Indie Next ListJanuary 2011
This compelling novel tells the story of Clara Driscoll who is employed by Louis Tiffany during New York City's 'Gilded Age.' As head of his glasswork's women's department, she achieves recognition for her design for the first leaded stained glass lamp. However, her desire for artistic success and personal happiness is thwarted by Tiffany's company policy against hiring married females. Vreeland masterfully shows an emotional picture of the glamorous world of the privileged class as set against the poverty of immigrants struggling to sustain hope and survive in their 'new world'. A must read! -- Carol Hicks, Bookshelf At Hooligan Rocks, Truckee, CA
It’s 1893, and at the Chicago World’s Fair, Louis Comfort Tiffany makes his debut with a luminous exhibition of innovative stained-glass windows that he hopes will earn him a place on the international artistic stage. But behind the scenes in his New York studio is the freethinking Clara Driscoll, head of his women’s division, who conceives of and designs nearly all of the iconic leaded-glass lamps for which Tiffany will long be remembered. Never publicly acknowledged, Clara struggles with her desire for artistic recognition and the seemingly insurmountable challenges that she faces as a professional woman. She also yearns for love and companionship, and is devoted in different ways to five men, including Tiffany, who enforces a strict policy: He does not employ married women. Ultimately, Clara must decide what makes her happiest—the professional world of her hands or the personal world of her heart.
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About the Author
Susan Vreeland is the New York Times bestselling author of five books, including Luncheon of the Boating Party, Life Studies, The Passion of Artemisia, The Forest Lover, and Girl in Hyacinth Blue. She lives in San Diego.
Praise for Clara and Mr. Tiffany…
“Vreeland’s ability to make this complex historical novel as luminous as a Tiffany lamp is nothing less than remarkable.”—The Washington Post
“A novel as sparkling and elegant as a Tiffany lampshade . . . a sensitive portrayal of women’s struggles in the nineteenth century . . . [Susan Vreeland] has captured the tone of an era. . . . The consistent elegance and vitality of her prose make reading her book a pleasure.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“As she did for a Vermeer painting in Girl in Hyacinth Blue, Vreeland traces the secret history of an objet d’art—this time, the iconic Tiffany lamp. . . . A fascinating look at at turn-of-the-century New York City.”—People (4 out of 4 stars)
“Vreeland’s writing is so graceful, her research so exhaustive, that a reader can’t help becoming enfolded in this fascinating world.”—Los Angeles Times
“There’s no excuse for any reader of high-quality literary fiction to let this novel pass by.”—Booklist (starred review)