The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis

August 3rd, 2020 Kimberly Review 34 Comments

3rd Aug
The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis
The Lions of Fifth Avenue
by Fiona Davis
Genres: Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

In nationally bestselling author Fiona Davis's latest historical novel, a series of book thefts roils the iconic New York Public Library, leaving two generations of strong-willed women to pick up the pieces.

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.

historical mystery Standalone well written

The New York Public Library, a book theft and the 1900s, how could I resist, The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis. Dual time-lines, mystery and secrets combined for a brilliant tale.

the skinny latte….

1913- Laura Lyons is a mother of two, and married to the superintendent of the New York Public Library. They live in an apartment hidden within the library. Her desire to gain a degree in journalism is complicated by the era, a book theft and secrets.

1993- Sadie Donovan works at the library where her grandmother, the famous essayist Laura Lyons, once lived. Her aging mother refuses to talk about her or their time at the library. While working on the Berg Collection and preparing them for an exhibit, priceless pieces end up missing. It looks like an inside job.

the double espresso ….

I loved how Davis wove the past into the present. I quickly found myself invested in both women. Laura was a woman ahead of her time. She wanted to be a mother, wife, lover and embrace a career. She meets like-minded women, and we witness firsthand the struggles she faced. The book theft was interesting as were developments with her family. I will leave you to unwrap the mysteries.

The present story with Sadie was strong as she works with the detective assigned to the case. Sadie is a little quirky, but I warmed up to her. Ties to the past cast doubt upon her, and I felt for her emotionally. Her tenacity pushed her to find answers, and I enjoyed the journey.

Fans of historical fiction, books, libraries and strong-women will enjoy this story. There are LGBT threads which felt genuine as the author highlighted many of the struggles women in the 1900s faced. Those issues feel relevant even today.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

34 Responses to “The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis”

  1. Carla

    I have enjoyed the other books I have read by Fiona Davis. She does such a great job with the dual timelines. This one sounds wonderful, and of course dealing with a library adds extra appeal. Wonderful review Kimberly.

    Carla recently posted: Music Monday – August 10. 2020
  2. Lover of Romance

    Great review here. I really appreciate seeing a library setting here, its so rare to see. And the 1900’s is such a captivating era and love seeing an author go into this.

  3. Angela

    Glad to hear you loved this one! I got my copy a couple days early and can’t wait to get to it!

  4. Ailyn Koay

    you had me at library and books. 1913 is only great when you are a white male =D