The Magnolia Palace is the latest book by Fiona Davis and she does not disappoint in bringing life to little known (at least to me) New York City history! In this novel Davis creates an intriguing fictional story by combining the idea of the original real-life supermodel who posed for many of the statues found around the city with the Henry Clay Frick household and its impressive display of art (which eventually became the Frick Collection and is still open today).
Lillian Carter, who once posed for many artists, goes on the run after being a person-of-interest in her landlord’s death. In 1919, she gets a job as the private secretary to Helen Frick, the eccentric daughter of Henry Frick. While there, she learns more about herself, about the ways of the world, and about how the rich are not always happy.
There is a second timeline set in the 1960’s in which a young Frick Collection intern and a model pair up to discover the answers to some long lost secrets and mysteries that occurred around the time Lillian was there.
I always enjoy leaning about some part of history through an entertaining story. Thank you Fiona Davis for continuing to provide that! This book is being published on January 25th and if you are a fan of 20th century historical fiction, put this on your list!
Thank you to Dutton Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy for my honest review!