The Girl from the Savory tells the stories of Dolly, a chambermaid at The Savoy hotel in London, and Loretta May, an actress. Dolly craves the life of fame and admiration that Loretta has, and Loretta is sick and dying, unhappy, and always remembering a man that she lost in the war. I found the most interesting storyline to be that of Loretta’s brother, Peregrine (Perry).
During WWI he was part of the firing squad who killed the deserter fiancé of his childhood crush, Bea Belfaour, who is a close family friend. Because of that, they can never be together even though she doesn’t know what he did or that he’s been in love with her for years. There is a little too much vagueness surrounded Dolly’s past, her connection with Teddy, and Loretta’s illness which you could have easily overlooked if you skipped a sentence here or there. Up until that all comes to light, it was too vague for me considering that they are the leading roles in the story.
When the story started to pick up speed, it went at full speed. The implications of Dolly’s life and her past surrounding Teddy, the rape, her son, and her surprising connection to Mildred, a fellow chambermaid at The Savoy, blew my mind and took the story to a whole other level. It was really worth the slowness of the beginning to get to this point. I found Dolly’s plotline to be more compelling than Loretta’s, second to Perry’s.
The “will they, won’t they” feel to Dolly and Perry’s relationship was also a spot of confusion for me. Clearly Dolly would have never been okay with it, knowing Teddy was out there somewhere. When Perry tells her he’s proposed to Bea, and Dolly finally feels free I was relieved for her.
I did enjoy this book, despite the fact that there was a seemingly slow buildup to the main plot. Have you read any of Hazel Gaynor’s books?