The Masterpiece

The Masterpiece

A Novel

eBook - 2018
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"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"-- Provided by publisher.
"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. 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"-- Provided by publisher.
Topical Term: Artists
Teachers
Historical fiction
Detective and mystery stories
Electronic books
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : Penguin Publishing Group, 2018
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781524742966
Branch Call Number: eBOOK
PS3604.A95695 M38 2018
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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j
junie2
Jul 12, 2019

This is an excellent novel. I enjoyed the settings and the discussion of art in the 1920s.

b
behere
Jan 15, 2019

Fiona Davis has done it again. Writing historical fiction and solving a mystery in one literary bundle.

l
laphampeak
Nov 29, 2018

Artistically written with a strong female lead. The story easily shifted between two eras with well defined characters. Overall it was a pleasure to read.

g
GummiGirl
Oct 01, 2018

If you enjoyed "Clara and Mr. Tiffany" or "The Blazing World," you'll like this one as well. It's a bit too tidy but successfully evokes its two time periods and the women's issues associated with them.

b
BONNIE S SAUNDERS
Sep 19, 2018

A bit far fetched but like her other books which also combine architecture and mystery, reality and fiction, The Masterpiece is an excellent introduction to a little known subject.

d
doona88
Sep 08, 2018

The Masterpiece is a superb read and one you will not want to put down. All the historical details included about Grand Central Station in New York City were fascinating and deftly woven into the plot and overall story. This is one of the best novels I have ever read, and I am a more than avid reader. Check it out now!

DPLpaigeone Jul 07, 2018

Fiona Davis's new book is filled with art and mystery in NYC. Place a hold on it now.

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