Cover Image: The Lions of Fifth Avenue

The Lions of Fifth Avenue

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Member Reviews

Fiona Davis’s latest historical fiction takes us into the world on the New York Public Library with two generation of bright, strong willed women.  The history of the library is wrapped in a mystery of book thefts.   Secrets are revealed in this page turner as you are drawn into the library world through the characters.  A combination of family saga, mystery, history, and love story all beautifully written and woven together in a beautiful package.
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Another great one by Fiona Davis! This is an author that I always look forward to new releases. I was thrilled to be able to read an advanced copy via Netgalley and Penguin Random House. All book lovers will really enjoy the location of this one in the New York City Library with its own apartment! The story of the stolen books both in the early 1900s and again in 1993 was very interesting and had me quickly turning pages to try to put it together. A surprise ending wraps it all up nicely! I also look forward to the audio of this when it releases.
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The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis intrigued me because the setting was the New York Public Library, that iconic building with the lion statues at one time named Leo Astor and Leo Lenox. The fictional story is about the superintendent, Jack Lyons, and his family who lived in the seven-room apartment contained within the library (the apartment was a residence for the library superintendent when it was built in 1911) and book thefts that occurred during the time they lived there.

Intertwined with the historical plot line is a story set in 1993 in which Sadie Donovan, a library curator, is working diligently on an exhibit of the Berg Collection, a real segment of the NYPL, while being thwarted by a book thief. The two plots come together in a creative way, solving both mysteries about the book thefts.

[Rant: While I have enjoyed a couple other of her books about historical buildings, I was turned off when a lesbian subplot developed. There was no clue about this in any summary I read, and I do not believe the plot hinged on this aspect in any way. I often wonder if this is the book publishing industry’s agenda to incorporate as many homosexual aspects into fiction as possible. I, for one, am weary of it. Rant over]

Fiona Davis is a Canadian-born author who has developed a specialty in writing historical fiction set in famous buildings in New York City. She began her career in NYC as an actress. Upon earning a master’s at Columbia Journalism school, her writing career has embraced both journalism and fiction.

My review will be posted on Goodreads starting May 29, 2020.

I would like to thank Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, for providing me with an ARC in return for an objective review.
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I'm not quite sure what this book was going to be about when I received from PenguinRandomHouse and Netgalley, but I was hooked from the first page. As a librarian, and a former New Yorker (although I don't think any can ever be a "former New Yorker") I had always been fascinated with that beautiful building that ruled over its kingdom on Fifth Avenue &42nd Street.The majestic building is the perfect place for mystery, murder and adventure and I enjoyed every minute of it.

#TheLionsOfFifthAvenued #NetGalley
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Have you ever wonder what goes on in the Library after dark? I love this book especially because it had the New York Public Library as the scene for the greatest caper.
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Fiona Davis never fails to weave an engaging tale, and she doesn't disappoint in this book. Her female characters are always strong, independent women, ahead of their time. Set in the New York City library in 1913, and 1993, a family's saga plays out through three generations. In 1913, Laura lives in the library with her children, and husband, who is the superintendent of the library. In 1993, her granddaughter, Sadie, is the curator of the Berg Collection. The one thread between the three generations is the mystery of the missing first edition books. I would highly recommend this book for the historical aspect, as well as the compelling characters Davis creates.
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Set in the NYPL during two time periods,  In 1913 Laura Lyons is living in an apartment in the library with her husband and two children when rare books go missing and suspicion falls on her husband. In 1993 Laura’s granddaughter is working at the same library as a curator when valuable items are somehow stolen and suspicion falls on her . Is it possible these two thefts are somehow related?
Loved reading about the history of the NYPL and what life was like for women in 1913 NY.  And the two difference romances of Laura and Sadie  the mystery of the book thefts kept me turning the pages late at night.
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This book was a pure gem.  I visited the NYPL last year, and wish I knew about the apartment then.  The characters were likeable, the setting was perfect and the description was spot on.  It's an enjoyable read, lot's of history in it.  Loved it!
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I am usually hesitant about books that flip between two time periods; I usually find one very intriguing and the other dull. The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis, however, created two equally compelling narratives about women bound to the New York Public Library in different ways. Running through both narratives was the question of women in the workplace and how much things changed - or did not change - in the twentieth century.
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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a free digital advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review. I wavered between 4 and 5 stars for this review. I really enjoyed the book and felt that both of the main characters were interesting. I wouldn't say I "liked" them, but they both grew across the course of the book. The book alternates between points of view of Laura Lyons (wife of the superintendent of the main public library in New York) in the early 1900s and her grand-daughter Sadie Donovan (early 1990s). I originally picked the book because much of the action takes place in the public library - Laura and her family live in the superintendent's apartment inside the library. Note that superintendents and their families actually did live inside many of the Carnegie libraries in New York. I kept reading because I enjoyed the mystery of the stolen books and how the stories intertwined. So why I am not giving this book 5 stars? I'm not sure, to be honest. It seems to lack that 5-star quality. I'm calling it 4.5. Either way, it's a good read!
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Especially appealing to library lovers, this book will make an excellent system-wide book club pick. There is plenty to discuss, an engaging plot, and enough interesting history to keep a whole group happy. I can see purchasing multiple copies at release for circulation.
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Fast-paced read set in the New York Public Library, told both in contemporary times and when the building first opened. 

Thank you to NetGalley for the digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I really enjoyed this book. It is different from what I typically read. I loved reading about Laura back in 1913 as she was pursuing her passion for writing while juggling her family and really becoming her own and then switching to the early 90's and following Sadie's journey to being promoted at the library and also connecting the stolen books in the past and present. Once I started reading it, I didn't stop until I finished it!

Thanks to #netgalley #duttonbooks #DuttonPartner for my ARC!
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This book is a page turner.  At every chapter, I had to keep going on to the next one because I had to know what was coming next.  I loved the way the two different generations of family alternated stories. This book touched on some modern topics, like sexual orientation and suicide, without sacrificing the vintage feel of the novel.  The love affair between Sadie and Nick felt a tiny bit contrived to me, but it wasn't annoyingly so.  I didn't suspect Robin as the thief until Sadie herself did!  Great story!
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The Lions of Fifth Avenue explores complexities and tensions found in feminism and patriarchy, all while making you feel a deep connection to the main characters (Lauren and Sadie). I enjoyed how the Fiona beautifully created characters that supported each other, even though they lived in two different decades. Want to feel like your walking the hallways of the iconic Schwarzman Building? Before they became Patience and Fortitude, what were their names of the beloved NYPL lions? Read The Lions of Fifth Avenue to find out this and much more about the Library! I look forward to reading more of Fiona Davis' work!
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I am a sucker for books about libraries so I was excited when offered an opportunity to read a prepublication galley of this title. It did not disappoint. The narrative moves between Laura Lyons in 1913 and her granddaughter in 1993. Both women are connected to the Library, Laura lives in the library as the wife of the library superintendent, there was actually an apartment in the Library building. Her granddaughter is a librarian/curator working on an exhibit of library related items.
Both women’s lives are touched by missing library property and the searches for those responsible.  I think you will enjoy this book especially if you are a fan of The New York Public Library.
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2 women - 80 years apart- forge their way in the world.  In 1913, Laura Lyons is caring for her family in a small apartment in the New York Public Library where her husband works.  But she longs to be a journalist and soon finds herself making new friends and exploring life in Greenwich Village.  In 1993, her granddaughter Sadie Donovan is thrilled to be working in the NYPL as a librarian planning a retrospective exhibit including some material about her grandmother.  The 2 stories are connected by the unsolved mystery of books missing since Laura's time at the Library and new disappearances as Sadie prepares the exhibit.  A love story to all who love books and libraries and an engaging read!
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Fiona Davis returns with a roar of a novel. The Lions of Fifth Avenue is both brilliant and charming. Davis brings her unique perspective to the historical novel once again here. This time it has a luscious back drop of the New York Public Library, a staple of Davis's novels that always center on a famous New York City building, and this one also has a bit of a mystery to it, as you're following the main character in the contemporary storyline try to discover who is behind the current thefts in the library and how do they relate to thefts from 1913, in the historical timeline of the book. Davis weaves both storylines together beautifully, and the book becomes a page turner, the more and more you get into it you just have to find out what happens and how the two storylines will come together. This book also has a little romance storyline in it as well. Theres something for everyone in Lions of Fifth Avenue.

I'm a devoted fan. I would read the phone book if Fiona Davis wrote it; but dare I say she's outdone herself here. A truly terrific read. I'm just amazed that she's able to keep writing one every year and they still be this good and meticulously researched.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a free digital advanced copy in return for an honest review.
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If you are a fan of Fiona Davis and her books, then it is a no brainer - you will want to read this book. I love how she takes a building in NYC and uses a bit of history to weave a wonderful tale.  I've read every one of her books and was anxious to read this one. Thank you to Netgalley for an ARC. Finished this book in 2 days. You can read the summary of the story for yourself -- there are numerous wonderful threads including family,, love, and loss. There are wonderful twists and turns, some of which you will guess and and be correct.  But not overdone.   Another wonderful NYC building , a wonderful story. a wonderful read.
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I don't typically read historical fiction, but I am so glad I read The Lions of Fifth Avenue. Davis' descriptions of the New York Public Library were so immersive, and I felt like I was actually there, browsing the rare book collections. 

I enjoyed reading from both Laura and Sadie's perspectives, and the dual timelines made the reading experience feel even more fast-paced. Davis did a great job of propelling the story along with a great mystery, while also discussing serious topics such as sexism in the workplace. I cannot wait to read more from Davis in the future! 

Thank you to NetGalley & Penguin for my free e-book ARC
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