A Good Morning America Book Club Pick and a New York Times bestseller!
“A page-turner for booklovers everywhere! . . . A story of family ties, their lost dreams, and the redemption that comes from discovering truth.”—Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of The Shoemaker's Wife
In New York Times bestselling author Fiona Davis's latest historical novel, a series of book thefts roils the iconic New York Public Library, leaving two generations of strong-willed women to pick up the pieces.
It's 1913, and on the surface, Laura Lyons couldn't ask for more out of life—her husband is the superintendent of the New York Public Library, allowing their family to live in an apartment within the grand building, and they are blessed with two children. But headstrong, passionate Laura wants more, and when she takes a leap of faith and applies to the Columbia Journalism School, her world is cracked wide open. As her studies take her all over the city, she is drawn to Greenwich Village's new bohemia, where she discovers the Heterodoxy Club—a radical, all-female group in which women are encouraged to loudly share their opinions on suffrage, birth control, and women's rights. Soon, Laura finds herself questioning her traditional role as wife and mother. And when valuable books are stolen back at the library, threatening the home and institution she loves, she's forced to confront her shifting priorities head on . . . and may just lose everything in the process.
Eighty years later, in 1993, Sadie Donovan struggles with the legacy of her grandmother, the famous essayist Laura Lyons, especially after she's wrangled her dream job as a curator at the New York Public Library. But the job quickly becomes a nightmare when rare manuscripts, notes, and books for the exhibit Sadie's running begin disappearing from the library's famous Berg Collection. Determined to save both the exhibit and her career, the typically risk-averse Sadie teams up with a private security expert to uncover the culprit. However, things unexpectedly become personal when the investigation leads Sadie to some unwelcome truths about her own family heritage—truths that shed new light on the biggest tragedy in the library's history.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Just as she’s done in her four previous bestsellers, Fiona Davis pulls back the curtain on a beloved New York City landmark. This time, her novel explores the passions and familial dramas unfolding behind the imposing facade of the New York Public Library’s main branch. In The Lions of Fifth Avenue, we follow two women—one in 1913, the other in 1993—who are determined to defy society’s expectations. Davis paints an indelible picture of two Manhattans and of her two dynamic heroines, whose fates are inextricably linked by a long-standing mystery. This vibrant period piece about a storied library’s secrets will thrill any book lover or romantic.
Davis (The Address) delves into the history of the New York Public Library in this delightful mystery. It's 1913, and Jack and Laura Lyons have spent the past two years living in an apartment on a mezzanine tucked inside the library, since it opened. Jack is the library's superintendent, while Laura raises their two children and studies journalism at Columbia. Tension builds when valuable first edition books start disappearing and Jack is the suspected thief. Davis then shifts to 1993, when Laura's granddaughter Sadie is the library's rare books curator, and a new wave of thefts begin. As the story transitions between Sadie and Laura, their differences stand out: Sadie is a quirky book lover who's uneasy around people, while Laura blooms when she meets the revolutionary women of Greenwich Village, who fight for rights in a club called Heterodoxy. Laura's journalism professor dismisses the club for "trying too hard to be intellectual," prompting Laura to prove him wrong. Eventually she goes on to become a leading feminist essayist. Davis illuminates the world of special books through keen descriptions of the library and rare book dealers, while leading readers through the twin mysteries of the missing books. The characters and story are stellar, but the real star of the show is the library, which Davis evokes beautifully.
A page turner
Enjoyable read kept me up all night . The plot is rich and the family dynamics are complicated, especially they action during the turn of the century at the NYPL. A visit there is now on my bucket list.