This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.
I liked this book but I didn't love it. There were parts of the story that I really liked while other sections of the book didn't capture my attention as well. This was a book that was never really hard for me to set aside. I actually started reading it just before bed and never had any desire to read more than one chapter. The story was never one that made me want to put my other reads aside and was really a rather slow start. I didn't have a hard time finishing it but the book seemed to lack that something extra that really seems to grab my attention.
This story is told through dual timelines. The parts of the book that focus on Sara Smythe take place in 1884, while the section of the book from Bailey's point of view occur in 1985. As is often the case with this kind of story, I found myself enjoying one of the timelines much more than the other. Sara's story was really just so much more than Bailey's and anytime the book made the switch to 1985, I found myself wanting to put it down. There were a few times in the book when something that happened in 1985 would hint at an event that was going to happen in the earlier time period which took away some of the excitement.
There were things that I really liked about the story. Sara Smythe was a character that was easy to like. She was very capable and was able to come up with impossible solutions quite quickly. The descriptions in the book were really well done. It was so interesting to see this famous building just as it was starting to be lived in. There were a few times in the book that I was really quite surprised by the turn the story took.
While I thought that the 1985 time period was described quite well, I just had a hard time connecting with anything going on in that timeline. Bailey was not as easy to like as Sara. The Dakota's super and the neighbor downstairs were much easier to like. Bailey did grown on my by the end of the book but I still always preferred Sara's story.
I think that a lot of readers will enjoy this one a bit more than I did. I would recommend that anyone who is interested in this story to give it a try. I would not hesitate to read more from Fiona Davis in the future.
I received an advance reader edition of this book from Penguin Publishing Group - Dutton via First to Read.
I liked this book but found it really easy to put down. This is a book told in two timelines. I found the story set in the 1880's to be so much better than the other set in the 1980's. I did feel a bit surprised a time or two in the book but I found a lot of the story to be rather predictable.