In her latest captivating novel, nationally bestselling author Fiona Davis takes readers into the glamorous lost art school within Grand Central Terminal, where two very different women, fifty years apart, strive to make their mark on a world set against them.
For the nearly nine million people who live in New York City, Grand Central Terminal is a crown jewel, a masterpiece of design. But for Clara Darden and Virginia Clay, it represents something quite different.
For Clara, the terminal is the stepping stone to her future, which she is certain will shine as the brightly as the constellations on the main concourse ceiling. It is 1928, and twenty-five-year-old Clara is teaching at the lauded Grand Central School of Art. A talented illustrator, she has dreams of creating cover art for Vogue, but not even the prestige of the school can override the public’s disdain for a “woman artist.” Brash, fiery, confident, and single-minded–even while juggling the affections of two men, a wealthy would-be poet and a brilliant experimental painter–Clara is determined to achieve every creative success. But she and her bohemian friends have no idea that they’ll soon be blindsided by the looming Great Depression, an insatiable monster with the power to destroy the entire art scene. And even poverty and hunger will do little to prepare Clara for the greater tragedy yet to come.
Nearly fifty years later, in 1974, the terminal has declined almost as sharply as Virginia Clay’s life. Full of grime and danger, from the smoke-blackened ceiling to the pickpockets and drug dealers who roam the floor, Grand Central is at the center of a fierce lawsuit: Is the once-grand building a landmark to be preserved, or a cancer to be demolished? For Virginia, it is simply her last resort. Recently divorced, she has just accepted a job in the information booth in order to support herself and her college-age daughter, Ruby. But when Virginia stumbles upon an abandoned art school within the terminal and discovers a striking watercolor hidden under the dust, her eyes are opened to the elegance beneath the decay. She embarks on a quest to find the artist of the unsigned masterpiece–an impassioned chase that draws Virginia not only into the battle to save Grand Central but deep into the mystery of Clara Darden, the famed 1920s illustrator who disappeared from history in 1931.
January was a pretty busy month for me. I’ve started to slowly get back into working again. Although I didn’t make an specific New Year resolutions, I’m trying my best to make better decisions and to take better care of myself. Its hard to do when you have a little one. Even harder when you are a single parent. But I’m trying my best.
Charlie has learned and grown so much since Christmas. He is now over 9 months old, with two teeth and two more coming through. He never ceases to amaze me or melt my heart.
As you will see from my monthly wrap-up below, I only completed 1 book in January. However I’m actually pretty please with the amount of reading I’ve fit in this month. I’ve been slowly re-reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as well as an eBook by Beth Labonte.
I came to realize that in the past year I put a lot of pressure on myself to finish a book by the end of the month. I’m trying a new approach to this. I’m just going with the flow. I’ll get it finished when I can. And if that so happens to be a few days into a new month, then that is ok. I know this will change up my monthly wrap-up totals, but allow me to take my time and enjoy the stories I’m reading more.
Back again with another Top 10 Tuesday. That’s two in a row! Look at me go, haha. Oh this is what happens when I can’t sleep at night. Anyway.. I didn’t ask for any specific books for Christmas this year, but I always have a list of books I’d buy if I had a chance. Here are some I wouldn’t mind adding to my physical shelves..
A Harry Potter Box Set by JK Rowling. Believe it or not I don’t actually own my own copies of these books. I am currently borrowing them from my brother.
Keeping with Harry Potter, I’d love to have the illustrated books to share with my son.
November started off well here, but ended with a cold that hit my whole family. However it didn’t dampen the Christmas spirit that is starting to build. I got a good start on my Christmas shopping, which is surprising. The Christmas lights are up and we’ve been watching some fun movies and festive television shows. Those cheesy Hallmark movies are such a guilty pleasure of mine.
One thing that has always kicked off the festive season (for me) is watching the Toronto Santa Claus Parade on television. This year I was able to share that tradition with my son Charles. Sure he didn’t understand what we were watching, nor did he really pay much attention to what was on, but it was nice all the same. The holidays this year are going to be so special as it will be his first Christmas.
I’m satisfied with my reading progress this month and the quality of the books I read was good. Being sick sucks, but it allowed me to spend some more time reading. I finally finished reading The Measure of Katie Calloway, which I’ve slowly been making progress with on Kindle for PC, for quite a while now.
Do you ever think back and try to remember what you did over the past month, but draw a blank? That is what seems to happen to me whenever I sit down to put together my monthly wrap-ups.
Here is what I do remember off the top of my head (ha).
Baby Charlie is now 6 months old. This is such a fun age, because he is becoming more and more interactive. His personality is starting to shine and he is such a happy baby.
Yesterday he celebrated his first Halloween. Kicking it off with a party with some local Moms and their babies. He dressed up as a cute puppy dog. To check out the costume I bought him click here to be directed to the Party City website.
Mom life is keeping my quite busy and I’m having trouble prioritizing my time to blog. Hopefully this is something I will get better at over time.
On to the books..
I am pleased with my reading progress during the month of October, however I didn’t absolutely love the books I read. All of the books I read were sent to me for review.
If you are anything like me, you were super sad to see the Gilmore Girls end in 2007 after 7 seasons. And likewise you were super excited for its revival Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, that was released last year on Netflix.
But now you are back to missing our favourite mom and daughter duo, right? Me too!
Well I recently stumbled across a 2016 article by Johanna Golden (from Book Bub Blog) entitled: