Story: Tiffany Blues by M. J. Rose is a haunting historical novel that centers around Jenny Bell, an aspiring artist with a mysterious past. When Jenny is selected to participate in a highly competitive creative retreat at the elaborate mansion owned by renowned stained-glass artist and jewelry maker Louis Comfort Tiffany, she is elated and apprehensive. As a series of dark omens and veiled threats begin to threaten the life Jenny has created, she has to decide whether to stay and fight or retreat and hide. With her heart and life on the line, Jenny must learn to trust or history may repeat itself.
I knew even as it happened that the moment would stand out of time for me forever.
Why: I’ve really been enjoying Jazz Age/Roarin’ 20s era stories as of late. The post-war rebound, speakeasies, and general attitude of the time draw me in time and again. What stood out to me about Rose’s story was the true and tragic tale of the Laurelton Hall mansion. I’m a total sucker for old buildings to begin with, but an unsolved mystery surrounding the fall of the estate makes it extremely fascinating! I am also extremely impressed with authors who can weave fact and fiction so artfully as to give the reader cause to pause and reassess what they thought they knew.
Once the present turns to past, all we have left are memories.
Opinion: I thoroughly enjoyed this book, especially Rose’s writing style. Light and color are natural themes for a book about art and artisans, but the way that Rose/Jenny describe sounds and feelings in terms of color was incredible. It really got me thinking in a new direction that perfectly suited this novel. Characters were just deep enough to elicit the proper emotions, and the mystery was just twisted enough to keep things entertaining. My biggest complaint is that I wish more of the novel had taken place at Laurelton Hall; the detailed descriptions of the beauty Tiffany created were fabulous and full of life! Admittedly, it does contrast nicely with the opening of the book that is much darker, somber and colorless.
Everywhere we looked, the landscape offered mixtures of colors – yellow day lilies, purple irises, wildflower fields, maple and red cedar trees, black and yellow birches. You couldn’t cast your eye anywhere without being aware of the beauty.
Recommendation: My fellow historical fiction lovers should pick up this title, as well as the artists among us who appreciate the way that color and light impact our views and our lives. There is a touch of adult romance that may be best for mature readers, but I found even those minimal segments to be more artfully written as opposed to scandalous and racy. Overall, I think this makes a great fall read as we head into darker evenings and lengthening shadows!
There is beauty even in broken things.
Journaling Prompts: (If you haven’t read any of my other reviews, I enjoy putting together a few questions about the book for those that have already read, or choose to read the book after viewing this post!)
- Describe the meaning of the peacock theme throughout the novel. Write down some references and how they interact with the plot, characters, etc.
- Why do you think M.J. Rose included the scene of a witness being shot during Jenny’s first trial as a sketch artist?
- The idea of spirits and communicating with those who have passed on recurs throughout the novel. What does this layer bring to the story?
- Compare and contrast the characters of Ben and Oliver.
- How many different ways is the idea or concept of light used throughout the book?
- What is Minx’s role in the novel? Is she Jenny’s foil? Does she simply move the plot forward?
About Tiffany Blues
The New York Times bestselling author of The Library of Light and Shadow crafts a dazzling Jazz Age jewel—a novel of ambition, betrayal, and passion about a young painter whose traumatic past threatens to derail her career at a prestigious summer artists’ colony run by Louis Comfort Tiffany of Tiffany & Co. fame. “[M.J. Rose] transports the reader into the past better than a time machine could accomplish” (The Associated Press).
New York, 1924. Twenty four year old Jenny Bell is one of a dozen burgeoning artists invited to Louis Comfort Tiffany’s prestigious artists’ colony. Gifted and determined, Jenny vows to avoid distractions and romantic entanglements and take full advantage of the many wonders to be found at Laurelton Hall.
But Jenny’s past has followed her to Long Island. Images of her beloved mother, her hard-hearted stepfather, waterfalls, and murder, and the dank hallways of Canada’s notorious Andrew Mercer Reformatory for Women overwhelm Jenny’s thoughts, even as she is inextricably drawn to Oliver, Tiffany’s charismatic grandson.
As the summer shimmers on, and the competition between the artists grows fierce as they vie for a spot at Tiffany’s New York gallery, a series of suspicious and disturbing occurrences suggest someone knows enough about Jenny’s childhood trauma to expose her.
Supported by her closest friend Minx Deering, a seemingly carefree socialite yet dedicated sculptor, and Oliver, Jenny pushes her demons aside. Between stolen kisses and stolen jewels, the champagne flows and the jazz plays on until one moonless night when Jenny’s past and present are thrown together in a desperate moment, that will threaten her promising future, her love, her friendships, and her very life.
About M. J. Rose
New York Times bestselling author M. J. Rose grew up in New York City exploring the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum and the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park. She is the author of more than a dozen novels, a founding board member of International Thriller Writers, and the founder of the first marketing company for authors, AuthorBuzz.com. She lives in Connecticut. Visit her online at MJRose.com.
Check out these other sites for more on Tiffany Blues!
Monday, August 6th: Savvy Verse and Wit
Tuesday, August 7th: What is That Book About
Tuesday, August 7th: Of Pens and Pages
Wednesday, August 8th: Midwest Ladies Who Lit
Thursday, August 9th: Book Dilettante
Friday, August 10th: Read Love Blog
Monday, August 13th: Reading Reality
Monday, August 13th: @girlandherbooks
Tuesday, August 14th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Tuesday, August 14th: Jathan & Heather
Thursday, August 16th: Laura’s Reviews
Thursday, August 16th: A Holland Reads
Friday, August 17th: Literary Quicksand
Monday, August 20th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, August 21st: Books & Bindings
Wednesday, August 22nd: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, August 23rd: Kritter’s Ramblings
Friday, August 24th – Moonlight Rendezvous
Monday, August 27th: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Tuesday, August 28th: Thoughts from a Highly Caffeinated Mind