2020 Reading Challenge

2020 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 6 books toward her goal of 240 books.

Book Review: The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis

Fiona Davis’s books are such a delight to read. The blending of past and present (or in this case, past and less past) story lines to uncover a solution to a mystery of the past, tied to one of New York City’s great monument buildings, is a clever construct and one that educates and entertains in equal measure. This is my third foray into Davis’s world, and while I enjoyed it, I must confess that I did not find it quite as consistently compelling as the first two.

I vastly enjoyed the more historical story this time. Clara Darden and her 1920s New York felt alive and resonant in a way that Virginia’s 1970s city simply did not. It wasn’t until the Big Reveal that I finally felt a real connection to Virginia’s world. From there until the end I was thoroughly engaged and the book was as lovely as the earlier novels.
I don’t know what it was about Virginia and her world that felt flatter to me – there was no obvious failing, I just never fully fell into her character or story line. I did quite enjoy her daughter Ruby and the cast of supporting characters around her at the Grand Central Terminal; for some reason they all felt fuller than she did.

Still, despite my lukewarm feelings about her, I found the book to be enjoyable overall if a bit more uneven than I expected based on my previous reads. Fiona Davis remains an author to be watched – I really enjoy the historical look at New York’s preeminent buildings and the mysteries that are presented and resolved within the context of the novels. I can’t wait to see where she takes us next!

Thank you to Penguin’s First to Read program for my review copy.

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