Join The Friends for another lively First Friday Book Club.
One of the most impressive New York mansions of the Gilded Age was the home of Henry Clay Frick, industrialist and art patron. Fiona Davis, of the New York Times, places the mansion through fact and fiction, at the core of a novel about secrets, betrayal and murder
In The Magnolia Palace, Lillian Carter is working at the Frick mansion as a private secretary to the imperious and demanding heiress. Helen Frick, and her life gets intertwined with that of the family, pulling her into a tangled web of romantic trysts, stolen jewels, and family drama. Nearly fifty years later, English model Veronica Weber has her own chance to earn money within the walls of the former Frick residence, now converted into one of New York City's most impressive museums. She chances upon a series of hidden messages in the museum- messages that will lead her on a hunt that could finally reveal the truth behind a decades-old murder in the infamous Frick family.
Competing time lines, when the Frick mansion was a home and as it is today, a museum, allows a comparison between its two roles whilst building tension about the role of art.
Fiona Davis, The Magnolia Palace, Dutton Publishing/Penguin Books 2022