Cover Image: The Lions of Fifth Avenue

The Lions of Fifth Avenue

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Member Reviews

This book started out very interesting but seemed to lose momentum and believability as the story went along.  The ending seemed convoluted and not very convincing.  Felt like the author had to find some way to wrap things up and find an ending.  Unsatisfying end to a good start.  I would not readily recommend this book, there are many other of this genre I enjoyed more and would be more likely to recommend.
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A family living in the NYPL, missing valuable books, a librarian: what could be more perfect?  I don't know how Fiona Davis does it, but all of her books start out one way and then bring in a myriad of different stories, interweave them together, bring them to a happy conclusion and you have a great read!  This one, in particular, though is special to all book and library lovers and has a little for everyone else--mystery, romance, a little bit of Nancy Drew, some office inrtrigue and of course the beloved lions Patience and Fortitude, although they are called by different names.  This is a book made for librarians...and everyone else.
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Fiona Davis once again creates a distinctive novel between time and place and successfully brings characters of the past and present together. The Lions of Fifth Avenue weaves together both a present and past mystery at the New York Public Library with the lives of family members from both time periods. There is individual growth and discovery, love,  loss, re-discovery, healing and a lot of sluething. I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I love all of Fiona Davis’s books, but as an NYPL employee, this one was particularly special.  It made me realize how much I still have to learn about our historic building!  I will definitely be making a special trip to the Berg collection after this read.  I love Davis’s astute blend of history, fiction, romance, and the empowerment of women.  I am positive this book will fly off the shelves at all our branches!
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How could I not live a book set in the New York Public Library?  Davis has done it again, structured a story around the history of a building, alternating between 1913/14 and 1993.  Laura lives in an apartment in the library in 1913,  built for the super of the building, her husband.  Frustrated with just being a Mom, Laura wants more for herself.  Skip to 1993, and Sadie is a librarian in the library, when thefts of books start to occur, echoing events in 1913.  How does this all tie together?  Davis clearly outlines the social changes and expectations of women over the 20th century.  Highly recommended, thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.
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Fantastic mystery scanning several generations of family secrets at the New York Public Library.  The descriptions truly made me want to visit this museum-quality building!

Plus:
Even when I predicted some of the mysterious happenings, I never fully anticipated the outcomes.  

SPOILERS:
The ending was not quite as satisfying as the first 98%.  I felt that Claude was used as a necessary distraction but he was too easily cast aside.  Robin got what she deserved.  But Harry?  The sentimental side of me was glad he reconnected with Sadie.  The realistic side of me doesn't think he should be embraced when he probably stole more books than Robin.
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The thefts of valuable books from the New York Public Library almost 80 years apart uncovers the secrets of two women.  In 1913, Laura Lyons moves into an apartment in the library with her superintendent husband and two young children.  Laura longs for more and is accepted into Columbia's journalism degree program, but the world is still a harsh place for women seeking a life outside the home.  in 1993, Sadie Donovan is a librarian in the rare books department at the NYPL.  When valuable books start to disappear from the collection, Sophie searches for the truth while she herself becomes a suspect.  Sadie's secret family history may hold the key to the thefts. of the present and the past.   This is a wonderful story of two independent women filled with vivid details of the time periods.  Once again, Fiona Davis, has crafted an intriguing story based on the history of one of New York's historic landmark buildings!
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This story is absolutely a book lover's paradise. It's got something for everyone: lovingly detailed descriptions of literary texts, family secrets, complicated characters, generational mysteries. The premise is simple: two women from the same family - an archival librarian and her grandmother - both get caught up in a web of thefts of priceless texts at the New York Public Library. Whether or not the thefts are connected across time - and what their family's connection is to the mystery - remains to be seen.

Every detail in this book is so well thought out; it has an archivist's eye. You can practically see the penstrokes on the historic pages that our modern protagonist cares for. It's a richly built world that positions a grand library as a place of history and wonder, just like readers know it to be. The two main characters each anchor their segments beautifully, and they're some of the most compelling historical fiction heroines I've read in some time. Even when the twists unfold, it all feels natural, like it was supposed to be this way all along. I can't wait to reread and see what details I pick up on next time!
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Fiona Davis' new book gives us a glimpse into women's lives in 1913 and 1993 and centers both of these stories in the New York Public Library on 5th Avenue. The plot revolves around lost books both by the superintendent of the NYPL, whose family lives in an apartment in the library, and by the quirky curator of the Berg collection, whose books seem to vanish into the air.  Tracing the lives of these women as they fight for credibility in a man's world, and solving the mysteries of the lost books leads to a credible and very satisfying ending.
Davis always features female characters from the past and the present and places them in an iconic New York landmark building. Her characters and writing are so wonderful that when she stops one character to take up the story of the other I always feel disappointed but soon become caught up in the other character. This book was especially wonderful as it was a love letter to librarians. I was sad when it ended.
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Another beautiful historical fiction novel by Fiona Davis, and thanks to Net Galley and Dutton Books, I got access to it before its July 21, 2020 publishing date!

Flipping back and forth between 1913 and 1993 - there is shocking book theft at the New York Public Library - and two women are at the center of it - generations apart.

These two women related by blood prove to be more connected than initially meets the eye - and this is an impressive book that weaves their stories together in a very cohesive and poignant way. 

#TheLionsofFifthAvenue #NetGalley
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I found THE LIONS OF FIFTH AVENUE intriguing.  Written in dual timelines (1913 and 1994) and takes place in the New York City Public Library.  The story is written in beautiful and mysterious prose.  The story of the library and the people who live there (yes, in 1913 the superintendent and his family had an apartment) and the people who work at the library in 1994.  Theft, love and death, mystery, and finding your place in life all comes together in THE LIONS OF FIFTH AVENUE.   Another good historical fiction by Fiona Davis.  I'm glad that I downloaded some pictures of the library from both timelines.
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I don’t usually get into historical novels but seeing as how this one was about books and library’s, I couldn’t resist. I was captivated right from the very first pages and couldn’t stop reading! Both of the main female characters, written almost a century apart, were relatable and fascinating to me.  The whole mystery of who was stealing the rare books and how they were doing it was interwoven between the two women’s stories beautifully, and the plot kept me turning page after page after page. It was engrossing and I will highly recommend it to others. 
Thanks to NetGalley, the author and publisher for an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Another wonderful book from Fiona Davis! This story centers on Laura Lyons in 1913 and her granddaughter Sadie in 1993. Both women deal with the consequences of items going missing from the New York Public Library and how those consequences affect their family 80 years apart.  Laura is married to superintendent of the New York public library. Her family was living in an apartment in the library when numerous items begin to go missing.  Sadie, her granddaughter has becoming a curator for the library 80 years later and was in the midst of planning a new exhibit when items begin to disappear again. Both women must deal with the fall out from these thefts as they try and piece together what happened to these missing items. 

Fiona Davis is a masterful writer who manages to keep her readers hooked and plans surprising and shocking twists. I especially love how she manages to entwine the two different  time periods and storylines.  I cannot recommend this and any of her other books highly enough! Thank you to netgalley for providing this arc in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to NetGalley, Dutton Books and Fiona Davis, for the ARC. The Lions of Fifth Avenue publication date July 21, 2020.

The Lions of Fifth Avenue, is a look into the 1913 NewYork Public Library. We see Laura Lyon’s as a traditional housewife raising two children in the unique setting of the new NYPL in 1913. Laura soon realizes that there is more to life than housework, and applies to the first school for journalist, the Columbia School of Journalism. With the help of a scholarship Laura realizes that she is one of the few women who are enrolled in the school. Laura finds that women journalists are given  little respect or appreciation from her professorsors or other male writers. Given that pressure Laura developes a distinct writing style and view point.
Sadie Donovan becomes a curator of the New York Public Library in 1993. Sadie is the granddaughter of Laura Lyons. Problems arise when again when a rare book goes missing. Sadie is the center of the mystery, she must find the solution to these disappearing books that have plagued her family since 1913. The Lions of Fifth Avenue is a fascinating historical novel set in the wonderful location, inside of the New York Public Library. The book also exams the immigrants poverty, Greenwich Village,  and the exotic bohemian way of life that was present around 1913. An interesing and quick read.
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Once again, Fiona Davis has written an interesting novel whose setting is located in one of New York City’s landmark buildings. The Lions of Fifth Avenue immerses the reader into the history of the venerable New York Public Library. The intertwined fictional stories of two main characters, Laura and Sadie, take place nearly one hundred years apart.  

In 1913, Laura’s husband was superintendent of the library. Laura, her husband, and their young son and daughter actually lived in an apartment located at the top of the building. Laura’s husband was working on the manuscript of his novel in his spare time. Laura writes a popular column for the library’s newsletter. She voluntarily contributes the column, but she longs to have a career of her own in a time when women are expected to stay home and raise their families. When valuable books are stolen from the library, the family's lives are changed forever.

Sadie is the granddaughter of Laura. In 1993, Sadie is a dedicated, enthusiastic librarian who lands a position overseeing the priceless Berg Collection of first editions and other memorabilia which will soon be the focus of a highly anticipated exhibit.  When some of the priceless books are discovered to be missing, Sadie knows that she must do everything she can to restore them to the collection.  In the process of her investigation, she learns that there was a similar situation during Laura’s time at the library. What happened then and were the missing books found?  Sadie thinks that finding out what happened at that time may help her now.

This is an interesting and informative story that provides a close up look at the New York Public Library.  The characters’ stories involve secrets, mystery, family relationships, love, and the early days of the fight for women’s rights.

Thank you to NetGalley, Dutton (an imprint of Penguin Random House), and author Fiona Davis for giving me an opportunity to read the ARC of this novel.
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3 1/2 stars rounded up 

“...the value of a rare book is imperfect, fluctuating. These items have been held for years, centuries, and our perspective changes over time.”

Just as our perceptions of history and artifacts change over time, my view of this novel changed during  the course of my reading.  The New York Public Library takes center stage in Ms. Davis’s new dual timeline novel, and I could not wait to read a book featuring one of my favorite places, by one of my favorite authors. My initial ambivalence toward what appeared to be a formulaic setup, took a turn when truths started being revealed. Multiple heavy, albeit important, topics seemed to weigh down the initial chapters. At the midpoint the pace picked up, interjected with some lighter moments, allowing the plot to flow in typical Fiona Davis fashion. The satisfying ending has this reader already looking forward to the next work from this talented writer. 
Thank you NetGalley and Dutton Publishing for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.
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New York Public Library is the setting for this story of family secrets and how it can a family. Laura and her family live in the apartment of the New York Public library where her husband is the superintendent of the building. The family dynamics change when valuable books start to disappear. A generation later Laura's granddaughter Sadie has her dream job working at the New York Public Library when valuable books again start to disappear. How is it happening? Will family secret's end Sadie's dream?
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I loved this novel.  When a book is dedicated to librarians, you know it has to be wonderful. The author's descriptive writing and the depiction of strong women is a joy to read. Imagine living and working in the NYPL!!!
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I really enjoy Fiona Davis's style of writing, so I knew this was going to be a winner. The Lions of Fifth Avenue tells two stories: one of Laura Lyons and her family living in the New York Public Library in 1913, and the story of Sadie, who works at the NY Public Library in the 1990s. Both stories weave together in a way that combines a love of books and libraries, with a little bit of mystery and a whodunit. This novel is for those who love a story that spans decades, and for those who have a love and passion for books and libraries. This was such a fun read, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and couldn't put it down! Thank you NetGalley for a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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Fiona Davis does it again! This beautifully written novel tells the story of two women and their connection to the New York Public Library. The description of the library was so vivid and the story was faced paced. I am looking forward to sharing this book with my book club.
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