Clara and Mr. Tiffanyby Vreeland, Susan
Near the turn of the twentieth century, Louis Comfort Tiffany debuts his famous stained glass windows at the World's Columbian Exhibition. The exhibit draws thousands who exclaim in awe over these luminous wonders. This was the Gilded Age, where the upper classes attended formal balls and the opera, while the lower classes struggled for survival in the tenement squalor of the Lower East Side. Clara Driscoll is the woman behind the scenes at Tiffany Studios in New York. It is she who introduces Tiffany to the idea of leaded glass lampshades, which she designs and which will become synonymous with the company name. While Clara longs to create beauty and gain recognition for her skills, she also longs for love and companionship. But in order for Clara to find true happiness she must choose between her artist's heart and her woman's heart.
This book is an excellent representation of historical fiction. Vreeland recreates the time in excellent detail, and provides an enlightening view into the art of glass making. This book reads at a leisurely pace, with quiet moments of drama that carry the plot forward. Some readers may find the step-by-step narrative of glassmaking a bit tedious, although interesting and informative. This novel is a satisfying read for lovers of historical fiction in the same vein as Loving Frank by Nancy Horan and Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier.
Reviewed by cc, 04/12. Other reviews by cc. Have you read this book? Tell us what you think!