The Masterpiece - Fiona Davis
I lived in NYC for 20 years. During this time, I visited Grand Central Terminal many times. Each time marveling at the integration of architecture, art, majestic spaces and practical application of this landmark site.
NYC relies upon its’ public transportation systems. It simply could not function without them.
But, Grand Central Terminal is much more than the practical application it is intended for. It is a work of art.
Every time I walked (or often ran!) across the massive interior to find and catch my departing train, I was grateful to those who stepped up and fought hard to save this extraordinary place. Fending off corruption. Betting on a faded lady who they were confident still had a lot of life in her underneath the grime and disrepair that neglect had cloaked her in.
They never gave up. Never. And, we are the beneficiaries of their efforts.
This is the setting of “The Masterpiece” by Fiona Davis.
Grand Central Terminal. The landmark building at the center of a story focused on beating the odds.
Add in a former art school in the hidden top floors of the building (I had no idea!).
An artist who knows exactly who she is. . . but fighting to gain her footing in a challenging profession and time when the rules were made by men.
A newly divorced mother and her college-age daughter who have no idea who they are. . . but stepping into a new chapter of self-reliance while navigating both the financial and emotional issues of moving forward together.
And. . . Jackie O.
Need I say more?
It is a winner. And, as you turn the last page, I am certain you will be inspired to never give up. Never.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
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.
More books by Fiona Davis
COMING SOON - JULY 2019
Preorder Open Now
Available July 30, 2019
From Fiona Davis, the nationally bestselling author of The Dollhouse and The Address, the bright lights of the theater district, the glamour and danger of 1950s New York, and the wild scene at the iconic Chelsea Hotel come together in a dazzling new novel about the twenty-year friendship that will irrevocably change two women's lives.
From the dramatic redbrick facade to the sweeping staircase dripping with art, the Chelsea Hotel has long been New York City's creative oasis for the many artists, writers, musicians, actors, filmmakers, and poets who have called it home—a scene playwright Hazel Riley and actress Maxine Mead are determined to use to their advantage. Yet they soon discover that the greatest obstacle to putting up a show on Broadway has nothing to do with their art, and everything to do with politics. A Red scare is sweeping across America, and Senator Joseph McCarthy has started a witch hunt for Communists, with those in the entertainment industry in the crosshairs. As the pressure builds to name names, it is more than Hazel and Maxine's Broadway dreams that may suffer as they grapple with the terrible consequences, but also their livelihood, their friendship, and even their freedom.
Spanning from the 1940s to the 1960s, The Chelsea Girls deftly pulls back the curtain on the desperate political pressures of McCarthyism, the complicated bonds of female friendship, and the siren call of the uninhibited Chelsea Hotel.