I’ve been a fan of Deeanne Gist since my friend Liz recommended A Bride Most Begrudging (which is still a favorite). Her books are hilarious and I know I’m in for a treat when I pick up one of her stories. Her newest, Tiffany Girl, not only knocks it out of the park, but is definitely one of her best!
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?
Where do I start with all the reasons this book was fabulous? Let’s start with the historical time period. It’s fascinating and such an interesting piece of history with the Tiffany Girls. I didn’t know anything about the women and what they accomplished, so I loved that. I also really loved that Gist focused on women during a time period when so much change was coming about for women. For women who paved the way, it was no easy task and Gist didn’t shy away from it and handled it wonderfully.
Second reason? Reeve and Flossie. Not only for the characters they are, but for the changes they go through and lessons they learn. They make mistakes and mess things up, but what they learn from it, makes them so great. I felt like they were friends and was sad when I turned the last page. Plus there’s one part towards the end I loved loved loved! I won’t say exactly what it is since I don’t want to spoil anything, but if you’ve read it, I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about!
Need one more reason? The lovely cast of characters from Mrs. Dinwiddie to Aggie to Cat (and everyone else). These people capture you from the first few pages, that every page is so much fun to read after that!
So if you’re looking for a summer/winter/fall/spring read, I can’t recommend this one enough!
Have you read any of Deanna’s books? Which one is a favorite?