Book Review

‘Tiffany Girl’ by Deeanne Gist

tg dgSTORY: 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 a 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 New York Art Institute. 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 be an independent New Woman at a time when most of the fair sex stayed home, she quickly finds the world is less welcoming than she 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. What or who will claim victory? Her dreams or the captivating boarder next door?

REVIEW: New York City – 1892

Flossie Jayne, age 21, is a talented young artist attending the School of Applied Design.  Sadly, her father has decided to take her out of school because he can no longer afford to send her.  It appears that he has gambled and lost money at the races.  Flossie’s mother is a seamstress making beautiful gowns for wealthy women in the city.  When Flossie learns that her mother has given her money to her father, she is furious.  He has gambled it away too.  Flossie realizes that it’s time she got a job.

Louis Tiffany and the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company is famous for their Tiffany stained glass. The local glazier’s and glass cutters are all male and decide to go on strike not long before the Chicago World’s Fair.  Mr. Tiffany has plans to have a large display at the Fair so he goes to the School of Applied Design to recruit some women to do the work.  Since they are not part of the union, it is legal to hire them.  Flossie is quite taken with the friendliness of Mr. Tiffany and is not intimidated by him or other famous and wealthy people realizing that they are as human as she is.  She and five other girls are chosen to work in the Women’s Department.

Traveling to and from work poses a bit of a problem as any working woman is looked upon and treated as one with loose morals.  So, avoiding men groping her and making rude comments is difficult but Flossie is determined to do her job and handles the problem well.

Flossie soon decides to move into a boarding house as she needs to freedom to be on her own.  She loves her job and makes friends at the boarding house, working to make the boarders into a consolidated and happy group.

Reeve Wilder is a man without a family living at the boarding house.  He is a reporter for the newspaper and would love to be an author one day.  He keeps to himself but Flossie slowly brings him out to join in with the other boarders.  When an anonymous serial story begins in the newspaper, the boarders and other readers love it.  It’s about an attraction between a man and a very lively young woman.  No one realizes that it’s Reeve writing the story about Flossie and himself.

The story follows Flossie through her job and the friends that she makes at the boarding house.  She is a very strong and determined young woman who won’t let anything in life get her down.  Getting her friend, Reeve, to open up and be himself is difficult but she does not give up.

I enjoyed this novel so much.  Not only is it a sweet, clean love story but it’s chock full of information about the making of stained glass and the Chicago World’s Fair, plus a history of the early depression.  I hope others will read and enjoy it as well.

Connie for b2b


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