The Lions of Fifth Avenue: A Novel (Hardcover)
Laura Lyons, wife of the superintendent of the New York Public Library, is not content with her role as wife and mother of two children. She longs to attend Columbia Journalism School, get a job as a reporter and help support her family. However the roles and expectations for a woman in 1913 are very rigid and achieving her dreams may break Laura. Eighty years later, Laura's granddaughter Sadie Donovan, is an assistant curator at the NYPL, who comes under suspicion when valuable books begin to go missing from the library's famous Berg collection. I was very excited to hear that Fiona Davis was writing about one of my favorite places in the world the New York Public Library and she did not disappoint me. As Sadie walked down the stately marble hallways or when Laura gazed up at the magnificent ceiling in the Rose Reading Room, I felt I was right beside them. Not only did I learn more about the library but also about the oppressive treatment of women and the poor in the early 1900's. In the genre of historical fiction, Fiona Davis is one of the best authors I've read. I not only recommend this book but also a visit to what I consider a slice of heaven on Earth, the New York Public Library.— Lisa
A Good Morning America Book Club Pick and New York Times bestseller!
“A page-turner for booklovers everywhere! . . . A story of family ties, their lost dreams, and the redemption that comes from discovering truth.”—Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of The Shoemaker's Wife
In New York Times 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 is 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.
About the Author
Fiona Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of five novels, including The Dollhouse, The Address, and The Lions of Fifth Avenue. She lives in New York City and is a graduate of the College of William & Mary in Virginia and the Columbia Journalism School.
Praise for The Lions of Fifth Avenue
"Davis delves into the history of the New York Public Library in this delightful mystery.... The characters and story are stellar, but the real star of the show is the library, which Davis evokes beautifully."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"The Lions of Fifth Avenue is a book written for book lovers."—OprahMagazine.com
“Davis gives readers a mystery and a historical novel all in one absorbing tale.”—Library Journal
"The magnificent Fiona Davis has written a page turner for book lovers everywhere! I was on the edge of my seat as Laura Lyons, the ambitious essayist, breaks down social barriers and finds herself adrift in her own life at the end of the Belle Epoque in 1913 New York City. Secrets are revealed eighty years later by her granddaughter, who found her way into the family business, working at the New York Public Library. This is a story of family ties, their lost dreams and the redemption that comes from discovering truth."—Adriana Trigiani, New York Times bestselling author of The Shoemaker's Wife
"In a compelling novel that's part family saga, part high-stakes heist, and part love story, Fiona Davis creates an intricate and beautiful puzzle that kept me turning page after page as I tried to solve its central mystery along with her characters. A gripping and satisfying story for book-lovers the world over."—Jill Santopolo, New York Times bestselling author of The Light We Lost
"A captivating ode to the power of books, the bonds of family, and the beauty of finding the strength to be ourselves. Fiona Davis's spectacular setting—the iconic New York Public Library—comes alive across the generations as two women—one in 1913 and one in 1993—struggle with their own identities, a compelling mystery, and a tragedy that impacts both of them. What begins as a search for vanished rare books becomes, for both women, a quest to redefine themselves and open their hearts. This is a novel for all those who believe in the transformative magic of the written word."—Kristin Harmel, international bestselling author of The Winemaker's Wife and The Room on Rue Amelie
“A love letter to literature, the New York Public Library, and the strength of women, The Lions of Fifth Avenue is classic Fiona Davis—a masterfully executed story about two women living decades apart, mysterious family secrets, and the quest to stake a place in society and history. Dazzling and evocative, with vibrant settings and unforgettable characters, this novel is perfect for fans of female-driven historical fiction. I loved it.”—Karma Brown, internationally bestselling author of Recipe for a Perfect Wife
"In this thrilling, poignant, and utterly irresistible novel, we are immersed in the secrets of the famed New York Public Library and the family whose lives are intertwined with it in 1913 and 1993. At once a breathtaking, page-turning mystery and a deeply personal story of women attempting to forge independent lives, it is, ultimately, a glorious tale of love. Love of family, love of vocation, and, above all, the love of the timeless power of the written word."—Sarah-Jane Stratford, author of Radio Girls and Red Letter Days
“With The Lions of Fifth Avenue, author Fiona Davis proves she is the master of the duel timeline! Once again she illuminates another New York City landmark—the New York Public Library—and expertly creates two rich, mysterious worlds which she deftly braids together into a compelling, page-turning read. This is a novel for all who treasure books."—Renée Rosen, author of Park Avenue Summer
"Fiona Davis takes readers on a journey into the heart of one of New York's most venerable landmarks, the New York Public Library, in a story that follows two generations of strong-minded women, both connected to a mysterious series of rare book thefts. This novel is brimming with juicy literary details and fascinating feminist history."—Whitney Scharer, author of The Age of Light
“Davis' latest NYC-set historical novel is grounded in researched detail, transporting readers between the 1910s and the 1990s. Bibliophiles and fans of Naomi Wood and Paula McLain will especially enjoy this glimpse inside the history of the institution and the tireless dedication of those who serve it.”—Booklist
“Fiona Davis has again produced a first-class tale ....intrigue seeps through until the final pages, revealing New York in the early 1900s, the beginnings of the feminist movement and the insidious sale of stolen rare books. It’s a literary delight.”—Authorlink
“This novel is made for book lovers.... A literary mystery that’s full of surprises.”—Modern Mrs Darcy
"The Lions of Fifth Avenue is a lovely story that brings you in and keeps you there... a wonderful addition to anyone’s summer reading list." --Bookreporter.com
More Praise for Fiona Davis and Her Novels
“A fascinating and wholly immersive celebration of friendship, love, loyalty, and courage during a turbulent and often underrepresented period in American history, The Chelsea Girls will delight.”—Chanel Cleeton, New York Times bestselling author of When We Left Cuba
"Davis tells a very good story and deserves all the praise she won for her other books set in famous New York landmarks…. What finally emerges from the mix of detailed research and solid writing is a tale that is intricate and subtle, unpredictable and exciting."—The Washington Post on The Chelsea Girls
“A satisfying read about the bonds between women.”—Brenda Janowitz, POPSUGAR on The Chelsea Girls
“Fiona Davis in The Masterpiece continues a winning formula that showcases the stories behind New York City landmarks...a hard-to-resist and a timely reminder that for far too long the work done by women has been dismissed and disrespected.”—USA Today on The Masterpiece
“Fiona Davis achieves a world in which fictional characters and real life seamlessly meld...The Masterpiece is a beautifully crafted, meticulously researched story.”—New York Journal of Books on The Masterpiece
“Fiona Davis delivers another stunning narrative.”—US Weekly on The Masterpiece
“A delicious tale of love, lies and madness.”—People on The Address
“The Address is compelling, historically minded fiction with unexpected—and entertaining—twists and turns...the novel delights...”—Ms. Magazine
“Lively and detail rich... easy to enjoy, hard to put down.”—Family Circle on The Address
“Spanning over 100 years, Fiona Davis' mystery is packed with deceit.”—US Weekly on The Address
“Rich both in twists and period detail, this tale of big-city ambition is impossible to put down."—People on The Dollhouse
“The Dollhouse is a thrilling peek through a window into another world—one that readers will savor for a long time.”—Associated Press
“An ode to old New York that will have you yelling for more seasons of Mad Men.”—New York Post on The Dollhouse