The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis

The Masterpiece

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 somethin...

Details The Masterpiece

TitleThe Masterpiece
Release DateAug 7th, 2018
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Mystery, New York

Reviews The Masterpiece

  • Book of Secrets
    THE MASTERPIECE is about two women, fifty years apart, whose parallel stories suddenly intersect at New York City's historic Grand Central. It's clearly well researched regarding what was happening at the train station in the late 1920s and early 1970s, on the verge of the Great Depression, and later, at risk of being demolished. I have mixed feelings about this book. While I thought Clara's story in the earlier time period was more interesting, ...
  • Cindy Burnett
    4.5 starsThe Masterpiece is Fiona Davis’ best book to date, and I have loved all three of her books. New York City is one of my favorite places to visit, and each of Davis’ books contains a myriad of fascinating details about a particular building and era in the city. The Masterpiece focuses on Grand Central Terminal (I never knew it was Grand Central Terminal versus Grand Central Station) during the late-1920’s and the mid-1970’s, two ve...
  • Katie B
    I jumped on the chance to read this because I really liked Fiona Davis's last book, The Address. The action goes back and forth between 1920s New York City in which Clara is teaching at Grand Central School of Art and trying to make it big as an illustrator and the 1970s in which newly divorced Virginia Clay is working at the Grand Central Terminal. Virginia stumbles upon a watercolor in the abandoned art school and sets out find the artist. This...
  • Amy
    Fiona Davis was one of the first HF authors I read and enjoyed, I loved both The Dollhouse and The Address and have been super excited about The Masterpiece. Davis has honed a keen ability to write dazzling stories about NYC, she really brings the city to life and truly sweeps you away to a different time and place.This is told via a dual narrative flipping from the 1920s where Clara is a young artist trying to break in to a world where men rule ...
  • BookGypsy
    Amazing!The story is centered around New York's Grand Central Terminal and two women that worked there during different eras. Clair,a young woman who teaches at the art school in the 1920's. But dreams of doing the cover for Vogue. Later in the 1970's the Grand Central is much different and more dangerous than in the 1920's we meet Virginia. Recently divorced who takes a job at the information booth to support herself and her daughter Ruby. When ...
  • Jamie Rosenblit
    4.5 stars!I am really happy to be able to say I have read all of Fiona Davis' books and have loved them all! When I was given the opportunity to read an advanced copy of The Masterpiece, it was a no brainer. One thing that I especially love about Fiona's books are that they take place in my very own city of New York! I love being able to visualize the places she discusses and how they must have looked back when the book was set. The Masterpiece t...
  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
    FULL REVIEW WILL BE ON AUGUST 8."What would an art school teacher and an information booth attendee have in common besides Grand Central since the women lived 50 years apart? You would be surprised.THE MASTERPIECE was focused on the artists of New York and the history of Grand Central. Did you know that Grand Central had been in jeopardy of being torn down?Ms. Davis has created another beautiful “masterpiece” that historical fiction fans, New...
  • Toni
    Historical Fictional novel, The Masterpiece, has two POVs, two different decades: fifty years apart, two Masterpieces and one mystery. Imbedded within are two intelligent and talented women fighting for their right to have a voice in their lives, especially regarding their livelihoods. In 1928, Clara Darden is a young struggling artist trying to keep her new job as an assistant instructor at the famed Grand Central Art School, ‘tucked under the...
  • Susan Johnson
    An interesting story centered on the Grand Central Terminal in NYC told from the viewpoint of two different women, 50 years apart. Clara Darden is an instructor at the famed Grand Central Art School in the 1920's struggling to make a career as an illustrator. Virginia Clay is a newly divorced woman in 1974 trying to make a new life with her young adult daughter, Ruby. Clara tries hard to make a success at her art which is difficult as a woman in ...
  • Celia
    A well-written and engaging historical fiction novel centering on a NYC iconic edifice: Grand Central Terminal. Two women, separated by 50 years, are featured in this book. Clara Darden is an illustrationist at Vogue Magazine and also teaches illustration at Grand Central School of Art. Clara is modelled after the real illustrationist Helen Dryden. Virginia Clay is a divorcee with a college age daughter, who in 1974, is struggling to become indep...
  • Amy Bruno
    LOVED! Full review to come.
  • KC
    Grand Central Terminal is one of New York City's most iconic landmarks. Fiona Davis' latest novel weaves together two stories nearly 5 decades apart. From 1928 and the imminent Great Depression to 1974 and the city's deterioration and the impending closure of the terminal, two women and their lives are bound together by one of the most exceptional masterpieces and beloved structures in the world.
  • Tammy
    There are a few authors that I automatically buy their books without reading a description. Fiona Davis is now firmly on that list! After reading The Dollhouse and The Address, I knew The Masterpiece was going to be amazing and I was not disappointed! This story has a little mystery and romance set amid the glorious Grand Central terminal. Historical fiction lovers, this is a must read!
  • Camille Maio
    Another great read by Fiona Davis, cementing her place in the world of historical fiction. This one illuminated the little-known art school that was housed at Grand Central in the early part of the 20th century and the better-known struggle to save the station from destruction in the 70s. Mix in love, women's issues, and a touch of mystery, and Davis will have another hit on her hands!
  • Cheryl
    Fiona Davis brings to life the story of Grand Central Terminal and the fight to preserve its Landmark status in this historical fiction tale!The story alternates between the lives of two strong female characters- Virginia Clay who is a 1970’s New York City divorcee trying to resume her life as a single woman, and Clara Darden, an artist and fashion illustrator who is trying to establish her reputation as a talented artist in 1920-1930’s New Y...
  • Cori
    I enjoyed reading this book and looked forward to learning more about the world of art and Grand Central Terminal while I read. Both of the alternating timelines had me hooked. Virginia was a mom struggling in the 70s and her strength was remarkable. Clara was an amazing artist working to be a trailblazer for women in the 1920s. This is the 2nd book by Fiona Davis I have read and the second time I have felt that I am living in NYC right along wit...
  • Heather Fineisen
    A bit of a Hallmark movie flair to this story of a female illustrator in the 1920's paralleled to the saving of Grand Central Terminal in the 1970's. A depiction of strong, independent women in both eras. Throw in an appearance by Jackie O and anything can happen. The author tells of her inspiration in the afterword and although her characters are fictional, Davis brings them to life as well as the historical setting of the narration. A fast and ...
  • Robin
    Revolving around the Grand Central Terminal of New York City, we are told the story of two different women in two different time periods. Slow paced but beautifully written, we gradually learn about the growing success of illustrator and artist Clara Darden just before the Depression and a tragic accident ruins her life. Fast forward, Virginia Clay in the 1970s is still reeling from surviving breast cancer only for her husband to divorce her. Whe...
  • Katie (katieladyreads)
    I ended up really enjoying this one and learning all about Grand Central Terminal! I loved the feminist vibes and the alternating timelines between the late 1920s and the 1970s. While a little predictable/cheesy at points, overall it was well done and I found the ending wrapped it up nicely.
  • Gwendolyn
    I absolutely love Fiona Davis' books. The descriptions of the characters and the rich history of the settings are always able to pull me right in. The Masterpiece is no different. Set in The Grand Central Terminal in NYC in the years 1928 and 1974, Clara and Virginia must discover what they are truly made of; if they are women to be walked over or reckoned with. Clara is a fiercely dedicated illustrator with lofty goals that would be hard for a m...
  • Barbara
    Fiona Davis' books are just so captivating. I am fangirling all over! I just completed a marathon read of The Masterpiece followed by The Dollhouse (which I have been dying to read since I heard about it in 2016). I have a major book hangover. The Masterpiece has two timelines, two narratives, two strong women. Clara Darden in 1928, a single woman, artist living in NYC and teaching illustration at Grand Central School of Art, located in Grand Cen...
  • Jenn
    It's 1928 and twenty-five-year-old Clara Darden is teaching at the Grand Central School of Art. But it's not without its challenges as most people don't want to be taught by a woman. But Clara is fierce and determined and she isn't afraid to work hard for what she wants. Unfortunately Clara and her friends have no idea of what's to come with the Great Depression. Having no job, no money and no food won't be the worst things for Clara.Now, in 1974...
  • Linda Zagon
    ERPIECE” BY FIONA DAVIS Penguin Group/ Dutton Publishing August 2018Bravo 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...
  • Chrissie
    Interesting concept, but I connect more with the author and whatever bit of history she first discovered about either Grand Central Terminal itself or the Grand Central School of Art that began as just a seed of an idea for a book. The execution of the novel itself, however, was overshadowed by a distinct lack of consistent characterization and a mottled, messy plot. I will say that there was a large difference between the structure, style, and q...
  • Sammira (blissfulreveries)
    I received an e-ARC through Penguin's First to Read program in exchange for an honest review The Masterpiece follows two women separated between 50 years as they embark a world full of starving artists, art scandals, and female empowerment. Clara Darden is an artist before her time, not to mention being a woman surrounded by sharks in the art world who are desperate to undermine her talent. After a tragedy that destroyed all of her art, she dis...
  • Karen
    There is no place like Grand Central Station. Its majestic beauty shines through the crowds to reveal decades past. Millions of people quickly coming and going in the heartbeat of the greatest city on earth. Clara Darden is a young artist, struggling to make her way in 1928 as a teacher at the Grand Central School of Art. She is a beautiful, confident illustrator fighting for her place in a man’s world. Finally attaining success, Clara has made...
  • Cupcake Book Lady
    Virginia is a recent divorcee in the 1970’s with a teenage daughter to look after. So she finds what work she can, which just happens to be in NYC’s Grand Central Terminal at the information booth. The work seems dreary and pathetic until she accidentally stumbles into an old art room in the upper levels of the building, closed off to everyone, which was once home to an art school in the 20s, and has been the home of a hidden painting which m...
  • Dana Blazsek
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5— The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis•Thank you to @netgalley and @duttonbooks for a free digital advanced copy. •Virginia Clay is a divorcee who is forced back into the work place to stay afloat. There at Grand Central Terminal, she discovers the abandoned art school that closed due to the Great Depression. While looking around, she finds a watercolor painting that is signed Clyde. On the other side, we meet Clare Darden, a young ...
  • Gwen
    I received this book courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The release date for the hardback version is August 7, 2018.This is the second Fiona Davis book I have read, the first being The Address which was about the Dakota, a famous apartment complex in New York City. The famous New York City setting for The Masterpiece is Grand Central Terminal. When I requested and then received an early copy of this book, I was a bit apprehen...
  • Bethany Clark
    My love of historical fiction had begun with Fiona when I first read The Address. I was mesmerized by her story lines, the depth of her characters and just the way in which her book flowed. I then moved on to The Dollhouse and I felt the same way. (How had I not known of her work before?)Today I am reviewing The Masterpiece and this is by far her best work yet. Not only was the story line amazing, I loved how the characters weaved in and out of t...