From the bestselling author of It Happened at the Fair and Fair Play comes a compelling historical novel about a progressive “New Woman”—the girl behind Tiffany’s chapel—and the love that threatens it all.
As preparations for the 1893 World’s Fair set Chicago and the nation on fire, Louis Tiffany—heir to the exclusive Fifth Avenue jewelry empire—seizes the opportunity to unveil his state-of-the-art, stained glass, mosaic chapel, the likes of which the world has never seen.
But when Louis’s dream is threatened by a glassworkers’ strike months before the Fair opens, he turns to an unforeseen source for help: the female students at the Art Students League of New York. Eager for adventure, the young women pick up their skirts, move to boarding houses, take up steel cutters, and assume new identities as the “Tiffany Girls.”
Tiffany Girl is the heartwarming story of the impetuous Flossie Jayne, a beautiful, budding artist who is handpicked by Louis to help complete the Tiffany chapel. Though excited to live in a boarding house when most women stayed home, she quickly finds the world is less welcoming than anticipated. From a Casanova male, to an unconventional married couple, and a condescending singing master, she takes on a colorful cast of characters to transform the boarding house into a home while racing to complete the Tiffany chapel and make a name for herself in the art world.
As challenges mount, her ambitions become threatened from an unexpected quarter: her own heart. Who will claim victory? Her dreams or the captivating boarder next door?
Deeanne Gist is one of my auto-buy authors and so naturally, I was excited to get my hands on her new novel. My thoughts:
What I liked:
Tiffany Girl. I had never heard of Tiffany Girls. Ms. Gist seems to be on a Chicago Fair kick and with each book, I learn more and more about that time era. I must say, she incorporates her research flawlessly in a work of fiction, so much so, that I never feel like I’m “learning” anything.
Flossie. I liked Flossie. I liked her idealism and her ambition. I liked the fact that she impacted people around her. And I like that you really see her character grow and develop. I found that I really cared about Flossie and it’s not often that I care about heroines or feel as emotionally invested in them as I did with Flossie.
Reeve. I liked Reeve because I like heroes who are not cookie cutter and Reeve is not cookie cutter. He is lonely, yet opinionated, and very rough around the edges. And every time he appeared on the pages, I looked forward to Flossie upending his careful life.
The romance. It was my kind of romance. It was the slow kind that developed over time making it something that you knew would stand the test of time. I loved the way Reeve’s action showed he loved her more than just his words.
Spiritually, I will say that someone mentions a Bible. Maybe someone prays. I would have to say that this novel is more or less a clean romance novel.
What I didn’t like:
I will say there is a certain point where Reeve and Flossie are separated and while it makes sense for them to grow, I was just skimming the pages where they were apart.
Romantic Scale: 9
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. It was a lovely look at a different aspect of the Chicago Fair and the romance was really the star here.
**I received a copy of this book from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**