The Masterpiece
In her latest captivating novel, nationally bestselling author Fiona Davis takes readers into the glamorous lost art school within Grand Central Terminal, where two very different women, fifty years apart, strive to make their mark on a world set against them.For the nearly nine million people who live in New York City, Grand Central Terminal is a crown jewel, a masterpiece of design. But for Clara Darden and Virginia Clay, it represents something quite different.For Clara, the terminal is the stepping stone to her future, which she is certain will shine as the brightly as the constellations on the main concourse ceiling. It is 1928, and twenty-five-year-old Clara is teaching at the lauded Grand Central School of Art. A talented illustrator, she has dreams of creating cover art for Vogue, but not even the prestige of the school can override the public's disdain for a "woman artist." Brash, fiery, confident, and single-minded--even while juggling the affections of two men, a wealthy would-be poet and a brilliant experimental painter--Clara is determined to achieve every creative success. But she and her bohemian friends have no idea that they'll soon be blindsided by the looming Great Depression, an insatiable monster with the power to destroy the entire art scene. And even poverty and hunger will do little to prepare Clara for the greater tragedy yet to come.Nearly fifty years later, in 1974, the terminal has declined almost as sharply as Virginia Clay's life. Full of grime and danger, from the smoke-blackened ceiling to the pickpockets and drug dealers who roam the floor, Grand Central is at the center of a fierce lawsuit: Is the once-grand building a landmark to be preserved, or a cancer to be demolished? For Virginia, it is simply her last resort. Recently divorced, she has just accepted a job in the information booth in order to support herself and her college-age daughter, Ruby. But when Virginia stumbles upon an abandoned art school within the terminal and discovers a striking watercolor hidden under the dust, her eyes are opened to the elegance beneath the decay. She embarks on a quest to find the artist of the unsigned masterpiece--an impassioned chase that draws Virginia not only into the battle to save Grand Central but deep into the mystery of Clara Darden, the famed 1920s illustrator who disappeared from history in 1931.

The Masterpiece Details

TitleThe Masterpiece
Author
ReleaseAug 7th, 2018
PublisherDutton
ISBN-139781524742959
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Mystery

The Masterpiece Review

  • Angela M
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars I’ve only seen the Grand Cental Terminal once several years ago . I knew it was a historic landmark and had been refurbished but I didn’t know the history of it, only focusing on its magnificence as I stood in there taking it in . This story gave me some of that background. I was drawn to Fiona Davis’ novel mainly because I enjoy reading about historic New York City and most of this story takes place there in 1920’s as well the nearer history of the 1970’s . In the dual narratives, we 3.5 stars I’ve only seen the Grand Cental Terminal once several years ago . I knew it was a historic landmark and had been refurbished but I didn’t know the history of it, only focusing on its magnificence as I stood in there taking it in . This story gave me some of that background. I was drawn to Fiona Davis’ novel mainly because I enjoy reading about historic New York City and most of this story takes place there in 1920’s as well the nearer history of the 1970’s . In the dual narratives, we come to know the characters of two strong women. Clara was a struggling artist and instructor of illustration at the Grand Central School of Art which was in the terminal in the 1920’s. She struggles for acceptance of her illustrations as art but mostly as a woman trying to gain a place in the art world dominated by men. Virginia is struggling to get by after the breakup of her marriage of 19 years. She takes a job at the Grand Central Terminal at the Information desk. Their stories alternate and connect when Virginia stumbles on the old Art School and finds a drawing that she connects to a painting in an art catalog she has seen. So there’s a mystery, there are romantic liaisons for both Clara and Virginia and in the 1970’s section the possibility looming that the terminal may be demolished if it isn’t given Landmark Status. It was interesting to learn the role that Jackie Onassis played in that fight.Overall, I enjoyed the novel. I usually find myself liking the past story more than the modern one in these dual time frame narratives, but I found myself interested in both of them. I think Davis does a great job of depicting the times. It’s a good story, a pat ending, but I was glad to have read it. It came at a good time after reading some heavier books. This was my second Traveling Sister Read. Thanks, ladies for a good discussion ! I received an advanced copy of this book from Dutton through Edelweiss.
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  • Book of Secrets
    January 1, 1970
    THE MASTERPIECE is about two women, fifty years apart, whose parallel stories suddenly intersect at New York City's historic Grand Central. It's clearly well researched regarding what was happening at the train station in the late 1920s and early 1970s, on the verge of the Great Depression, and later, at risk of being demolished. I have mixed feelings about this book. While I thought Clara's story in the earlier time period was more interesting, I never quite warmed to Clara's character (though THE MASTERPIECE is about two women, fifty years apart, whose parallel stories suddenly intersect at New York City's historic Grand Central. It's clearly well researched regarding what was happening at the train station in the late 1920s and early 1970s, on the verge of the Great Depression, and later, at risk of being demolished. I have mixed feelings about this book. While I thought Clara's story in the earlier time period was more interesting, I never quite warmed to Clara's character (though I was sympathetic to her struggles). And while Virginia was likable and relatable, her story in 1974 wasn't as gripping. The plot seemed to struggle to move forward at times, and I had trouble staying engaged. The twist at the end was a good one, though! I think readers with an interest in the 1920s art scene will enjoy this book. Disclosure: I received a copy of this book through Penguin's First to Read Program in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Cindy Burnett
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsThe Masterpiece is Fiona Davis’ best book to date, and I have loved all three of her books. New York City is one of my favorite places to visit, and each of Davis’ books contains a myriad of fascinating details about a particular building and era in the city. The Masterpiece focuses on Grand Central Terminal (I never knew it was Grand Central Terminal versus Grand Central Station) during the late-1920’s and the mid-1970’s, two very different time periods for the terminal. In 1928, Clara 4.5 starsThe Masterpiece is Fiona Davis’ best book to date, and I have loved all three of her books. New York City is one of my favorite places to visit, and each of Davis’ books contains a myriad of fascinating details about a particular building and era in the city. The Masterpiece focuses on Grand Central Terminal (I never knew it was Grand Central Terminal versus Grand Central Station) during the late-1920’s and the mid-1970’s, two very different time periods for the terminal. In 1928, Clara Darden works as an art instructor in the Grand Central School of Art located high up in the terminal when Grand Central Terminal is beautifully maintained and a highlight of the city; in 1974, Virginia Clay is newly divorced and sent by a temp agency to work at the terminal when Grand Central has seen better days and is being targeted for demolition. The story alternates between the two time periods, and Davis fabulously recreates the atmosphere and relevance of the terminal in both time periods. As the stories progress, the two tales converge in a surprising and satisfying manner.My favorite part of the book was the focus in 1974 on the importance of trying to save Grand Central Terminal from demolition. I love visiting the terminal when I am in the city and am thankful that Jackie Onassis and others had the sense and ability to preserve the beautiful landmark. I also loved learning more about the inner workings of the terminal.I highly recommend The Masterpiece; it is a beautiful read.
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  • Katie B
    January 1, 1970
    I jumped on the chance to read this because I really liked Fiona Davis's last book, The Address. The action goes back and forth between 1920s New York City in which Clara is teaching at Grand Central School of Art and trying to make it big as an illustrator and the 1970s in which newly divorced Virginia Clay is working at the Grand Central Terminal. Virginia stumbles upon a watercolor in the abandoned art school and sets out find the artist. This is a historical fiction book which also focuses o I jumped on the chance to read this because I really liked Fiona Davis's last book, The Address. The action goes back and forth between 1920s New York City in which Clara is teaching at Grand Central School of Art and trying to make it big as an illustrator and the 1970s in which newly divorced Virginia Clay is working at the Grand Central Terminal. Virginia stumbles upon a watercolor in the abandoned art school and sets out find the artist. This is a historical fiction book which also focuses on the real life effort to save Grand Central from being replaced with an office tower.Even though I don't have a big interest in the art world, I actually enjoyed that aspect of the story. What I loved about the book was the female characters who might have been down on their luck but really showed their strength when the going got tough. There was one part of the plot towards the end that I didn't really care for as it was a bit of an eye-roller but the story redeemed itself by the end. Definitely recommend if you like historical fiction and strong female characters.Thank you to First to Read for the advance digital copy! I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion.
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  • Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
    January 1, 1970
    EXCERPT: New York City, April 1928Clara Darden's illustration class at the Grand Central School of Art, tucked under the copper eaves of the terminal, was unaffected by the trains that rumbled through ancient layers of Manhattan schist hundreds of feet below. But somehow, a surprise visit from Mr Lorette, the school's director, had the disruptive power of a locomotive weighing in at thousands of tons. Even before Mr Lorette was a factor, Clara had been anxious about the annual faculty exhibition EXCERPT: New York City, April 1928Clara Darden's illustration class at the Grand Central School of Art, tucked under the copper eaves of the terminal, was unaffected by the trains that rumbled through ancient layers of Manhattan schist hundreds of feet below. But somehow, a surprise visit from Mr Lorette, the school's director, had the disruptive power of a locomotive weighing in at thousands of tons. Even before Mr Lorette was a factor, Clara had been anxious about the annual faculty exhibition set to open at six o'clock that evening. Her first show in New York City, and everyone important in the art and editorial worlds would be there. She'd been working on her illustrations for months now, knowing this might be her only chance. She asked her class to begin work on an alternate cover design for Virginia Woolf's latest book, and the four ladies dove in eagerly, while Wilbur, the only male and something of a rake to boot, sighed loudly and rolled his eyes. Gertrude, the most studious of the five members, was so offended by Wilbur's lack of respect that she threatened to toss a jar of turpentine at him. They were still arguing vociferously when Mr Lorette waltzed in. Never mind that these were all adults, not children. Whenever Wilbur made a ruckus, it had the unfortunate effect of lowering the entire class's maturity level by a decade. More often than not, Clara was strong enough to restore order before things went too far. But Mr Lorette seemed possessed of a miraculous talent for sensing the rare occasions during which Clara lost control of the room, and he could usually be counted upon to choose such times to wander by and assess her skills as an educator. ABOUT THIS BOOK: In her latest captivating novel, nationally bestselling author Fiona Davis takes readers into the glamorous lost art school within Grand Central Terminal, where two very different women, fifty years apart, strive to make their mark on a world set against them.For the nearly nine million people who live in New York City, Grand Central Terminal is a crown jewel, a masterpiece of design. But for Clara Darden and Virginia Clay, it represents something quite different.For Clara, the terminal is the stepping stone to her future, which she is certain will shine as the brightly as the constellations on the main concourse ceiling. It is 1928, and twenty-five-year-old Clara is teaching at the lauded Grand Central School of Art. A talented illustrator, she has dreams of creating cover art for Vogue, but not even the prestige of the school can override the public's disdain for a "woman artist." Brash, fiery, confident, and single-minded--even while juggling the affections of two men, a wealthy would-be poet and a brilliant experimental painter--Clara is determined to achieve every creative success. But she and her bohemian friends have no idea that they'll soon be blindsided by the looming Great Depression, an insatiable monster with the power to destroy the entire art scene. And even poverty and hunger will do little to prepare Clara for the greater tragedy yet to come.Nearly fifty years later, in 1974, the terminal has declined almost as sharply as Virginia Clay's life. Full of grime and danger, from the smoke-blackened ceiling to the pickpockets and drug dealers who roam the floor, Grand Central is at the center of a fierce lawsuit: Is the once-grand building a landmark to be preserved, or a cancer to be demolished? For Virginia, it is simply her last resort. Recently divorced, she has just accepted a job in the information booth in order to support herself and her college-age daughter, Ruby. But when Virginia stumbles upon an abandoned art school within the terminal and discovers a striking watercolor hidden under the dust, her eyes are opened to the elegance beneath the decay. She embarks on a quest to find the artist of the unsigned masterpiece--an impassioned chase that draws Virginia not only into the battle to save Grand Central but deep into the mystery of Clara Darden, the famed 1920s illustrator who disappeared from history in 1931.MY THOUGHTS: I was excited to begin listening to The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis. I have listened to both The Dollhouse and The Address, and loved them both. But immediately, I found the narrator's voice and delivery to be annoying. Smug is the word that comes to mind. Why, oh why did they change narrators? I far preferred Saskia Maarleveld. And then as I got into the story, I had the thought that this was just like the other two books - exactly the same format, just change names and locations. Kind of like writing by numbers. I had trouble warming to either of the main characters, Clara in the late 1920's, and Virginia in the 70's. There seemed to be a lot of extraneous material in the plot that could have been done without and not harmed the storyline. I did enjoy the twist at the end. In retrospect, I may have enjoyed The Masterpiece more had I read it rather than listened to it. I think my dislike of the narrator may have soured the whole experience for me. I am not ruling out reading the book at some point in the future, to see if I enjoy it more, and I will definitely read more by this author. But the operative word here is 'read', not listen. 😑😑.5THE AUTHOR: Fiona Davis is the nationally bestselling author of THE MASTERPIECE, THE DOLLHOUSE and THE ADDRESS. She began her career in New York City as an actress, where she worked on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in regional theater. After getting a master's degree at Columbia Journalism School, she fell in love with writing, leapfrogging from editor to freelance journalist before finally settling down as an author of historical fiction. DISCLOSURE: I listened to the audiobook version of The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis, narrated by Cassandra Campbell, published by Penguin Audio via OverDrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my webpage https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...
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  • Babydimps (Suzy)
    January 1, 1970
    4 stars! After loving Fiona Davis’ previous novel, The Address, I was thrilled to get my hands on The Masterpiece. This book was told in two POV‘s - Clara and Virginia, 50 years apart. I loved the Grand Central Station setting and learning about its history, especially the Grand Central School of Art in the late 1920’s and early ‘30’s. Ms. Davis really does a great job in her historical storytelling. I learn a lot from reading her books. In fact, she is one of the very few authors who turned me 4 stars! After loving Fiona Davis’ previous novel, The Address, I was thrilled to get my hands on The Masterpiece. This book was told in two POV‘s - Clara and Virginia, 50 years apart. I loved the Grand Central Station setting and learning about its history, especially the Grand Central School of Art in the late 1920’s and early ‘30’s. Ms. Davis really does a great job in her historical storytelling. I learn a lot from reading her books. In fact, she is one of the very few authors who turned me on to historical fiction - a genre that I was never a big fan of. Thanks to her, I find myself exploring more books from this genre and really liking them! I look forward to seeing what’s next from her! Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Group Dutton for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Marialyce
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 engaging starsThis was my very first book by Fiona Davis and of course, being a former New York girl, I was so enticed by its setting, that of New York's Grand Central terminal. The original terminal was built by Cornelius Vanderbilt and than later redone in 1903 becoming the biggest construction project in New York's history up to that time. Taking ten years to complete, it was built on seventy acres, thirty-two miles of track, and thirty passenger platforms. It has an amazing history and w 3.5 engaging starsThis was my very first book by Fiona Davis and of course, being a former New York girl, I was so enticed by its setting, that of New York's Grand Central terminal. The original terminal was built by Cornelius Vanderbilt and than later redone in 1903 becoming the biggest construction project in New York's history up to that time. Taking ten years to complete, it was built on seventy acres, thirty-two miles of track, and thirty passenger platforms. It has an amazing history and was saved by the efforts of Jackie Kennedy and others from being demolished in the seventies. This building was quite a backdrop for this story.The Masterpiece alternates between two time periods, that of the 1920's and the 1970's telling the story of two women, Clara Darden, an aspiring artist in the 1920's, and Virginia Clay, a recent divorcee, of the 1970's. The tale starts out when Virginia, who has found a job working at the terminal's information booth, finds an old painting and is spurred onto finding its history and creator. The story goes back and forth between the characters of an old art school which was located in the terminal, and the people who populate the terminal within Virginia's circle.The book is character driven and the author tries very hard to interweave their stories into that of the terminal as its background. Personally, I found the characters to be a bit distant and at times felt the story was a bit rushed particularly the ending. I very much enjoyed when the building itself was discussed and wished that the author had included a bit more history in the telling. All in all, this was a readable tale and one that has encouraged this reader to both do some research and to pick up another of Ms Davis's books. If you enjoy a story of independent women who come together in an unique and engaging way, this book offers one a bridge between two time periods, two independent women, and the building that united them across decades. https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/gran...Thank you to The Traveling Sisters who read this book along with me. As always, the discussions we generated made the reading that much more valuable.Thanks also to my local library, again coming through with that one book I was searching for. My reviews can be found here: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...
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  • Norma * Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    Enjoyable and entertaining read! I loved the setting of the Grand Central Terminal and the art aspect to this novel was quite intriguing. Full review to follow shortly *Traveling Sisters Read*
  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    What would an art school teacher and an information booth attendee have in common besides Grand Central since the women lived 50 years apart? You would be surprised.Clara taught illustration at the art school when it was in its hey day, and Virginia needed to work since she had been recently divorced. Since Virginia had no skills, the information booth was the best the temp agency could do for her.The connection Virginia had to Clara was a drawing she found in the abandoned art school on the se What would an art school teacher and an information booth attendee have in common besides Grand Central since the women lived 50 years apart? You would be surprised.Clara taught illustration at the art school when it was in its hey day, and Virginia needed to work since she had been recently divorced. Since Virginia had no skills, the information booth was the best the temp agency could do for her.The connection Virginia had to Clara was a drawing she found in the abandoned art school on the seventh floor of Grand Central. We, the reader, move back and forth from both time periods and learn about both women’s lives, their secrets, and Grand Central.Virginia found drawings all over the school’s rooms and found one drawing in particular that was of interest and signed by Clyde. This particular drawing had some odd characteristics, and someone didn’t want Virginia to have it. THE MASTERPIECE was focused on the artists of New York and the history of Grand Central. Ms. Davis did impeccable research about Grand Central’s history as well as characters based on real people and others fictitiously portrayed.Both the history of Grand Central and the characters wove a pull-you-in story line. Did you know that Grand Central had been in jeopardy of being torn down at one point in history?New York is a fascinating place historically, and I always enjoy going back in time to learn of bits and pieces of its hidden history. I also enjoyed the descriptions of the life styles, the parties, and the clothing. I am a nostalgic at heart.Ms. Davis has created another beautiful “masterpiece” that historical fiction fans, New York City fans, mystery fans, and artists will love. Make it part of your "required" summer reading. 5/5This book was given to me as an ARC. All opinions are my own.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Fiona Davis was one of the first HF authors I read and enjoyed, I loved both The Dollhouse and The Address and have been super excited about The Masterpiece. Davis has honed a keen ability to write dazzling stories about NYC, she really brings the city to life and truly sweeps you away to a different time and place.This is told via a dual narrative flipping from the 1920s where Clara is a young artist trying to break in to a world where men rule and then Virginia in the 1970s as she also faces o Fiona Davis was one of the first HF authors I read and enjoyed, I loved both The Dollhouse and The Address and have been super excited about The Masterpiece. Davis has honed a keen ability to write dazzling stories about NYC, she really brings the city to life and truly sweeps you away to a different time and place.This is told via a dual narrative flipping from the 1920s where Clara is a young artist trying to break in to a world where men rule and then Virginia in the 1970s as she also faces obstacles in a male dominated society. I adored both of these strong, female characters, even being fifty years apart they faced many of the same issues and had similar struggles and were both so brave and determined. Though their narratives both seemed connected in a loose manner I never guessed just how cleverly Davis would weave their tales together.The rich and vibrant history of Grand Central Terminal was absolutely fascinating to me, I had no idea that at one time it was almost torn down! Besides the interesting bits of history you have some romance and even a mystery, a little bit of everything for everyone. HF will love this one and if you’re new to the genre Davis is a great author to start with, she’s fabulous!The Masterpiece in the words: Dazzling, Captivating and Impassioned.
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  • Jennifer Blankfein
    January 1, 1970
    Thank goodness for jury duty - allowing me to read the bulk of this fascinating historical fiction novel in one sitting! So much to enjoy -Please follow https://booknationbyjen.wordpress.com for all reviews and recommendations. Visit my blog to see all photos included in the review.Choosing a book to read is personal and everyone gravitates toward what they believe will resonate with them. My dance class book group is eclectic and we all have different and varied interests. Last month we chose t Thank goodness for jury duty - allowing me to read the bulk of this fascinating historical fiction novel in one sitting! So much to enjoy -Please follow https://booknationbyjen.wordpress.com for all reviews and recommendations. Visit my blog to see all photos included in the review.Choosing a book to read is personal and everyone gravitates toward what they believe will resonate with them. My dance class book group is eclectic and we all have different and varied interests. Last month we chose to read The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis. This book choice was a huge success for our group – strong women characters, art history, Grand Central Terminal, and our common love and appreciation for early 1900s New York City and the 1970s when many of our early city memories began.The Masterpiece is a dual timeline historical fiction novel, featuring Clara, a young woman illustrator trying to rise to the top of her career in a male dominant field of artists in the 1920s. She teaches at the Grand Central School of art and aspires to be a well known illustrator. Clara is confident and persistent, but when the depression hits, she becomes impoverish and is faced with setbacks and tragedy.Virginia, a divorced mother trying to make ends meet in 1974, gets a job at the dilapidated and filthy Grand Central Terminal in the information booth. The building’s existence is in question – will it be preserved or is it in danger of being demolished? While snooping around in the forgotten rooms above the train terminal she comes upon a beautiful painting. Virginia’s search for the artist leads her to discover a famous illustrator who has since disappeared from history.The characters are lively, with deep history and strong emotions…we really get to know them, understand their challenges and feel their passions. The backdrop is New York City and the Grand Central School of Art above Grand Central Terminal. A little mystery, a little art, a little love…tragedy, triumph and NYC…our book group loved it!We had the amazing opportunity to FaceTime with Fiona Davis during our discussion and she provided us with insight into her writing process including her deep dive into research. She told us Clara was written with Helen Dryden in mind, the woman who created the cover art for Vogue Magazine in the 1920s.In the story there is a character, Levon, who painted a picture of himself as a boy with his mother. Fiona based that character on the painter, Arshile Gorky.When conjuring up Clara, Fiona had actress Tilda Swinton in mind. Once you get to know Clara, this makes perfect sense!We learned that Fiona wrote this book in chapter order, rather than one timeline and then the next, keeping it interesting for herself as each day she was starting fresh with a different time period. Her discipline is to be admired as she is on track to write a book a year…The Chelsea Girls will be published summer 2019. We all enjoyed the book and our special evening with Fiona. Including the author in book group meetings adds such a unique and wonderful element to the discussion. We look forward to welcoming more authors into our discussions in 2019!I first met Fiona in 2016 when her debut historical fiction novel, The Dollhouse, was released. Her first book talk was at the Westport Library and we connected. That story took place at the Barbizon Hotel in NYC and coincidentally, my mother lived there during the time Fiona wrote about. Since then, she has written The Address, which takes place at The Dakota on the upper west side, and now The Masterpiece. She has returned to the Westport Library several times to participate in author and reader/writer events. I was thrilled to be able to welcome her to my bookclub via FaceTime to discuss The Masterpiece!
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  • ABookwormWithWine
    January 1, 1970
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ / 5All the stars!!! Seriously, I couldn't be more excited about The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis. This was my first time reading a book by her and it will clearly not be my last.What it's about: Told in dual timelines, we get the stories of Clara Darden who is a female painter and illustrator in the 1920's, and the story of Virginia Clay which is set in the 1970s and largely deals with the fight to save Grand Central Terminal. Throw in a mystery about a watercolor and an anonymous painter na ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ / 5All the stars!!! Seriously, I couldn't be more excited about The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis. This was my first time reading a book by her and it will clearly not be my last.What it's about: Told in dual timelines, we get the stories of Clara Darden who is a female painter and illustrator in the 1920's, and the story of Virginia Clay which is set in the 1970s and largely deals with the fight to save Grand Central Terminal. Throw in a mystery about a watercolor and an anonymous painter named "Clyde" and we have quite the story. I loved how both timelines came together to form one story and the progression of both stories as their separate entities. The Masterpiece is truly historical fiction at its finest, and I was fascinated with everything about Grand Central Terminal and The Grand Central School of Art. I know this is a work of fiction, but it definitely seemed like there was a lot of truth to the story as well and it blew me away more than a little bit.Davis has some of the best writing I have ever experienced, and I found myself completely enamored with the story. This book was an incredibly quick read and offers so much more than just historical fiction. There is so much wisdom on relationships, and a nice little dose of romance as well. Not all the characters are completely lovable, but I loved them all just the same in different ways and for what they all do for the story. Complex characters, a terrific plot, and some fun surprises make this a 5 star read plus more.This book is also incredibly witty and made me laugh out loud multiple times. I experienced a full spectrum of emotions while reading it and I didn't want the story to ever end because I loved it so much. Final Thought: I don't want to talk about the plot too much because I think this book is best experienced going in blind like I did. Going into it, I had heard amazing things about Fiona Davis and knew I had to read this book no matter what it was about. If you like historical fiction then I highly recommend The Masterpiece even if you aren't necessarily interested in painting or Grand Central. Even if you just appreciate her writing, this is definitely worth the read!
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  • BookGypsy
    January 1, 1970
    Amazing!The story is centered around New York's Grand Central Terminal and two women that worked there during different eras. Clair,a young woman who teaches at the art school in the 1920's. But dreams of doing the cover for Vogue. Later in the 1970's the Grand Central is much different and more dangerous than in the 1920's we meet Virginia. Recently divorced who takes a job at the information booth to support herself and her daughter Ruby. When Virginia happens to discover the old art school sh Amazing!The story is centered around New York's Grand Central Terminal and two women that worked there during different eras. Clair,a young woman who teaches at the art school in the 1920's. But dreams of doing the cover for Vogue. Later in the 1970's the Grand Central is much different and more dangerous than in the 1920's we meet Virginia. Recently divorced who takes a job at the information booth to support herself and her daughter Ruby. When Virginia happens to discover the old art school she finds a painting and sets out to find the artist. Unraveling the mystery of Clair who disappeared.I loved this story. Being transported back in time to New York in the 1920's is always a favorite for me. The history of the Grand Central and the world of art. I found this story of these two women captivating. As stunning and beautiful as the cover.Thank YouNet GalleyDawnBookGypsyNovels N LatteBook Blog
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    The Masterpiece is an enchanting piece of historical fiction and well deserving of all 5 stars! This is my first time reading a novel written by Fiona Davis, but I will definitely not be my last! My mother is an artist and was an art history professor until she retired, so art has always been a fascinating and beloved part of my life. I immediately knew based on the synopsis that I would thoroughly enjoy this story since thanks to my mother and her passionate love of all things New York and it's The Masterpiece is an enchanting piece of historical fiction and well deserving of all 5 stars! This is my first time reading a novel written by Fiona Davis, but I will definitely not be my last! My mother is an artist and was an art history professor until she retired, so art has always been a fascinating and beloved part of my life. I immediately knew based on the synopsis that I would thoroughly enjoy this story since thanks to my mother and her passionate love of all things New York and it's unique and extraordinary art history, I already knew of the history surrounding the Grand Central School of Art.However, I never imagined Davis would make me fall in love with this novel by constructing such a stunning literary masterpiece by richly drawing the characters of Clara Darden and Virginia Clay, two strong, intelligent, vibrant women living in entirely different eras looking to make a new start in their lives while using the historic landmark of the Grand Central Terminal and the Grand Central School of Art as the focus of the novel. The story alternates beautifully between the two women as Davis tells the story of the two women employed at Grand Central Terminal almost fifty years apart. Clara is chasing her dream of becoming an illustrator for Vogue while being the only female teacher at the Grand Central School of Art. She is highly talented, passionate, and ambitious, but art is a male-dominated world in the 1920s. As she chases her dreams, she finds romance, continues to struggle in the male-dominated society even after proving her worth as an artist once Vogue hires her, especially when the Great Depression hits America. Then a terrible tragedy strikes in the early 1930s and Clara is never heard from again. Virginia, a breast cancer survivor is a newly divorcee in 1974 from her rich, lawyer husband. She's struggling with her new lifestyle, to support herself and her teenage daughter Ruby, and to come to terms with herself post-cancer.Virginia takes a job at Grand Central Terminal as an information-desk clerk and while there, she begins to explore the terminal and discovers the long locked up art school and a mysterious painting that might just answer what happened to Clara Darden. Her finding stirs up questions that the people she turns to for answers will apparently do anything to stop her from discovering. While searching for answers about the painting, Clara, and the art school, Virginia finds out that the terminal, now dirty and in disrepair, is in danger of being destroyed, so she also makes it her mission to help save the historical site. The novel is extremely well-researched and well-written; it truly is like a wondrous masterpiece itself. The characters, even the ones you dislike, are richly detailed and masterfully woven into the novel. The plot is spellbinding and it was as if I had stepped back into both decades with the effortless and passionate way Davis told the story. The two plots converged in an unexpected yet flawless way, and there are appearances by Jackie Onassis, who is fighting to save the terminal that just made the novel that much more special for me...if you know me, you know that I have a Jackie O obsession!Just like fine art, this is a magical and enchanting novel that is historical fiction at its finest. I really cannot recommend The Masterpiece highly enough to lovers of historical fiction since it is a stunning, beautiful read. Davis tells a captivating story that will definitely keep you engrossed as it did me. **Thank you Edelweiss and Dutton for the ARC copy to read in exchange for my fair and honest review.**
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  • Toni
    January 1, 1970
    Historical Fictional novel, The Masterpiece, has two POVs, two different decades: fifty years apart, two Masterpieces and one mystery. Imbedded within are two intelligent and talented women fighting for their right to have a voice in their lives, especially regarding their livelihoods. In 1928, Clara Darden is a young struggling artist trying to keep her new job as an assistant instructor at the famed Grand Central Art School, ‘tucked under the eaves’ on the 7th floor of the Grand Central Termin Historical Fictional novel, The Masterpiece, has two POVs, two different decades: fifty years apart, two Masterpieces and one mystery. Imbedded within are two intelligent and talented women fighting for their right to have a voice in their lives, especially regarding their livelihoods. In 1928, Clara Darden is a young struggling artist trying to keep her new job as an assistant instructor at the famed Grand Central Art School, ‘tucked under the eaves’ on the 7th floor of the Grand Central Terminal (GCT).In 1974, Virginia Clay is a newly divorced mother of one, trying to find her footing in NYC, home for the last 20 years, but now as a single woman. Finances are tight as she and her 21-year-old daughter, move into a small apartment and look for jobs neither have qualifications for.Our first Masterpiece is Grand Central Terminal itself, in my opinion. The GCT was finally completed in 1913, although begun by Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1869, at its present location. By the mid-1960’s it fell into disrepair and a proposal to build a 55-story tower on top of it was proposed in 1967. Ms. Davis covers the almost 10-year litigation in this book to save GCT and designate it as a National Historic Landmark.The second Masterpiece is a painting, named “The Siren” by an unknown artist who signed the painting as, ‘Clyde.” The mystery surrounds this painting. Who really painted it, where has it been for the last forty years, and who placed it in auction? The reader will unravel these answers in an appropriate and timely manner. You will not be bored but filled with anticipation and suspense. There are other characters that play into the lives of the women, especially their amours, but I prefer not to mention them for fear of revealing information that might spoil your fun.This is Fiona Davis’ best book to date; I highly recommend it!Thank you NetGalley, Dutton – Penguin Random House, and Fiona Davis
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  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    January 1, 1970
    Oh wow listening to this book was such a great experience. THIS is just the kind of dual storyline book I love to read with two fascinating stories linked together by a painting. First, I just want to say that I got Beatriz Williams vibes while listening to this book. And I LOVE Beatriz Williams books, so that's a plus. Second, not setting one of the stories in the present time was fabulous. I have a deep love for both the 20s and the 70s and now I got them both.THE MASTERPIECE is the very first Oh wow listening to this book was such a great experience. THIS is just the kind of dual storyline book I love to read with two fascinating stories linked together by a painting. First, I just want to say that I got Beatriz Williams vibes while listening to this book. And I LOVE Beatriz Williams books, so that's a plus. Second, not setting one of the stories in the present time was fabulous. I have a deep love for both the 20s and the 70s and now I got them both.THE MASTERPIECE is the very first book I have read by Fiona Davis and I'm very much eager to read the other books. I always loved books about artists and I loved getting to know more about Grand Central School of Art. I really liked Clara Darden who struggled to become an acknowledged artist. She had ambitions and really set out to achieve her dreams. Almost 50 years later is Virginia Clay drawn into the mystery of Clara Darden who disappeared in 1931. Virginia is newly divorced and has recently started to work in the information booth Grand Central. I loved reading about how this woman, who recently had some medical problem, a bastard of an ex and a daughter who causes her problem, finds a painting that will unravel lots of secrets. Writing the review for THE MASTERPIECE makes me definitely eager to read more of Fiona Davis books. Luckily I have some to read. Also, Cassandra Campbell, the narrator did an excellent job! She has that kind of that makes me pick book after what she has narrated. So, I definitely recommend listening to this book! 
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  • ♥ Sandi ❣
    January 1, 1970
    4 stars Thank you to Penguins' First to Read and Dutton for the opportunity to read and review this digital ARC. Publishes August 7, 2018. Another 'masterpiece' by Fiona Davis. Davis is becoming one of my all time favorite authors. Her mastery at taking current buildings back to their hey day is both wonderful and enlightening. She sets the mark for renewing the history of some of our well known popular structures. This book takes us back into the history of Grand Central Station. We move throug 4 stars Thank you to Penguins' First to Read and Dutton for the opportunity to read and review this digital ARC. Publishes August 7, 2018. Another 'masterpiece' by Fiona Davis. Davis is becoming one of my all time favorite authors. Her mastery at taking current buildings back to their hey day is both wonderful and enlightening. She sets the mark for renewing the history of some of our well known popular structures. This book takes us back into the history of Grand Central Station. We move through the lives of two women - fifty years apart. Clara Darden - artist, who teaches at the Grand Central School of Art in the 1920's. She fights her way to the top, only to be interrupted by the Great Depression. We then meet Virginia Clay in 1974. A working mother, hoping that demolition does not take both her job and the Grand Central Station, when she chances on a painting. This sets in motion Clay's desire to find the artist - who was last seen in 1931 - while she also takes up the battle to save the declining building. As these two powerful characters weave their stories back and forth we see the brilliance of Davis' story telling. As were her other books, set in New York City, in a building, with such a rich history, still standing and timeless today as they were in the past. Fiona Davis only gets better with each book she writes.
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  • Holly
    January 1, 1970
    The Masterpiece is a love letter to Artists and NYC’s Grand Central Terminal. It is a story of love, betrayal, ambition, mystery, and jealousy. It is also about misogyny and how much more difficult it is for women to succeed than menThe story takes place in two different time periods, late 1920s/early 1930s and the 1970s, and each features a strong woman — Clara Darden in the former and Virginia Clay in the latter. Clara Darden is an illustrator who works at the Grand Central School of Art and w The Masterpiece is a love letter to Artists and NYC’s Grand Central Terminal. It is a story of love, betrayal, ambition, mystery, and jealousy. It is also about misogyny and how much more difficult it is for women to succeed than menThe story takes place in two different time periods, late 1920s/early 1930s and the 1970s, and each features a strong woman — Clara Darden in the former and Virginia Clay in the latter. Clara Darden is an illustrator who works at the Grand Central School of Art and who struggles to make a name for herself. Her counterpart, Virginia Clay, is newly divorced with a college-aged daughter and is trying to find her way in the world. Virginia starts a job at Grand Central Terminal’s information booth and she discovers the abandoned School of Art. The story alternates between these two women who have many things in common, such as Grand Central Terminal, a love of Art, a struggle to be independent, and the realization that life is much easier for men simply because they are men.Fiona Davis contrasts Grand Central during the 1920s and 1970s — her descriptions are filled with so much detail that it seems to come alive in your mind’s eye. Davis has done extensive research and it is evident in the factual historical details woven into the story. There was actually a Grand Central School of Art back before the Depression, which as a New Yorker, I was surprised I never knew about it. Also, there was a plan to eliminate Grand Central terminal’s landmark status so that it could be replaced with a skyscraper. Jackie O. did in fact lead the charge to save the historical terminal and ultimately the Supreme Court ruled in favor of its landmark status.The reader will feel like she has gotten to know both Clara Darden and Virginia Clay through the telling of their trials and tribulations. Witnessing Clara’s life during the Depression brought home the despair and the constant struggle to survive. Artists were one of the worst hit professions because their creations were considered luxuries. Closed galleries, slashed museum budgets. No one in their right mind would waste money buying a painting these days. Artists were at the bottom of the food chain. They had nothing of value to offer; they didn’t bake bread or knit scarves. They put liquid on paper and watched it dry. That was it.But what really comes through the story is the struggle that women had (and unfortunately, still have to a degree) being considered second only to men. The misogyny comes through loud and clear especially when one of Clara’s employers tells her that because of the depression, it’s either her or a man with a family that can be kept on the payroll.“In any event, he has a family to feed. It’s either let you go or fire him, and I can’t do that to a man with responsibilities.” He put a meaty hand over hers. “You don’t want me to put a man out of work, now, do you?”Their guests were drinking heavily, the more successful artists in chairs, with various girlfriends and former students sprawled about on the floor around them. Again, the men in thrones simply because they were men. They had access to the best galleries and patrons, and because of that, they became better known, and because of that, they were rewarded with success. It wasn’t fair.I really enjoyed reading about Clara’s passion and determination to create Art that spoke to her and her alone.But even if she didn’t speak like they did, her confidence and passion in her own work were unwavering. When she drew or painted, it was as if an unseen hand guided her own. She’d never been able to explain that to anyone. To her, painting was an internal expression, not a political or social one. She didn’t have a manifesto or an affiliation, other than to please herself doing what she loved to do and make money doing it.Davis explores many elements of the Artistic life including whether Art succeeds or fails on its own and not because of the identity of the Artist as well as how the Artist experiences the act of painting versus illustrating.She finally understood why Levon was reluctant to put his work up for inspection. His art was a direct reflection of his very being, which meant an analysis by someone like Mr. Hornsby was in fact an examination of Levon’s soul. Clara’s illustrations were a completely different animal, outside of herself, a separate product. A business, as Levon had put it.Between the wonderful writing, the history, the Art and the three-dimensional characters, there is much to savor in this book. I highly recommend The Masterpiece and am looking forward to catching up with Davis’ earlier historical fiction works, The Address and The Dollhouse plus her upcoming work The Chelsea Girls (to be published in July 2019).
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars!I am really happy to be able to say I have read all of Fiona Davis' books and have loved them all! When I was given the opportunity to read an advanced copy of The Masterpiece, it was a no brainer. One thing that I especially love about Fiona's books are that they take place in my very own city of New York! I love being able to visualize the places she discusses and how they must have looked back when the book was set. The Masterpiece takes place in both the 1920s and the 1970s (I love 4.5 stars!I am really happy to be able to say I have read all of Fiona Davis' books and have loved them all! When I was given the opportunity to read an advanced copy of The Masterpiece, it was a no brainer. One thing that I especially love about Fiona's books are that they take place in my very own city of New York! I love being able to visualize the places she discusses and how they must have looked back when the book was set. The Masterpiece takes place in both the 1920s and the 1970s (I love me a good dual timeline) and deals with Grand Central Terminal - coincidentally, Grand Central is about a block from my office and I have lunch there nearly every day! I love to learn to guess how the timelines will come together in Fiona's books and see if I can spot the clues along the way. I found Clara and Virginia to both be strong female characters who I enjoyed getting to know in the pages of The Masterpiece - but, I will say, it's Fiona's writing that is the real Masterpiece here!I received an advance copy. All opinions are my own.
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  • Cheryl
    January 1, 1970
    Fiona Davis brings to life the story of Grand Central Terminal and the fight to preserve its Landmark status in this historical fiction tale!The story alternates between the lives of two strong female characters- Virginia Clay who is a 1970’s New York City divorcee trying to resume her life as a single woman, and Clara Darden, an artist and fashion illustrator who is trying to establish her reputation as a talented artist in 1920-1930’s New York City.The alternating stories of the two women are Fiona Davis brings to life the story of Grand Central Terminal and the fight to preserve its Landmark status in this historical fiction tale!The story alternates between the lives of two strong female characters- Virginia Clay who is a 1970’s New York City divorcee trying to resume her life as a single woman, and Clara Darden, an artist and fashion illustrator who is trying to establish her reputation as a talented artist in 1920-1930’s New York City.The alternating stories of the two women are hard to put down as each one tries to succeed in a society where women’s achievements are secondary to those of their male counterparts. Virginia begins a job at Grand Central Terminal where she accidentally stumbles upon the area formerly occupied by the Grand Central School of Art. She discovers an old watercolor painting and her interest is aroused about its origins. With her background in art history she begins to research the former art school. Clara is the artist who painted the watercolor. It was the preliminary sketch for her masterpiece, The Siren. Told through the eyes of the two main characters, this story evokes a real sense of place as well as an understanding of the times in which the characters lived. This is a well written, absorbing, and enjoyable novel about relationships, art, ambition, and intrigue! Thank you to First to Read, Dutton, and author Fiona Davis for giving me the opportunity to read the ARC of this entertaining book.
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  • ❀⊱RoryReads⊰❀
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 StarsFiona Davis is an excellent writer but I just didn't love this like I thought I would. The narrative is slower than I like and I had trouble connecting to the characters. The history of Grand Central is fascinating and the first part of the book is certainly better than the second, but it isn't enough to make this book a four star read.Thank you to Edelweiss for a copy of the book.
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  • Travel.with.a.book
    January 1, 1970
    " Fiona glamours the romance inside the history, with a touch of mystery! ".The Masterpiece is really the most Anticipiated book of the Year, my dearest Author hits this historical fiction novel in its finest! I couldn't even put the book down, it was extremely professionally written, and all the main characters were so mysterious so it was the plot!.So there are two parallel narratives, Clara wishes to illustrate magazine covers for Vogue, and Virginia divorced and a mother, she hopes for a bet " Fiona glamours the romance inside the history, with a touch of mystery! ".The Masterpiece is really the most Anticipiated book of the Year, my dearest Author hits this historical fiction novel in its finest! I couldn't even put the book down, it was extremely professionally written, and all the main characters were so mysterious so it was the plot!.So there are two parallel narratives, Clara wishes to illustrate magazine covers for Vogue, and Virginia divorced and a mother, she hopes for a better life in her own as a strong and independent woman! The novel takes place in the wonderful New York's Grand Central Terminal! The novel is between past and present people! I really enjoyed the drama parts and the mystery was real, It warms your heart, it is oustanding and I highly recommend it to everyone!
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  • Sherri Thacker
    January 1, 1970
    Fiona Davis can pull a reader into that time period unlike anyone else. This book was another good book by her, going back and forth from the 20’s to the 70’s. This is my 3rd book by Fiona Davis. I enjoyed it.
  • Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    This is such an enjoyable book!The Masterpiece is the story of 2 women: Clara Darden, an illustrator who teaches at the Grand Central School of Art in 1928; and Virginia Clay, a newly divorced woman and mother of a college age daughter who has just taken a job in the information booth at Grand Central Terminal in 1975. Both women are trying to survive in a world where women are not afforded the opportunity that they deserve. When Virginia discovers an old watercolor in the dregs of the old art s This is such an enjoyable book!The Masterpiece is the story of 2 women: Clara Darden, an illustrator who teaches at the Grand Central School of Art in 1928; and Virginia Clay, a newly divorced woman and mother of a college age daughter who has just taken a job in the information booth at Grand Central Terminal in 1975. Both women are trying to survive in a world where women are not afforded the opportunity that they deserve. When Virginia discovers an old watercolor in the dregs of the old art school, she becomes determined to find out who painted it. In the midst of her search, the very existence of the Grand Central Terminal is also in jeopardy. The characters in this book are wonderfully portrayed, even the unlikable ones. Clara, Virginia, Levon, Oliver, the Lorettes, even some minor characters are all well developed. I can’t say I always liked Clara, but I understood her sense of frustration and resentment at the constant inequality leveled at women artists in the 1920s. In many ways, the Grand Central is also a major character in this story, full of mystery and beauty. The Terminal gives the book a wonderful sense of place, and you want to google pictures of it while you read. I do have a quibble with Virginia’s circumstances, though. I did not understand if her husband was such a hot shot lawyer, why she was not getting adequate spousal support and why she was so broke. He left her after years of marriage. He apparently was unfaithful after her surgery. She had grounds to get a good settlement. Of course, that wouldn’t have helped the story, but it didn’t make sense. The book is well written, and perfectly paced to the point where you are just constantly turning pages, wanting to know what happens next. It’s a light read but a good one. I definitely recommend it. A fun question for those of you who have read this book: what does The Masterpiece refer to? “The Siren”, Grand Central Terminal, or both? Or something else?
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  • Amy Bruno
    January 1, 1970
    LOVED! Full review to come.
  • Susan Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    An interesting story centered on the Grand Central Terminal in NYC told from the viewpoint of two different women, 50 years apart. Clara Darden is an instructor at the famed Grand Central Art School in the 1920's struggling to make a career as an illustrator. Virginia Clay is a newly divorced woman in 1974 trying to make a new life with her young adult daughter, Ruby. Clara tries hard to make a success at her art which is difficult as a woman in 1928. She gets a temporary job teaching students An interesting story centered on the Grand Central Terminal in NYC told from the viewpoint of two different women, 50 years apart. Clara Darden is an instructor at the famed Grand Central Art School in the 1920's struggling to make a career as an illustrator. Virginia Clay is a newly divorced woman in 1974 trying to make a new life with her young adult daughter, Ruby. Clara tries hard to make a success at her art which is difficult as a woman in 1928. She gets a temporary job teaching students and calls on magazines and businesses to sell her illustrations. Illustrator and water color painters are looked down upon in the art world but she doesn't give up. She makes friends with a fellow instructor and a male model. She becomes Vogue Magazine first female illustrator and becomes quite successful until the Depression happens. The devastation is horrible. Clara is not the most likable character but she is very real with flaws. Virginia is trying to make a new life after her divorce and gets a job at the Information Booth at the Grand Central Terminal. She falls in love with the building and works to save it from Penn Central who wants to demolish it and build a skyscraper instead. She joins the Jackie Kennedy cause for it's preservation, uncovers a mystery and gets someone their long, overdue rewards. I really liked the history and the voices of two women who are not always likable but struggle to make their way in the world and have their voices heard. This was an enjoyable read that I think is her best yet. Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.
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  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
    January 1, 1970
    As a New Yorker, I absolutely should have taken this book to Grand Central and taken a better picture that seems much more suitable. I am kicking myself for not thinking of this sooner. However, for the sake of getting my thoughts out to you quicker, this will have to do because we need to talk about this book!!If anyone can make me love historical fiction, it's Fiona Davis. It's no surprise to those who have been following my reviews, that I am slowly becoming a fan of this genre. My first Davi As a New Yorker, I absolutely should have taken this book to Grand Central and taken a better picture that seems much more suitable. I am kicking myself for not thinking of this sooner. However, for the sake of getting my thoughts out to you quicker, this will have to do because we need to talk about this book!!If anyone can make me love historical fiction, it's Fiona Davis. It's no surprise to those who have been following my reviews, that I am slowly becoming a fan of this genre. My first Davis was The Address, which I absolutely adored! Imagine the squeal of delight when I was gifted a copy of this for review. Davis, I'm here for you! I did enjoy The Address slightly more than The Masterpiece, but they are both beautiful reads in their own right.In this novel, we parallel Clara Darden in the 1920s, during prohibition and Virginia Clay, in the 1970s, where women are still struggling to prove themselves beyond a wifely position. Not only do we get a little bit of an artist history from the 1920s, we also get a look into the history of Grand Central Terminal and the fight to keep it a NYC landmark in the 1970s. Admittedly, I enjoyed Virginia's story slightly more because I was fascinated by this history "lesson". Art has never really been my thing, but that didn't diminish my love for Clara's story. Davis has a way of bringing together these women in a way that you wouldn't expect. Some parts reminded me greatly of Mad Men. While each generation and decade have their issues, a standard one that's true even to this day, is a woman having to fight for her place in life. I was just speaking with someone about women lawyers even today having to prove themselves more than men - and this was a man I was speaking to so let's get that clear. 😉Fiona Davis brings us two extremely strong female characters. She's proving again to be a master in the historical fiction genre and I am here for every last piece of it. Thank you to Dutton Books for this gorgeous copy.
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  • Camille Maio
    January 1, 1970
    Another great read by Fiona Davis, cementing her place in the world of historical fiction. This one illuminated the little-known art school that was housed at Grand Central in the early part of the 20th century and the better-known struggle to save the station from destruction in the 70s. Mix in love, women's issues, and a touch of mystery, and Davis will have another hit on her hands!
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  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    There are a few authors that I automatically buy their books without reading a description. Fiona Davis is now firmly on that list! After reading The Dollhouse and The Address, I knew The Masterpiece was going to be amazing and I was not disappointed! This story has a little mystery and romance set amid the glorious Grand Central terminal. Historical fiction lovers, this is a must read!
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this book set in 2 time periods and following the artists of the Grand Central School of Art and Virginia, a recently divorced mother who goes to work at the Grand Central Terminal and finds the ruins of the old art school- and some of its secrets. Lovely story, very fast read. 4⭐ not a deep book but lovely. I enjoyed this book set in 2 time periods and following the artists of the Grand Central School of Art and Virginia, a recently divorced mother who goes to work at the Grand Central Terminal and finds the ruins of the old art school- and some of its secrets. Lovely story, very fast read. 4⭐️ not a deep book but lovely.
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