MY REVIEW OF “THE MASTERPIECE” BY FIONA DAVIS Penguin Group/ Dutton Publishing August 2018
Bravo to Fiona Davis , Author of “The Masterpiece” for writing an amazing, captivating, intense, riveting, entertaining and enthralling novel. I love everything about “The Masterpiece.” I appreciate the historical research that the author has done. Fiona Davis is a creative force when it comes to writing and describing the vivid images and colorful characters, combining fiction and historical fiction. The Genres of this novel are Historical Fiction, Fiction, Mystery with a dash of Romance. The spotlight and center of interest in the story is The Grand Central Station Terminal in New York City. There are two timelines, with different characters that depict the historical and fictional events.
Part of the history in The Grand Central Station is the former ART school, where famous artists worked on their creative inspirations. There also was a ritzy apartment, that later housed a famed bar.
In 1928, Clara Dane is teaching Art in the Grand Central Station School of Art. Clara’s strength is illustrations. Unfortunately women were not treated in equal measures to the men. Women Artists were looked down upon. Clara was not treated fairly. Clara’s claim to fame is that her illustrations land on the cover of Vogue Magazine. When the Great Depression occurs, it forces the owners to close down the Art School. Clara has two men that play a significant part in her life. Clara also dabbles in other forms of Art. With the Depression, things change.
Fifty years late, in 1978 the Grand Central Station Terminal is in much need of a Facelift. Things are dirty, and there are homeless people as well as people dealing drugs hanging around. Virginia Clay, a divorced mom with a young daughter needs a job. Virginia finds employment working in the information booth in the terminal. When Virginia is wandering around, she finds the location of the old art school. Virginia also finds a gorgeous painting, actually a masterpiece. Virginia is determined to find out who the painter is. As Virginia investigates, she finds that she in possibly in danger.
Sadly there is a discussion of tearing down the Grand Central Station Terminal. Led by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, there is a group trying to preserve the history and integrity of this landmark.
I love when the past and present merge. There are some Uh- Oh moments, and twist and turns. I highly recommend this fantastic intriguing novel , especially for those that enjoy Historical Fiction. I received an ARC from NetGalley to read and review.