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The Lions of Fifth Avenue: A Novel by Fiona…
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The Lions of Fifth Avenue: A Novel (edition 2020)

by Fiona Davis (Author)

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19317102,930 (4)5
Member:lj_library
Title:The Lions of Fifth Avenue: A Novel
Authors:Fiona Davis (Author)
Info:Dutton (2020), 368 pages
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The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis

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Did you know that their once was an apartment in the NYC Public Library where the director lived in the 1930's. This mystery of who and why a book was stolen from the Library and how the mystery was solved by their granddaughter decades later . ( )
  lindamamak | Sep 23, 2020 |
The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis is a stimulating dual-timeline novel. The story moves between 1993 with Sadie Donovan and 1913 with Laura Lyons. I found The Lions of Fifth Avenue to be well-written with interesting characters. Laura Lyons was a woman ahead of her time. Laura is a wife and mother who has become restless. She is a Vassar graduate who would like a passion in her life. Her husband, Jack is passionate about the book he is writing, and she wants to find something that fulfills her. Laura is accepted into the Columbia Journalism School which opens a new world. She is drawn to a group of women in Greenwich Village who belong to the Heterodoxy Club which encourages them to share their views and ideas on women’s suffrage, birth control, and much more. Sadie works at the New York Public Library in the Berg Collection. She becomes interim curator and is working hard on an upcoming exhibit. Sadie would like to find something of her grandmother’s, Laura Lyons for the exhibit that would wow her boss. Sadie’s mother was tight lipped about Laura and all of Laura’s papers were destroyed upon her death. But Sadie is excellent at her job and she uncovers information that perhaps should remain buried. When books start disappearing from the Berg Collection, it is reminiscent of thefts that occurred in 1913. Sadie begins searching for answers. I loved hearing about the apartment within the New York Public Library. The author’s descriptions allowed me to imagine the vast library with its beautiful marble, painted ceilings, and the bast number of books. I expect that many bibliophiles would love to live in a library (imagine the fun at night when everyone is gone). I liked learning about the New York Public Library and the resources it contains. Sadie and Laura were developed characters with differing personalities. The secondary characters were less developed. The pacing was slower than I prefer. The mysteries surrounding the books was clever (how the deed was accomplished). It is not difficult, though, figuring out the guilty parties. I appreciated that everything was wrapped up at the end. The Lions of Fifths Avenue is an intriguing historical mystery with ancestral aenigmas, missing manuscripts, a manipulating mother, library lions, and bibliophile bliss. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Sep 16, 2020 |
This reads sort of like a Nancy Drew for adults. Set in 1913 and 1993, the story revolves around the theft of rare books from the New York Public Library. The 1913 story's main character is Laura Lyons whose husband is the superintendent of the Library. The 1993 story's main character is her granddaughter, Sadie who knows little of the grandmother.
Ok read, but light. More plot, less character. ( )
  maryreinert | Sep 13, 2020 |
Two different stories, two different times. But the same crime committed and members of the same family involved. In the early 20th century, Laura’s husband works for the NYC library, and he and his family live in the building. In the late 20th century, Sadie, their granddaughter, works there, too. The theft of books at both times seems to be too coincidental, and Sadie is determined to find a connection. The book vacillates between the lives of these two strong women, and gradually the reader learns of their struggles and tragedies. Laura is a woman ahead of her time, and not accepted by the mainstream. She wants a family and a career, and is attracted to the bohemian lifestyle of other women seeking long denied rights. Sadie wants to be a curator at the library, and works toward that career, to the detriment of her personal life. This astounding novel cleverly weaves the personal stories of these two protagonists into one cohesive tale, one that is fraught with struggles, pain, failure, love, tragedies, and death. The story is gripping, and the characters are intriguing, and the combination is unbeatable. Recommended for readers of all sorts. ( )
  Maydacat | Sep 11, 2020 |
I'm a librarian, so I'm terribly biased toward books set in libraries and this book is no exception. Set across two eras, with the main branch of the New York Public Library as its setting, this novel had many of my favorite elements: family secrets, rare books, feminism, and book thieves. Okay, maybe book thieves aren't exactly my favorite kind of people, but I love a story about a librarian investigating a series of rare book robberies and discovering connections to her own family history. I also love the idea of a family living in an apartment within the library and I don't know that one could ask for a more fascinating setting. Overall, I loved this one and I'll certainly be looking for more from this author, even if they're not set in libraries. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Aug 30, 2020 |
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For librarians everywhere
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She had to tell Jack.
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She supposed a death in the family did that, made you dredge up the silt from the bottom of your life.
Her future was in her hands, a book yet to be written. How she chose to fill its pages was entirely up to her.
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