The Chelsea Girls

The Chelsea Girls

A Novel

Book - 2019
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"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."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: [New York] : Dutton, [2019]
ISBN: 9781524744588
Branch Call Number: DAV
Characteristics: 358 pages ; 24 cm


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Dec 29, 2019

Interesting historical fiction takes the reader to place the reader may not have explored. In this case, two USO entertainers strike up a friendship while in Naples after World War II. Returning to the US, Maxine roars off to Hollywood to fine fame, while Hazel remains in New York living in the Chelsea Hotel, a haven for the creative. Mix together Hazel’s play which is expected to open to good reviews, the Communist hunters of Senator McCarthy and his House of Unamerican Affairs committee, and the threat those in acting careers faced from this, Russian spies who show up in unexpected friends, and the story line is set for a look at the theater in the 1950’s. Although the characters at times seem a little shallow, the book is still worth reading.

VaughanPLKim Oct 15, 2019

Having enjoyed Fiona Davis's previous books, I was eager to read The Chelsea Girls. Although I found the pacing a bit slow at times, it was interesting to read about McCarthyism and its impact on the creative arts, something I didn't know much about.

Aug 12, 2019

Enjoyable read, wanted to read it mostly because of the McCarthy hearings affecting the lives of the writers, actors, and others in the theatre world. The beginning section in WW2 in Naples was interesting too. The spy stuff was a little outlandish. The main setting being in NYC is always a draw for me too.

JCLPiepieB Jul 23, 2019

Fiona Davis never disappoints. She has a way of bringing history out and making it so vivid. The Chelsea Girls is no exception. It's like you're "right there" in 1960s New York. It's a sad, but important novel that turned out to actually be a quick read for me. I'm glad I read this one.

debwalker Jun 25, 2019

The complex friendship and Broadway dreams of two women during the McCarthy era.

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