For the nearly nine million people who live in New York City, Grand Central Terminal is a crown jewel, a masterpiec ...more
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Format: Print book
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Giveaway dates: Oct 16 - Oct 23, 2018
Countries available: U.S.
This book is the literary equivalent of sipping luscious coffee at a patio cafe, right next to a bustling historic square, on a perfect autumn day. It is sunny and breezy. There's lots to take in, but it moves at its own steady pace. The feeling I have upon finishing The Masterpiece is that which only an exquisite work of historical fiction can provide: nostalgia for things I never experienced.
In 1928, a group of fabulously-named artists (am ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
The 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 ...more
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 ...more
This 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 ...more
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 ...more
Full review to follow shortly
*Traveling Sisters Read*
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 ...more
All 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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
This is a beautifully written story of two women, in two different decades, forging forward despite the ups and downs life has thrown at them.
Clara Darden is a very talented illustration teacher at Grand Central School of Art. She loves what she does and the opportunity to inspire others, but in 1928 women instructors are not well received and she is on the verge of losing her job.
It is 1974 and newly divorced Virginia Clay has decid ...more
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 ...more
A well-written and engaging historical fiction novel centering on a NYC iconic edifice: Grand Central Terminal.
Two women, separated by 50 years, are featured in this book. Clara Darden is an illustrationist at Vogue Magazine and also teaches illustration at Grand Central School of Art. Clara is modelled after the real illustrationist Helen Dryden. Virginia Clay is a divorcee with a college age daughter, who in 1974, is struggling to become independent and self-sufficient. She is able to obtain ...more
The Masterpiece, the newest release by Fiona Davis, was just as brilliant as I expected. Like her other novels, The Masterpiece tells tw ...more
I absolutely adore this book! Davis is an exquisite, talented writer. Set in New York City with the rich history of the Grand Central Station as the backdrop, this dazzling, vibrant story is told in a dual narrative, alternating between the 1920s and 1970s. Twenty-five-year-old Clara Darden is an aspiring artist during the 1920s and Virginia Clay is a recently ...more
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