Have You Read The Masterpiece?

August 21, 2019 in Storytelling - No Comments

Let me tell you about a great book I recently read. When speaking with Vanessa McDonald this week, who is not just the force behind Courage Creator, but also heads up marketing for events and retail at Union Station, the historic train hub in Toronto, I thought of the work of novelist Fiona Davis, specifically, her novel, The Masterpiece. The novel is set in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, a building not unlike Union Station in terms of history, grandeur and purpose. I’m not going to even begin to give the plot away, but if you’re interested in the New York City of both the roaring 1920s and the gritty 1970s, history and historical landmarks and a compelling storyline about courageous women navigating challenging times, you’ll probably want to check this book out at your local library or bookshop. Davis is a master at drawing inspiration from and centering her novels around historical landmarks in New York City, with the result being brilliant works of fiction where readers can be both engrossed in fictitious storylines, while also learning a ton about local history and the social dynamics of different eras in the city. 

As somebody with an active imagination who spends a lot of time traveling between New York City and Connecticut by way of Grand Central Terminal and people watching, imagining the details of all the lives scurrying by, I anxiously awaited for the publication of this book and the characters Davis would introduce. That the locations were real landmarks and for me, easily visitable, was the icing on the cake. There is something magical about being able to insert yourself in some way into a book you love; it’s kind of like seeing the movie after you’ve read the book…if that makes any sense.

I’m not sure how I discovered the work of Fiona Davis, but I’m certainly glad I did. She has also written other equally impossible to put down novels on other New York City landmarks: The Dakota apartment building, The Barbizon residential hotel for women and most recently, the iconic Chelsea Hotel. With the weekend just a few days away, I recommend grabbing a copy of The Masterpiece and whether you’re planning to hit the beach, hole up in the air conditioning or travel with time to fill, lose yourself in this particular story; I’d love to hear what you think.

Michaela

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