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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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  • Solid Historical Fiction

    Fiona Davis’ newest entry in her historical fiction collection contains her traditional writing techniques; namely dual timelines and the themes of women’s rights and their struggles to obtain equal status to men. Her choice of New York venue for this outing is the iconic New York Public Library. Even if you haven’t visited the NYPL, we all know the iconic building at first sight with a pair of stone lions flanking the stairs at the entrance; and who doesn’t remember Carrie’s almost wedding to Big, held at the library in the first Sex and the City movie??? At the beginning of the 1914 storyline, we are introduced to Laura and Jack and their two children, Harry and Pearl. Jack was hired to be the library superintendent and the family resides in an apartment in the library. There are detailed descriptions of certain parts of the library such as the rare book room and the residence, however, I found myself wanting more description of the public areas. I had high hopes for great descriptions of the library which the public can access, but I found that the most descriptive passages were areas which are hidden to the public. The book’s second timeline in 1993 features Sadie, Pearl’s daughter, who also works at the library. The theme that ties these two storylines together is the theft of several rare books that occur under Jack’s watch and then again under Sadie’s decades later. In the end, Davis has provided us with a solid historical fiction novel, but personally, I was a bit disappointed and don’t feel that it compares to her previous work, The Masterpiece. I had a difficult time connecting with these characters in comparison to her other works. Thank you to the publishers – Dutton (Penguin Group) and to Netgalley for providing this book to me in exchange for an honest review. #TheLionsofFifthAvenue #Netgalley

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  • Awesome 100 Year Time Capsule Mystery

    This book is so much more than a mystery that goes from 1914 to 1993. It is also the story of the early days of feminism with women wanting to fulfill their own dreams. A great deal of knowledge about old books and their preservation is also shared. There are so many facets to this story and all of them are important. I truly enjoyed this book and read it in one sitting Well done! I received this ARC book for free from Net Galley and this is my honest review.

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  • History!

    NYPL, early-20th-century, late-20th-century, journalist, theft, women, mystery I came to the home of Patience and Fortitude and stayed for the excellent storytelling. I had been hoping for a story about a family who had lived in the hidden apartment in the library and also one about the intrabuilding book retrieval system that has been in place for so very many years and here is a book with all of that and more. This one takes in the beginnings of the rights of women movement which later devolved into women's suffrage, family stresses and secrets, as well as potential scandals about missing books. I loved it and look forward to an audio version that I can read no matter what else I am doing (even though I prefer the scent of books). I requested and received a free ebook copy from Dutton and Plume via NetGalley. Thank you!

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  • Historical Fiction New York

    In 1913, Jack Lyons is the superintendent of the New York Public Library; he lives in an apartment on the top floor of the building with his wife Laura and his children Pearl and Harry. Jack has been writing his first book for ten years and despite living at the library the family struggle to make ends meet. Jacks plan is for him to receive a lucrative deal for his book when it’s finished and solve the family’s money problems. His wife Laura is smart, she wants more for herself, she applies to study at the Columbia Journalism School and wants to work as a newspaper reporter. She discovers how hard it is to study and spend time with her husband, keep up with the house work and look after her children. She experiences terrible discrimination while studying because she’s a woman, by chance she meets Dr Amelia Potter and she introduces her to the woman’s suffrage movement. Women are fighting for equal rights, to earn their own money and to be able to legally use birth control. Constantly having children stops many women from being able to work, they are stuck living in a cycle of poverty and have to rely on their husband’s wage to feed large families. Laura is torn between two worlds; she loves her husband and children but is it wrong for her to want more out of life? When valuable books start going missing from the library, her husband is the obvious suspect, things start spiraling out of control and the once happy family is torn apart. In 1993, Sadie Donovan works at the New York Public Library as a curator when a college leaves Sadie is promoted and she’s beyond excited. But her job is under threat when history repeats it's self, precious items start disappearing from the library and she’s considered a prime suspect. Sadie has no choice but to admit her grandfather is Jack Lyons and her grandmother is the famous essayist Laura Lyons and her family’s torrid history with the library. Sadie sets about clearing her name, but it’s not easy as she knows very little about her grandparents and her mother Pearl has just passed away. I absolutely loved The Lions of Fifth Avenue; it’s a brilliant story that spans eighty years of hidden family history and secrets. In the perfect setting of a beautiful old distinguished building that’s a library full of history, memories, unsolved mysteries, classic books and collections. If only a building could talk, the combination of two strong female main characters plus all the intrigue and drama of precious and priceless treasures and books going missing! The Lions of Fifth Avenue is a book I couldn't stop reading and a big five stars from me.

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  • Split Time Historical Fiction Mystery

    The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis is Split Time Historical Fiction set 1913 and 1993. Mysteries in a library, family secrets that continue for 80 years and what really happened to the priceless books. It is a story of how family may be affected due to personal choices. I loved the library setting, realistic characters and a wonderful mystery about books. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. I appreciate the opportunity and thank the author and publisher for allowing me to read, enjoy and review this book. 5 Stars

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