The Dollhouse revolves around the legendary Barbizon Hotel. For those unaware, the Barbizon was a women's only hotel/hostel where models, editors, secretaries, etc lived in "safety" away from the men of New York. The narrative switches between Rose, a journalist in 2016, and Darby, a secretarial student in 1952.
Rose lives in the updated condos of the Barbizon with her boyfriend Griff. She runs into a woman in the elevator that rarely speaks and wears a veil over her face. Rose becomes fascinated with the woman, Darby, who has such an air of regal mystery about her.
Rose asks around about Darby and finds that she was one of the original residents of the Barbizon, currently living in a rent controlled apartment on the 4th floor. She also finds that Darby's veil covers a large scar that happened Halloween night of 1952. Darby ended up with a disfigured scare, while Esme, a maid at the Barbizon, fell to her death from the Sky Terrace.
Rose becomes obsessed with the story of Darby, and crossed journalistic ethics to find out more. While Rose's live unravels she becomes more and more obsessed with the story of Darby and Esme.
This was a fantastic read. It was a quick book, I gobbled it down like candy. It reminded me of The Valley of the Dolls. I loved the developing relationship between Darby and Esme. The end was a bit too quick for my tastes but definitely worth the read.