If you want to know a way into a book lover's soul, give them a book that is set in a library. If you want to know the way into my book loving soul....give me a book set in a library with a book stealing mystery that flips between time periods. Enter the master of time periods, family drama and New York City landmarks...the great Fiona Davis and her new novel, The Lions of Fifth Avenue.
Let me set the stage: In 1913, Laura Lyons and her family are closely connected to the New York Public Library. As wife to the library's superintendent, Laura has the freedom to roam the stacks and live within the shelves...literally since they have an apartment deep within the library's hallowed halls. Laura loves her life, but there is one thing missing: her desire to write and be able to study at the newly minted Columbia Journalism School. As her courses take her all over the city to write stories, she meets a new group of radical women who transform her life forever.
Flash-forward to the 1990s and the story of Sadie Donovan comes to light. As curator for the famous Berg Collection of rare books and artifacts in New York Public Library. As pieces of her new exhibit start to go missing, Sadie is determined to save the prized pieces of literary history and also her career. As the investigation takes her on a personal journey she never saw coming, she discovers that she and Laura may have more in common than she ever realized.
When I finished this book, I was on such a book about books hangover. Davis knows how to tell such an enrapturing story that spans decades. While most of this story is fiction, I loved how there are inspired elements that actually happened within this famous library's walls. For example, that apartment I was writing about earlier...it actually existed!
What I love most about Davis's novels is the family aspect to each novel. There is always some family lineage connection between the two timelines. Whether it is between the protagonists or someone associated with the protagonist, it brings the two stories together into well wrapped conclusions.
The Lions of Fifth Avenue is now available at your favorite indie bookstore or on Amazon! If you love a good book about books as much as I do, this one is sure to make your bookish soul soar.