This is the first novel I have listened to by Fiona Davis and I liked it. It's a sweeping family story that has tragic aspects yet redeeming ones too.
A major aspect of the plot is an adult coming of age experience. In the 1910s New York, Laura tries to find her way in a society that dismissed women. I appreciated listening to how a woman might try to establish a journalism career only to be thwarted by a man who liked her work enough to steal it. When appreciation for who she is comes from a source other than her husband, she follows that path to its end.
In the 1990s Sadie has found her rewarding career, a deep passion for preserving literary works. Yet she has a relationship void, an issue she must face when a handsome investigator is hired by the New York Library to get to the bottom of stolen items.
I like to learn something when I listen to a novel and in this case it was about the New York Library itself. I appreciate the Author's Note explaining which parts of the novel are factual and which are the creation of Davis.
The only part of this otherwise wonderful novel I did not like was the descriptive kissing scene between Laura and her love. I felt it was a token scene and I have to admit, I fast forwarded through it.
I liked the novel, willing to overlook that one sensual scene because the rest of the book was so entertaining and informative.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Fiona Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of six historical fiction novels set in iconic New York City buildings, including The Magnolia Palace, The Dollhouse, The Address, and The Lions of Fifth Avenue, which was a Good Morning America book club pick. Her novels have been chosen as “One Book, One Community” reads and her articles have appeared in publications like The Wall Street Journal and O the Oprah magazine.
She first came to New York as an actress, but fell in love with writing after getting a master's degree at Columbia Journalism School. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and she's based in New York City. Photo: Deborah Feingold.
Dutton, 364 pages.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)