Cover Image: The Lions of Fifth Avenue

The Lions of Fifth Avenue

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This is a really great look at the New York Public library and people from history who have shaped it. I know this is fiction but it's based off of real people in history and I loved that it takes place in the library! 
I like how the timelines intertwined. 
Thank you for the availability to read this book!
Was this review helpful?
Well shame on me for waiting so long to read this book!
•
I enjoyed everything about this book. The setting, the mystery and even the dual timelines. I was equally vested in both timelines which is rare for me. 
•
Davis clearly did extensive research— not sure how she is able to do it while putting out how many books she does. And the quality does not suffer. She truly is remarkable and proves it here again with this book! The end wrapped up perfectly and I am happy I finally read this!
•
Thank you to the pub for a copy of this book!
Was this review helpful?
This is the first time I’ve read a book by Fiona Davis and after reading the synopsis, I just couldn’t resist getting this book.
The Lion’s of Fifth Avenue is fascinating! I’ve never been to the New York Public Library but this book makes me want to visit it…get lost within it.
I adore reading historical fictions and this book got me hooked. I look forward to reading more of her books.
Was this review helpful?
Big thanks to @duttonbooks and @netgalley for the opportunity to read and review The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis!
.
This multigenerational story moves between 1913 and 1993 following Laura Lyons and her granddaughter, Sadie. The iconic New York Public Library serves as the backdrop for each woman’s tale as the literal home to Laura and home away from home for Sadie. As their personal and professional lives collide Laura and Sadie uncover secrets that can change everything. Past and Present.
.
You might enjoy this book if you dream of NYC, like to solve a mystery and heart unexpected love stories! Bonus Points for insider library scoop!
.
This was my first @fionajdavis novel, but it certainly will not be my last!
Was this review helpful?
This book brings together mystery, romance and historical fiction.  Not many books do that.  It was a fast-paced read.  I enjoyed the different perspectives from the 1914's and 1993.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book! It is a terrific combination of past and present, with a wonderful setting. A must for fans of historical fiction.
Was this review helpful?
This book was a recapture of the life Truman Capote and his society friends and his betrayal of them.  I very much enjoyed the book.
Was this review helpful?
I tried several times to read but it never grabbed me. I DNFed it. I didn't care about the characters or what happened.
Was this review helpful?
The New York City library with its iconic guardians Patience and Fortitude set the scene for dueling time periods.  In the past, 1913 specifically, we encounter a young mother, Laura Lyons whose husband is the superintendent of the venerable institution.  Quickly, it becomes obviously that Laura wants more from her current role as mother and wife and she enrolls in Columbia’s school of journalism as one of only a handful of female students.

In her research for articles, Laura finds herself often in the neighborhood of Greenwich Village on Manhattan’s west side in its early identity as a bohemian enclave.  Here she finds the types of stories she wants to write about when she is invited into the Heterodoxy club’s meetings, where they discuss progressive ideas about women’s rights.  These women initially shock Laura, but go on to awaken new possibilities to the life she might lead.  

Fast forward eighty years we meet Sadie Donovan, Laura’s granddaughter, who works with the Berg collection in the same grand library.  Her job is on the line as pieces in this collection go missing as she and her co-worker are the obvious suspects.  With the help of the library’s private investigator, they begin to unravel a mystery that helps explain Sadie’s family history she seems to know nothing about.  The two timelines intertwine so well, but I am partial to Laura’s story.  

This was a fast-paced and interesting story, though I liked a few of Davis’s previous books better, it is still worth a read.  I highly recommend The Dollhouse and The Address.  Thank you to Penguin Random House, Fiona Davis and NetGalley for the advance copy.
Was this review helpful?
The Lions of Fifth Avenue
A Novel
by Fiona Davis
 Read an Excerpt
PENGUIN GROUP Dutton
 You Like Them
Dutton
Historical Fiction
Pub Date 04 Aug 2020   |   Archive Date 31 Dec 2020

I am trying a new author for me.  I really like historical fiction so as a librarian and book lover I thought I would enjoy it much more.  Sadly, this book did not hit the spot for me.  It took me a long time to read the book and draw me in.  Thanks to Dutton Books and NetGalley for the ARC.  It was great to add an author to my list. 
4 star
Was this review helpful?
DNF at 30ish percent.

There is nothing necessarily wrong with this book (outside of the wild inaccuracies about special collections libraries) but I also cannot name something I liked about it. The writing was bland and I did not connect with any of the characters. Usually the intrigue of a mystery can at least hold my attention enough to finish a "blah" book but not even that was enough this time.

I think certain types of readers will enjoy this, I am just not one of them.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this historical novel set in two time periods in New York - starting in 1913 with one storyline and 1993 with the other. In 1913, Laura Lyons lives with her husband and two children IN THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY!!! Her husband is the superintendent of the library and thus has an apartment on the grounds (according to the author’s note, this apartment really existed). Laura is accepted into Columbia’s new journalism school as one of the first women to attend, and she struggles to balance the new challenges and opportunities that affords her with the expectations everyone has for her as a wife and mother. While this is happening, several extremely rare and valuable books go missing from the library’s collection, and Laura’s husband becomes the prime suspect because of his level of access. Eighty years later, Laura’s granddaughter Sadie (who never met her grandmother because she died in London during World War II) is a librarian at the NYPL in a restricted rare books/special collections unit and is putting together an exhibit when history seems to repeat itself and books start to go missing again. Both women’s stories unfold in a parallel structure, and I thought both narrative strands were well-paced and full of really interesting detail. The mystery elements were great but did seem to be a bit rushed toward the wrap up in both narratives, but the endings were both fairly satisfying.
Was this review helpful?
Having recently finished “The Lions of Fifth Avenue” by Fiona Davis, I am happy to have had the chance for the preview; thank you NetGalley and Penguin Random House! 
As a library clerk this was a dream of a book about books and the world of books! The back in time moments and the recent moments in the storyline definitely transported me to the New York Public Library. The mystery was fun to figure out, even though its resolution seemed to be leading to a far-fetched suspect... until the re-appearance of a certain someone tied everything up in a satisfying ending.
Was this review helpful?
As in previous Fiona Davis books, two mysteries in different time periods revolve around a New York City landmark, in this case the iconic New York Public Library. I normally prefer one storyline over the other; in this case, the storyline that encompassed the nascent Women's Movement in the 1910's felt more compelling than the mystery in the 1990s. Davis's details about the library, its inner workings and its history whet my appetite for more; there's a library tour in my future!
Was this review helpful?
Review will be posted on 10/23/2020

The year is 1913 and the Lyons family live at the famous New York Public Library. Jack Lyons is the library superintendent and he and his family get to live in the superintendent's quarters within the library.  Laura Lyons, Jack's wife, is a mother of two children, but she wants so much more. She applies to Columbia Journalism school, which changes her life drastically.  While Laura is going to school, she encounters people who live much differently than her including feminists in Greenwich Village. These women are extremely progressive for the time period and all of this has her thinking about her own life. Then books start to go missing at the New York Public Library and not just any books--valuable books like first editions! This doesn't look good for Jack.  Jump ahead to 1993 and we meet Sadie Donovan, Laura's granddaughter, who works at the library in the rare books section. Strangely enough, Sadie starts dealing with her own issues at the New York Public Library; more rare books start to go missing and people are suspecting her, just like her grandfather!  The Lions of Fifth Avenue is a quiet historical mystery that book lovers will especially appreciate it.

Laura Lyons is such an interesting character in The Lions of Fifth Avenue.  She is before her time and I appreciated her desire for more.  I also liked her interest in feminism.  Her experience at Columbia Journalism School and the blatant sexism she endured was really a powerful reminder of how far women have come and have far we still have to go.  Also, I liked how Davis connected Laura and Sadie's story not only though the New York Public Library, but also through their familial connection.  The mystery that surrounds both generations had me turning the pages. Ultimately, Sadie hires an investigator to help her solve the mystery as this scandal could end her career! I  was dying to know how Davis would connected the mystery despite the many years separating both Jack and Sadie.

I adored the setting of the New York Public Library in The Lions of Fifth Avenue. Can you think of a better setting for a book lover? I didn't even know the superintendent could live at the library, so that was really interesting.  Davis's descriptions of the library's grand architecture as well as the invaluable books really brought this aspect of the story to life for me. I really want to visit this library now!

Overall, The Lions of Fifth Avenues was a satisfying historical novel.  There were some sections that were a little slower than others, but overall, I was immensely satisfied with this historical family drama steeped in mystery.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book! An absolute smash success for Fiona Davis, who’s writing continues to impress me. A huge bonus of this book is that at the heart of this book is the library setting. In addition I love the way that Davis wrote alternating timelines and strong female leads. This is making a case for my end of the year top list and I can’t wait to recommend it!
Was this review helpful?
This was my first of Fiona Davis books and I really loved the way she incorporated NYC history and architecture into her stories! I am sucker for books about books!

The background and detail of the NYPL was really a fun (and my favorite) part of this one. I loved learning about about a family living in the library and all the secret details of the building! The story of the family that inhabits it in this one was definitely an interesting one although I had a hard time really connecting or loving any of the characters.. I found myself much more interested in the present day mystery than anything else, even though it was pretty easy to figure out. 

I do think there were some parts that seemed rather odd though - the father's story, the son's story, and lots of things seemed a bit unnecessary and out of place, and some connections a bit forced. Laura's past story line had me so frustrated at her naiveté and gullibility with her boss, and I had a hard time believing the lax security at the library present day!  

In the end it was a fun read that was very unique and extremely well-written,
Was this review helpful?
A story told in two parts, one set in the early 1990s and the other in 1913. Fiona Davis does a nice job tying the stories together and it is an entertaining novel for anyone who loves libraries and books.
Was this review helpful?
This is the perfect book to pick up if you are a library and book lover. Told in dual timelines - 1914 and 1991 - the story follows two women who get wrapped up in the search for priceless stolen books. In 1914, Laura Lyons is a wife and mother of two who dreams of becoming a journalist. Her family lives in an apartment in the New York Library where her husband works. Sadie Donovan works in the same library in 1991 and when rare items are stolen on her watch a mystery begins that spans the last 80 years and brings her family into questions. 

This is the type of historical fiction that I love. A little romance, a little mystery, a little action, flawed characters, and the love of books. I really enjoyed reading this book. It was perfect to curl up with on a long weekend. "The Lions of Fifth Avenue" is available now.

Thank you to NetGalley and Dutton Books for the advanced reader's copy in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
"The Lions of Fifth Avenue" is told through parallel storylines of Sadie Donovan in 1993 and Laura Lyons in 1913. Laura Lyons, her husband (the library caretaker) and their children live in the main branch of the New York Public library, located in the heart of New York City.  Under her husband's tutelage, valuable books go missing and he is the main suspect. Sadie's story in the present mirrors the actions of the past, as first editions and other valuable items go missing under her watch, as one of the library's curators. Interwoven with historical references, romance and mystery, this book has the makings of an intriguing story.  While I found the storyline interesting and parts of the book surprised me, I didn't like it as much as I had hoped.  I still like Fiona Davis' writing and will read her books in the future.
Was this review helpful?