With formidable women, dazzling prose, and the glamorous backdrops of the New York art scene in the 20s and 70s, this is a must-read. As the women at the heart of The Masterpiece rescue Grand Central and its art, they rescue themselves in a compelling demonstration of the way in which history reverberates in the present. Buy the Audiobook Download: Apple Audible downpour eMusic audiobooks. Add to Cart Add to Cart. About The Masterpiece 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.
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LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices. Read it Forward Read it first. Stay in Touch Sign up. We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please try again later. After reading quite a few rave reviews about The Masterpiece, I decided to request it at my local library and give it a go. I am so glad that I did! This book was really large physically and was actually quite a long story at pages in my library copy. Well, I devoured it in one weekend! I was captivated by these characters. They had been through so much in their tragic pasts. I was equally enthralled with both the flashbacks and with the prese After reading quite a few rave reviews about The Masterpiece, I decided to request it at my local library and give it a go.
I was equally enthralled with both the flashbacks and with the present storyline. I thought that the author did a very good job of representing Roman, a nonbeliever who came from a very rough beginning. I also found Grace extremely interesting. She was a Christian, but had used bad judgment and followed worldly desires at certain times in her life. Sometimes she had trouble letting go of the guilt associated with those decisions. I enjoyed this story so much and will definitely plan to read it again some time in the future. You can read this review on my blog: Mar 03, Jennifer rated it it was amazing Shelves: This was sooooo good.
I felt like she was telling my story. My childhood was filled with drugs, alcohol, physical and mental abuse. My testimony was similar in so many ways. I was a runaway teenager living in LA with a stripper when I finally said yes to Christ. The romance and character 5 wonderful stars for this one! Jan 17, Ellen B. I must confess, I was a little bit apprehensive about reading this book once I found out the author was a born again Christian.
After the first 30 pages I was sucked in. The main characters are so well developed and their stories compelling.
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Jun 13, Jerry rated it it was amazing. This book took me a while to read A touching story of overcoming adversity. Nov 08, LaMesha rated it it was amazing. This was a solid 4 star read for me until I read the "Note from the Author". Her words resignated with me. After she broke down the true meaning of the novel, I then realized that it is indeed a "Masterpiece ". Jul 14, Heather rated it did not like it. Where do I even begin? There are many many issues with this book. They fall into two loose categories: I understand that, as a novelist myself, I can be critical when it comes to storytelling.
At the heart of my issues with the characters Where do I even begin? Not only were they flat but their story arc was utterly unconvincing to me. At one point, he even INSISTS she goes swimming with him even though she is uncomfortable doing so and goes so far as to buy her a swimsuit. I did NOT find this romantic, and honestly shame on the author for asking me to view it as such. Let me repeat this, because it is SO important and such a problem with romance fiction in general: And then there are the pretty little bows on just about every single plot point.
Every little thing works out in the end. There are more mechanical issues, but I will leave it at that. I was a little wary when there was repeated mention of an angel visiting seven-year-old Grace, but what really threw up the red flag for me was the fact that Roman dies and goes to hell and then is saved by Jesus. There is a glaring inconsistency with the way this is treated. You do not come back from hell. This is truly upsetting content from an author I have long admired. If she intended this to be more of a near-death experience there needed to be some serious editing because as it stands you have Roman on a conveyor belt yes, she describes it as a conveyor belt into hell with demons who drag him there.
Roman even has a lasting wound from the demons. Please read Luke There is no going back and forth. There is no conveyor belt from which you can be snatched. Please please read the living Word of God and inform yourself on what it says about this crucial point! I will not be reading anymore Francine Rivers. Rightly dividing the Word of truth means sticking to the revealed Word of God.
It is so sufficient, friends! Nothing need be added to it! I understand the lure of speculation, but when imagination collides with clear scriptural teaching, we stand on the Word of God! May 15, Elizabeth rated it it was ok. Troubled unbeliever artist with a past falls for mostly-good girl Christian after not liking each other to start with.
Secondly, the story falls into typical Christian fiction stereotypes, in particular, the obligato Nope. Secondly, the story falls into typical Christian fiction stereotypes, in particular, the obligatory conversion experience. The bad boy artist is, of course, a drinker, partier, promiscuous and antagonistic towards Christ.
View all 4 comments. Nov 28, Doretha rated it it was amazing. I translated this book into Afrikaans and what a privilege it has been. Another fantastic book by one of my favorite authors. Loved the honesty of the characters' struggles and seeing that dependence on God alone will always lead to the blessings He has for us.
Apr 19, Martha rated it it was amazing. I read this book last Friday and I cannot stop thinking about it. In fact, I have likely referenced it several times this last week. The storyline, while nothing unique, brings completely flawed characters that judge one another as being something they are not in the beginning. I loved seeing the journey of the raw characters, woven throughout the story, while still leaving you with a few unanswered questions, just as life tends to do. I am not an artist, have never really gotten the appeal of t I read this book last Friday and I cannot stop thinking about it.
I am not an artist, have never really gotten the appeal of tagging, and yet, I was able to relate to both characters, in totally different ways, and yet, get the heart of their pain. Please note, it does discuss foster care, drug use and a few other key elements, but nothing is graphic. It is a Christian fiction book, so while one of the main characters is proclaimed atheist most of the book, it also discusses the problems that are front and present in Christianity. I would recommend this book to those that enjoy a read that will challenge them and make you think.
Mar 19, Hayden L rated it it was ok. I have only read one other book Redeeming Love, 4 stars , but after this PG soap opera, I may not pick up any of her titles ever again. The melodramatic style is not for me. Some major turn-offs include Grace's stereotypical band of single girlfriends, I hope I don't interject 'Girl.. What modern Christian young woman has actual pictures portraying Je 1st half, 1 star.
What modern Christian young woman has actual pictures portraying Jesus framed on her wall? Not 1, but two!? The scripture is common, not the 'thing for Middle Eastern men. Just before halfway through, I quit reading the flashbacks. At this point we are beating the dead horse. We get it, they're broken, the book is WAY too long, let's move on.
Unless you are a die hard Christian fiction, cheesy romance novel, or 1 Rivers fan, I would move on too. Mar 15, Vannetta Chapman rated it really liked it. This is only my second book to read by Francine Rivers. I very much enjoyed the unique story line. Interestingly enough, it was the back story of the hero that I found most compelling.
I also liked how the problems weren't resolved instantly--both characters were a "work in progress," and change was something that took time. At pages in the hardcover edition, I felt the story was repetitious in places, which is my reason for a 4 instead of a 5. Impatient readers may skip a few scenes that the This is only my second book to read by Francine Rivers. Impatient readers may skip a few scenes that they've already witnessed through the eyes of a different character.
But overall this is an excellent story of grace and redemption, and I highly recommend it. Apr 07, Carrie Turansky rated it it was amazing. I listened to the audio version of The Materpiece and I truly enjoyed the story.
Francine Rivers did an excellent job creating the characters and designing plot as well as weaving in a very meaningful spiritual message. Very well done and highly recommended. I picked it up on Tuesday to give myself plenty of time to read it and put it down at 1am Wednesday morning, having been unable to put it aside except to carry out the absolute necessities. So whereas readers have mentioned the characters and writing not being up to par with her previous stories, I had no comparison to make. And to be honest, stereotypes exist for a reason, and in this case, these characteristics seemed true to the characters.
Having read several reviews of this book when it initially released, I was already aware of some of the theological objections readers have made to parts of the story. However, I will keep my references to the plot as general as possible. During that near-death experience, this character is accosted by demons and dragged toward hell, but is then saved in a purely physical sense by calling on the name of Jesus. My initial reaction was the same as many—doubt as to whether this was a theologically accurate, or even a theologically responsible, plot device. And talk about deus ex machina! However, I kept reading.
One, because I was far too invested to stop by then, and two, because it became apparent that, while the character had been physically saved, there was still quite a journey to go before the character was spiritually saved. I did a bit of my own research, and while I hardly know what to make of it all, it cannot be denied that there are people out there who have turned their lives around including leaving an active homosexual lifestyle as the result of an experience such as the one depicted in this book.
Whatever the explanation may be behind these kinds of experiences, they are obviously very real to the people who have had them. Through this near-death experience, the character learns two foundational Biblical truths: The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers Genre: Graffiti artist Grace Moore: Single mom Two voices: Grace is a single, something, Christian mom whose husband cheated on her, ending their marriage. She is now trying to earn a living and find a daytime sitter while she works for Roman as his assistant in his Topanga Canyon home near Malibu.
As a woman of God, Grace works hard to maintain a businesslike demeanor, rebuffing any conversation or appearance of impropriety, having to put the worldly, foul mouthed Roman in his place now and then. Synopsis for my benefit: Both were orphaned at age 7; Grace because her father killed her mother in a fit of rage, then shot himself, and Roman because his mother was a drug addicted prostitute who overdosed while she was out, leaving a 7 year old alone and not knowing where she was.
Grace wanted to be loved. Her aunt was a business woman who suddenly had a child thrust upon her. She never wanted Grace and simply kept her out of duty. She even tried to give her away to a friend shortly after Grace came to live with her. Grace was visited by an angel at bedtime who wanted her to know she was loved.
This is where she first came to faith. Roman, on the other hand, at 7 years old was left alone one evening, the end of which was not good. His prostitute mother went out, saying she'll be back, but was found dead of an overdose. From there he became a wealthy and very popular artist, but never gave up tagging buildings, bridges, etc.
He just became more capable of escaping law enforcement. With Grace as his assistant he saw in her something different. She showed no sign of interest in him, and avoided any sort of suggestive talk or behavior. But any attempt at her explaining her faith was met with scoffing or near anger.
Reluctantly they both shared things about their lives that few else were privy to. He died of a heart attack. But while people were working on his body to revive him, demons were taking him to hell. His soul cried out to Jesus, whereupon He took over and banished the demons, taking Roman back to earth, alive. I highly recommend The Masterpiece; it is a beautiful read.
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View all 6 comments. Jun 20, Katie B rated it really liked it Shelves: The action goes back and forth between s New York City in which Clara is teaching at Grand Central School of Art and trying to make it big as an illustrator and the s in which newly divorced Virginia Clay is working at the Grand Central Terminal. Virginia stumbles upon a watercolor in the abandoned art school and sets out find the artist.
This is a historical fiction book which also focuses o I jumped on the chance to read this because I really liked Fiona Davis's last book, The Address. This is a historical fiction book which also focuses on the real life effort to save Grand Central from being replaced with an office tower.
Even though I don't have a big interest in the art world, I actually enjoyed that aspect of the story. What I loved about the book was the female characters who might have been down on their luck but really showed their strength when the going got tough. There was one part of the plot towards the end that I didn't really care for as it was a bit of an eye-roller but the story redeemed itself by the end. Definitely recommend if you like historical fiction and strong female characters. Thank you to First to Read for the advance digital copy!
I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion. View all 7 comments. Sep 07, Babydimps Suzy rated it really liked it. Davis really does a great job in her historical storytelling. I learn a lot from reading her books. In fact, she is one of the very few authors who turned me 4 stars! In fact, she is one of the very few authors who turned me on to historical fiction - a genre that I was never a big fan of. Thanks to her, I find myself exploring more books from this genre and really liking them!
Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Group Dutton for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review. View all 23 comments.
Aug 12, Marialyce rated it liked it Shelves: The original terminal was built by Cornelius Vanderbilt and than later redone in becoming the biggest construction project in New York's history up to that time. Taking ten years to complete, it was built on seventy acres, thirty-two miles of track, and thirty passenger platforms. It has an amazing history and w 3.
It has an amazing history and was saved by the efforts of Jackie Kennedy and others from being demolished in the seventies. This building was quite a backdrop for this story. The Masterpiece alternates between two time periods, that of the 's and the 's telling the story of two women, Clara Darden, an aspiring artist in the 's, and Virginia Clay, a recent divorcee, of the 's. The tale starts out when Virginia, who has found a job working at the terminal's information booth, finds an old painting and is spurred onto finding its history and creator.
The story goes back and forth between the characters of an old art school which was located in the terminal, and the people who populate the terminal within Virginia's circle. The book is character driven and the author tries very hard to interweave their stories into that of the terminal as its background. Personally, I found the characters to be a bit distant and at times felt the story was a bit rushed particularly the ending.
I very much enjoyed when the building itself was discussed and wished that the author had included a bit more history in the telling. All in all, this was a readable tale and one that has encouraged this reader to both do some research and to pick up another of Ms Davis's books. If you enjoy a story of independent women who come together in an unique and engaging way, this book offers one a bridge between two time periods, two independent women, and the building that united them across decades.
Thank you to The Traveling Sisters who read this book along with me. As always, the discussions we generated made the reading that much more valuable. Thanks also to my local library, again coming through with that one book I was searching for. My reviews can be found here: View all 22 comments. Jul 13, Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews rated it it was amazing. What would an art school teacher and an information booth attendee have in common besides Grand Central since the women lived 50 years apart?
You would be surprised. Clara taught illustration at the art school when it was in its hey day, and Virginia needed to work since she had been recently divorced. Since Virginia had no skills, the information booth was the best the temp agency could do for her. The connection Virginia had to Clara was a drawing she found in the abandoned art school on the se What would an art school teacher and an information booth attendee have in common besides Grand Central since the women lived 50 years apart?
The connection Virginia had to Clara was a drawing she found in the abandoned art school on the seventh floor of Grand Central. Both the history of Grand Central and the characters wove a pull-you-in story line. Did you know that Grand Central had been in jeopardy of being torn down at one point in history?
- Memes from The Masterpiece Contest?
- Feral Idylls.
- Masterpiece - Wikipedia!
New York is a fascinating place historically, and I always enjoy going back in time to learn of bits and pieces of its hidden history. I also enjoyed the descriptions of the life styles, the parties, and the clothing. I am a nostalgic at heart. Make it part of your "required" summer reading. All opinions are my own. View all 5 comments. Enjoyable and entertaining read! I loved the setting of the Grand Central Terminal and the art aspect to this novel was quite intriguing. View all 13 comments.
Jul 30, Amy rated it it was amazing Shelves: Davis has honed a keen ability to write dazzling stories about NYC, she really brings the city to life and truly sweeps you away to a different time and place. This is told via a dual narrative flipping from the s where Clara is a young artist trying to break in to a world where men rule and then Virginia in the s as she also faces o Fiona Davis was one of the first HF authors I read and enjoyed, I loved both The Dollhouse and The Address and have been super excited about The Masterpiece.
This is told via a dual narrative flipping from the s where Clara is a young artist trying to break in to a world where men rule and then Virginia in the s as she also faces obstacles in a male dominated society. I adored both of these strong, female characters, even being fifty years apart they faced many of the same issues and had similar struggles and were both so brave and determined.
Though their narratives both seemed connected in a loose manner I never guessed just how cleverly Davis would weave their tales together. The rich and vibrant history of Grand Central Terminal was absolutely fascinating to me, I had no idea that at one time it was almost torn down! Besides the interesting bits of history you have some romance and even a mystery, a little bit of everything for everyone.
The Masterpiece in the words: Dazzling, Captivating and Impassioned. View all 10 comments. Jan 12, Reading. Wines rated it it was amazing Shelves: This was my first time reading a book by her and it will clearly not be my last. Told in dual timelines, we get the stories of Clara Darden who is a female painter and illustrator in the 's, and the story of Virginia Clay which is set in the s and largely deals with the fight to save Grand Central Terminal.
Throw in a mystery about a watercolor and an anonymous painter named "Clyde" and we have quite the story. I loved how both timelines came together to form one story and the progression of both stories as their separate entities. I know this is a work of fiction, but it definitely seemed like there was a lot of truth to the story as well and it blew me away more than a little bit.
Davis has some of the best writing I have ever experienced, and I found myself completely enamored with the story. This book was an incredibly quick read and offers so much more than just historical fiction. There is so much wisdom on relationships, and a nice little dose of romance as well. Not all the characters are completely lovable, but I loved them all just the same in different ways and for what they all do for the story. Complex characters, a terrific plot, and some fun surprises make this a 5 star read plus more.
This book is also incredibly witty and made me laugh out loud multiple times. I experienced a full spectrum of emotions while reading it and I didn't want the story to ever end because I loved it so much. I don't want to talk about the plot too much because I think this book is best experienced going in blind like I did. Going into it, I had heard amazing things about Fiona Davis and knew I had to read this book no matter what it was about. If you like historical fiction then I highly recommend The Masterpiece even if you aren't necessarily interested in painting or Grand Central.
Even if you just appreciate her writing, this is definitely worth the read! Jul 10, BookGypsy rated it it was amazing Shelves: The story is centered around New York's Grand Central Terminal and two women that worked there during different eras. Clair,a young woman who teaches at the art school in the 's. But dreams of doing the cover for Vogue.
Later in the 's the Grand Central is much different and more dangerous than in the 's we meet Virginia. Recently divorced who takes a job at the information booth to support herself and her daughter Ruby. When Virginia happens to discover the old art school sh Amazing! When Virginia happens to discover the old art school she finds a painting and sets out to find the artist. Unraveling the mystery of Clair who disappeared. I loved this story. Being transported back in time to New York in the 's is always a favorite for me.
The history of the Grand Central and the world of art. I found this story of these two women captivating. As stunning and beautiful as the cover. View all 4 comments. Nov 28, Jennifer Blankfein rated it really liked it. Thank goodness for jury duty - allowing me to read the bulk of this fascinating historical fiction novel in one sitting!
So much to enjoy - full review to come. The Masterpiece is an enchanting piece of historical fiction and well deserving of all 5 stars! This is my first time reading a novel written by Fiona Davis, but I will definitely not be my last! My mother is an artist and was an art history professor until she retired, so art has always been a fascinating and beloved part of my life.
I immediately knew based on the synopsis that I would thoroughly enjoy this story since thanks to my mother and her passionate love of all things New York and it's The Masterpiece is an enchanting piece of historical fiction and well deserving of all 5 stars! The story alternates beautifully between the two women as Davis tells the story of the two women employed at Grand Central Terminal almost fifty years apart.
She is highly talented, passionate, and ambitious, but art is a male-dominated world in the s. As she chases her dreams, she finds romance, continues to struggle in the male-dominated society even after proving her worth as an artist once Vogue hires her, especially when the Great Depression hits America. Then a terrible tragedy strikes in the early s and Clara is never heard from again. She's struggling with her new lifestyle, to support herself and her teenage daughter Ruby, and to come to terms with herself post-cancer. Her finding stirs up questions that the people she turns to for answers will apparently do anything to stop her from discovering.
While searching for answers about the painting, Clara, and the art school, Virginia finds out that the terminal, now dirty and in disrepair, is in danger of being destroyed, so she also makes it her mission to help save the historical site. The novel is extremely well-researched and well-written; it truly is like a wondrous masterpiece itself. The characters, even the ones you dislike, are richly detailed and masterfully woven into the novel. The plot is spellbinding and it was as if I had stepped back into both decades with the effortless and passionate way Davis told the story.
The two plots converged in an unexpected yet flawless way, and there are appearances by Jackie Onassis, who is fighting to save the terminal that just made the novel that much more special for me Just like fine art, this is a magical and enchanting novel that is historical fiction at its finest. I really cannot recommend The Masterpiece highly enough to lovers of historical fiction since it is a stunning, beautiful read. Davis tells a captivating story that will definitely keep you engrossed as it did me.
Jul 24, Toni rated it it was amazing. Imbedded within are two intelligent and talented women fighting for their right to have a voice in their lives, especially regarding their livelihoods. In , Virginia Clay is a newly divorced mother of one, trying to find her footing in NYC, home for the last 20 years, but now as a single woman.
Finances are tight as she and her year-old daughter, move into a small apartment and look for jobs neither have qualifications for. Our first Masterpiece is Grand Central Terminal itself, in my opinion.