The Masterpiece, by Fiona Davis
Let's talk about this rating first. If you like Fiona Davis' books (The Dollhouse and The Address), you'll like this one too. I have this weird thing, something about her writing style, it just bugs me. But I've read all three! The topics are interesting and the historical fiction approach is right up my alley, but I just don't really like these books. Something about them feels a little too contrived and over-the-top, to the point that I've just kind of soured on them. That being said, I think that's completely personal and most of you will actually really enjoy this one.
Like Davis' other novels, this one takes on a historic New York City landmark - Grand Central Station (or, erm, Terminal as you'll learn from reading). In 1974, Grand Central was far from the the shining beacon its seen as today. Grimy and dangerous, this is where divorcee Virginia Clay ends up taking a job in attempt to support herself and her daughter. One day, Virginia stumbles upon a forgotten art school in a wing of the Terminal. A painting catches her eye and soon Virginia is on a quest to discover the provenance. The painting's artist is Clara Darden, an illustrator in the 1920s, who suddenly disappears from record in the 1930s. Her pursuit quickly becomes twofold, to find the forgotten artist as well as to save Grand Central from being torn down. Like Davis' other novels, the story switches between past and present (or in this case past and a little less past) within the same setting.
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