The Grand Design: A Novel of Dorothy Draper
In chapters alternating between 1908 and 1946, The Grand Design tells the story of two formative visits to the Greenbrier in West Virginia. In 1908, we follow Dorothy Tuckerman as she pursues a tumultuous romance with a visiting Italian racecar driver. In 1946, she is Dorothy Draper, a divorced woman managing her own interior design company. World War II has just ended, and she has been called back to the Greenbrier to restore it to its former glory and then some. She plans not to recreate the place she knew but to revitalize it for a new era, even as others argue against her vision and ghosts of the past threaten to distract her.
The first few chapters were not as engaging as the rest of the book proved to be. I felt as though there was too much to catch up on in the first 1946 chapters and too much already revealed for the first 1908 chapters. As the book went on, those balanced out, and I found myself drawn into the story. This is a deep, engaging story about some of the quieter aspects of history, and one of the too often unnoticed ways women can raise their voices.
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