Review: The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis

Alexis:

Hi, everyone! I’m moving into my new apartment tomorrow. I’m really excited, but I’m also already exhausted just thinking about it!

The Masterpiece is the last book I read on the beach. It isn’t my usual read, but it was a great beach read! Overall, this is one of those books that I read and I liked, but it didn’t leave a long-lasting impression.

The book alternates between two timelines. In 1928, Clara Darden is an illustrator teaching at the Grand Central School of Art in New York City. In 1974, Virginia Clay is a recent divorcee and cancer survivor who begins working at the Grand Central Terminal when she finds a painting abandoned in the old art school. 

What I liked: I loved that the story centered around a building. I learned a lot about the history of the Grand Central Terminal. The story focuses a lot on the beauty of the terminal in the 20’s, and how the building has been worn down over the years by the time the 70’s roll around. 

I really enjoyed reading about Clara’s life as a woman struggling to prove herself as an artist. I loved her determined character, and her struggle resonated with me. I also learned a lot about art, especially how illustrators, not to mention women artists, were viewed in the 1920’s. 

What I didn’t like: I wasn’t a huge fan of Virginia’s storyline. I’m not really sure why, but it didn’t resonate with me like Clara’s storyline. 

Clara’s sectionsfocused too much on Oliver, in my opinion, and I wasn’t a fan of his character.

I also found the ending to be melodramatic and not very believable. 

As an aside, my mom also read this book. She loves historical fiction, and she really liked this book. She loved the descriptions and the history of the Grand Central Terminal. 

VERDICT: 3 stars

Book Mail!

Alexis: We love book mail! We’re so thankful to have won We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faaizal and China Dream by Ma Jian through Bookstagram giveaways.

I’m roadtripping to my grad school city tomorrow to finalize my apartment. I can’t wait to have my own space and get a ton of writing done!

I’m looking forward to cracking one of these books open on the drive.

Anna’s Currently Reading

Here’s my current read, Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward, and my new couch! My apartment truly feels like a home now. You guys chose this book as my next memoir in the beginning of the month, and I cheated a bit. I loved Sing, Unburied, Sing and Salvage the Bones, so I’m excited to learn more about Jesmyn Ward’s life!

It was super tough going to back to work after that long weekend, wasn’t it? What book is helping you get through this week back?

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