REVIEW: Very Interesting! The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis was an exceptionally interesting book. I expected a little more history since it was listed as “historical”. The author tells us at the end of the book that she took liberties with the security procedures and organizational policies of the New York Public Library. The family she writes about and the story itself is fiction. It remains an entertaining book.
Her characters are varied, detailed and interesting. They all seem to have sides to them that are not expected and a little quirky. There were so many facets to this story and it took place in two different time periods 1913 and 1993. I can’t fault the book for the writing and fictional aspects. It was a intriguing story. It satisfied my thirst for suspense and mystery.
I bought this book from the New York Public Library when it came out with a signed bookplate, postcard and a tote bag. It will always be on my bookshelf as one of my prized books. I recommend this book.
SYNOPSIS: 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. But 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.