Friday, July 8, 2016

Review: The Fifth Avenue Artists Society

Ginny Loftin is many things - a somewhat obedient daughter, a devoted sister, and a young woman who hopes that her longtime friend Charlie will someday ask her a very important question. Most of all, Ginny is a writer in a family that encourages and supports artistic endeavors (which is somewhat unusual for woman at the turn of the 19th century). When Charlie does propose, it's not to her and Ginny writes out her feelings of heartbreak on the page. Getting published as a woman is no easy feat, so she can't refuse the offer of camaraderie and feedback when she is invited to a local salon. She finds friendship and perhaps even a new romance in the midst of music performances and poetry readings. But there is a darker story in the shadows of the salon. When a friend is found dead there, Ginny and her family must figure out who is telling the truth and what success truly costs.

The Fifth Avenue Artists Society quickly feels familiar in the best of ways. I think that is because it is reminiscent of other books you have known and loved. I was reminded of Vanessa and Her Sister, which was a fictional recreation of Virginia Wolf, her artist sister Vanessa, and their circle of gifted relatives and friends. There are also really wonderful moments that point to Little Women with sisters supporting each other's artistic endeavors. We even get to observe brief meetings with Edith Wharton and Oscar Wilde.

This book could easily become a book of issues, as the characters grapple with success, money, addiction, love, and responsibility. But the characters shine through every page. Ginny is full of passion and love and we want to see her get a happy ending (even if Callaway manages to surprise us with just how that happens).

The Fifth Avenue Artists Society
By Joy Callaway
Harper Paperbacks May 2016
384 pages
From publisher for She Reads

8 comments:

  1. This book sounds like so much fun! I'm glad you reviewed it... I'm adding it to my Read Soon list. :)

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    1. Excellent! I think you will enjoy it.

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  2. So I almost picked up this book at the library for the second time, yet didn't for some reason. I'll remedy that next time! Thanks for the review!

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    1. There are just too many choices and our arms can only hold so many books! I can't wait to hear what you think, Julie.

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  3. Thank you for the lovely review, Lindsey! I SO appreciate it! xo

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    1. You are so very welcome! Thanks for a great story!

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  4. Lovely review, Lindsey. I love the book's cover and the premise of the story. I might give it a read.

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  5. Like Melinda, I love this cover! I really liked your description of this as feeling familiar. I often find books that have that feel comforting and enjoyable rad.

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