Historical Fiction

Book Review – The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis #20booksofsummer20

Book Details
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: None
Publisher: Dutton
Publication Date: 8/4/2020
Pages: 368

Goodreads 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 finds herself 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-adverse 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.

My Opinion –

Fiona Davis uses the New York Public Library as a backdrop to an intriguing mystery!

In 1913 Laura Lyons, her husband Josh, and their two kids live in an apartment in the New York Public Library. That’s right, they live in the library!! She loves being a mother and wife, but wants more. Once she gets into Columbia Journalism School she becomes energized and finds herself fulfilled more than she ever thought possible!

Sadie Donovan is a curator in 1993 at the New York Public Library and has an interesting connection with Laura that she has decided to keep secret from her colleagues.

These two storylines are not only connected through bloodlines, but also through the mysterious theft of priceless books. I thought that the mysteries in both of these time periods were unique and interesting, but I found myself drawn more to Laura in 1913 than Sadie. I assume this is due to the historical fiction lover in me.

This was an enjoyable read, but not quite as engaging as some of her previous books that I have read. This book may not go down as one of my favorites, but I remain a huge fan!

*Thank you Dutton for the opportunity to read and review this book via Edelweiss for my honest opinion.

*Book 3/20 in the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge.

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10 thoughts on “Book Review – The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis #20booksofsummer20

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