Author Fiona Davis has created a niche writing rich novels with complicated characters, enmesh in multi-layered plots set in iconic New York City buildings. THE DOLLHOUSE is set in the Barbizon Hotel, and focuses on the lives of two women between 1950s and today. THE ADDRESS takes place in the iconic Dakota. Her new novel, THE MASTERPIECE (Dutton) turns the spotlight on Grand Central Terminal.
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.
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: Will the once-grand building a landmark be preserved, or 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.
Lots of twists and turns, in addition to strong female characters and an added art class. THE MASTERPIECE is simply masterful.
F I O N A 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. She’s a graduate of the College of William & Mary and is based in New York City.
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Thanks to Fiona, we have one copy of THE MASTERPIECE to giveaway. Just tell us what you love most about New York City … or think you’d love.
We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck!
GIVEAWAY USA only please.