teacher in high school taught me to love literature and read books with a critical eye.
- Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who?
No – pure silence, other than the street noises of New York City.
- Describe your writing space?
It’s a room in my apartment with a sideways view of the Hudson River. When I’m stuck, I stare out at the water until inspiration strikes.
- Coffee or tea?
Coffee in the morning (two cups) and tea at four (my parents are English, and that stuck).
- Do you have a favorite book that you gift?
A favorite book that I was given as a gift and like to buy for others is How Green Was My Valley, about Wales. It’s gorgeous.
- Book that you wished they would make a movie out of?
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks.
- If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and why?
Dancing Barefoot by Patti Smith. There’s such a sense of freedom in the music and the lyrics.
- What/Who inspires you?
Lillian Hellman, who fought against the blacklist and the House U-American Activities committee during the McCarthy era, and won.
- Bravo reality TV- yes or no?
Yes – for one show, RHONY. Can’t look away.
- Favorite Instagram account?
Accidental Icon – she’s a woman with flair who’s unafraid.
- If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be?
I’d create Daisy Nude from Daisy Jones & the Six.
- Current #TBR pile?
The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali
Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
The Floating Feldmans by Elyssa Friedland
- Best advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t worry too much about striving for perfection – good enough is good enough.