Book Review of
The Grand Design
The Grand Design by Joy Callaway is a historical fiction book that got a lot of attention this summer. This book is a novel about Dorothy Draper or at least that is what the tagline said.
I felt it was as much about the Greenbrier hotel in West Virginia as it was about Dorothy Draper. It is a dual timeline book that takes you into the world pre-WWI and then to a post-WWII world.
This book is well written. The writing makes you feel like you are back in West Virginia years ago. I can see why this book got so much attention. But there is so much about this book I didn’t like. The main thing is the amount that the author wrote into the story.
Yes, it is historical fiction. I know that it is fiction. But wow, after I read the author’s notes at the end, I kind of felt like throwing the book across the room.
The whole 1908 storyline is made up. There is a secret room used by the government in the story. I was fascinated in the fact that this famous hotel had a room like that. Nope, it was made up. That secret room was something that the author added.
I could go on and on. I know that I am in the minority on this when it comes to my historical fiction. I prefer historical fiction based on a time or place, not on a person. Too much fiction is added to the fact when you write about a person.
However, I know that this is a book that many will enjoy. If you pick up The Grand Design by Joy Callaway just know that there is probably more fiction than fact in it. Enjoy it for what it is which is a novel, not what actually happened.