Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Fifth Avenue Artists Society - Book Review

Aspiring author, Virginia Loftin and the rest of her artistic family have the connections and family name to enjoy entry into the finest homes but they are living in near poverty. When the boy next door breaks Virginia's heart to marry for money, Virginia's brother encourages her to attend meetings of The Fifth Avenue Artists Society to help improve her craft and heal her heart.

In her grief, Virginia finds that writing comes more easily and she pours her emotions into a novel. John Hopper, the host of the Artists Society and her brother's friend, finds promise in her writing and in her. Before long, the handsome and wealthy man has declared his love for her. But not all is as it seems and Virginia's friends and family might be wrapped up in a deeper deception that could ruin them all.

The Fifth Avenue Artists Society by Joy Callaway begins as a lovely novel about an artistic family. Filled with heartbreak and issues between class and money, this novel set in the Gilded Age immediately captured my attention. The language is romantic and the characters were fun. Though not a regular reader of love stories, I enjoyed the tension between Virginia and John and her childhood friend Charlie. Virginia could be irritating and repetitive at times but I would have been satisfied with this story.

In the later part of the book, it becomes more about the mystery and criminal behaviors. This seemed a strange shift in the plot line. I wasn't thrilled where it was heading but was intrigued. Reading later that the story was based on real people from the author's genealogy actually made me appreciate the ending more.

I really enjoyed The Fifth Avenue Artists Society. It surprised my initial presumptions about the plot line but was a delightfully refreshing story.

The Fifth Avenue Artists Society by Joy Callaway is published by Harper and released on May 31, 2016. It's also a SheReads Summer Selection.

**I received a complimentary copy of The Fifth Avenue Artists Society through the SheReads program. This review reflects my honest opinions. No compensation was received.**

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