Book Review: The Girl from The Savoy by Hazel Gaynor

July 20, 2016 Book review 12 ★★★★½

Are you looking for a historical fiction that is well researched, offers you an opportunity to fly back to a distant era and feel every emotion as if it were actually you living that life?  Well that’s exactly how The Girl from The Savoy by Hazel Gaynor felt for me.

Book Review: The Girl from The Savoy by Hazel GaynorThe Girl from The Savoy by Hazel Gaynor
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on June 7th 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 448
Format: eBook
Source: Received from Publisher

Presenting a dazzling new historical novel … The Girl From The Savoy is as sparkling as champagne and as thrilling as the era itself.
Sometimes life gives you cotton stockings. Sometimes it gives you a Chanel gown …
Dolly Lane is a dreamer; a downtrodden maid who longs to dance on the London stage, but her life has been fractured by the Great War. Memories of the soldier she loved, of secret shame and profound loss, by turns pull her back and spur her on to make a better life.
When she finds employment as a chambermaid at London’s grandest hotel, The Savoy, Dolly takes a step closer to the glittering lives of the Bright Young Things who thrive on champagne, jazz and rebellion. Right now, she must exist on the fringes of power, wealth and glamor—she must remain invisible and unimportant.
But her fortunes take an unexpected turn when she responds to a struggling songwriter’s advertisement for a ‘muse’ and finds herself thrust into London’s exhilarating theatre scene and into the lives of celebrated actress, Loretta May, and her brother, Perry. Loretta and Perry may have the life Dolly aspires to, but they too are searching for something.
Now, at the precipice of the life she has and the one she longs for, the girl from The Savoy must make difficult choices: between two men; between two classes, between everything she knows and everything she dreams of. A brighter future is tantalizingly close—but can a girl like Dolly ever truly leave her past behind?

ARC REVIEW BOOKLOVE Historical Tear Jerker

First Line of The Girl from The Savoy by Hazel Gaynor:

“In my heart, I always knew he would go; that they all would go, in the end.”


My Thoughts on The Girl from The Savoy by Hazel Gaynor:

I love when a historical fiction is well researched and gives you a colourful, accurate depiction of that era without sacrificing the emotion.  And that is the strong point of this author’s writing for me.  She creates vivacious characters and then envelopes you in feels for them.

Elegant and Glamorous Setting

The setting of the London Savoy Hotel felt luxurious and added an elegant, glamorous backdrop. I have a fondness for hotels (in books and real life) and I think they make a fab setting.  Especially in this book as we get an Upstairs/Downstairs insight.

We see both sides of a spectrum via : –

Dolly who works as a maid at the hotel. 

But while her days are spent scrubbing and polishing, her imagination soars and she dreams of another life.  And she doesn’t just dream, she chases and pursues that vision.


“I feel like a stuck gramophone record, going round and round, playing the same notes of the same song over and over.  I want to dance to a different tune.”

Loretta who is a celebrated West End theatre star. 

She is living Dolly’s dream but is battling her own demons that none of her audience know anything about.


“Hope is a dangerous thing, darling.  It is usually followed by disappointment and too much gin.”

Both women know the value of working hard, chasing dreams and valuing the people in their life that they love.  The war years have altered both of their lives and they have both lost men that they loved.  And both are guarding secrets.  This backdrop of heartache along with their determination to live life fully despite the sadness that overshadows them just inspires me so much.

Bittersweet romances

There is romantic storyline which I enjoyed.  However the strong point of the book for me was the characters and their growth.  The bittersweet direction that the book took was believable and heart wrenching.  Actually now that I think about it, heart wrenching is the theme for all of this authors books.  My strings were well and truly tugged but when writing is this uplifting, I can forgive her.

Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-stars


Who should read The Girl from The Savoy by Hazel Gaynor?

I’d recommend this to you if you like historical fiction, lavish hotel settings and genuine characters that melt your heart.  Fans of previous books – The Girl Who Came Home and A Memory of Violets should also enjoy.  As should fans of authors such as JoJo Moyes, Sheila O’Flanagan and Kristin Hannah.

Thanks to Harper Collins Publishers for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.




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12 Responses to “Book Review: The Girl from The Savoy by Hazel Gaynor”

  1. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    While Hazel Gaynor’s books have been on my TBR since pre-blogging days I’ve yet to actually read any of her books! I even own the Titanic (or is it Lusitania?) one! This sounds so good and I like that the Dolly is a maid and not a rich socialite. That just sounds like a fascinating story. Plus I just love the cover!
    Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library recently posted…An Address to Die For – Review

    • trish

      The Girl Who Came Home is the Titanic one and like this book, it focuses on steerage so it comes at a different angle from most you read about. I loved this one and highly recommend any of her books to you Katherine. And yes the cover is to droolworthy 🙂

  2. Kristin T

    Oh…I’m so glad you enjoyed this one, too! I absolutely loved it!!! I listened to the audio and it was fabulously done. I also listened to the audio of The Memory of Violets, which I also adored. I still need to get to The Girl Who Came Home…I have it sitting on my shelf, but just haven’t gotten around to reading it yet.

    • trish

      I think The Girl Who Came Home is my favourite! I bet you’ll love it so you just make time for it soon 🙂

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