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Summary and book reviews of Tiffany Blues by M.J. Rose

Tiffany Blues

A Novel

by M.J. Rose

Tiffany Blues by M.J. Rose X
Tiffany Blues by M.J. Rose
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2018, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2019, 336 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez
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About this Book

Book Summary

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.

Excerpt
Tiffany Blues

March 20, 1924
New York, New York


I hadn't expected to find a waterfall in the middle of Central Park. Even there, so far away from home and the scene of the tragedy, the rushing water that pounded on the rocks made me shudder. The waterfalls in Ithaca and in Hamilton had been powerful, beautiful forces of nature, but I'd grown to hate them.

"Jenny, certainly this early-spring scenery is going to inspire you to use some color," Minx said, as we set up our easels.

A dozen of us from Professor Robert Pannell's class at the Art Students League of New York had scattered around the pond, preparing to spend the afternoon painting en plein air in the tradition of the impressionists. We'd walked from the school on West Fifty-seventh Street north into the park and then continued along manicured pathways into this untamed, romantic area.

"Your assignment is not to paint what you see but what you feel. Paint the atmosphere," Professor Pannell ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. In the prologue, how does Jenny feel when she sees Laurelton Hall in ruins? What memories does she associate with the estate?
  2. Describe Minx and Jenny's relationship and their similarities and differences in both personality and art.
  3. How does New York's culture and society in 1924 influence the arts?
  4. What is Jenny's reaction when she realizes Minx sold her drawing to the New York Herald Tribune? Why? How would you feel in her shoes?
  5. Discuss Ben and Jenny's thoughts about beauty on page 45. With whom do you agree?
  6. Why do you think Minx's mother tells Jenny about her daughter's past? Describe Jenny's reaction to these revelations. Does Minx's past affect your reading of her character?
  7. Mr. Tiffany...
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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

M.J. Rose brings Jenny's past to the surface through the young woman's luscious first-person narrative. Indeed, Jenny's voice is so rich with color, possessing so many sumptuous notes, it's like standing under a cool waterfall on a hot day with the sun's light refracting one rainbow after another. But I digress... I often read books that make want to be a better writer. I can't recall if I've ever read a book that made me want to reach for my sketch pad and charcoal. Tiffany Blue did both. But first I'm going to read it again...continued

Full Review (639 words).

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(Reviewed by Donna Chavez).

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The multifaceted Jenny will strike Rose fans as her best creation yet.

Kirkus Reviews
A lush, mesmerizing story.

Library Journal
This fast-paced mystery, star-crossed romance, and love letter to Louis Comfort Tiffany will captivate Rose’s many fans and readers of 20th-century historical fiction.

RT Book Reviews
Rose's talent for delivering believable characters and plot shines in her latest novel set in the wondrous world of Louis Comfort Tiffany. Readers who devour well-researched novels brimming over with vibrant details that allow them to feel part of the story are in for a treat and the jaw-dropping climax will have them enthralled.

Author Blurb Kristin Hannah, New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale
A lush, romantic historical mystery with a unique setting. Tiffany Blues explores an interesting lost bit of American history and gives us a heroine to root for.

Author Blurb Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train and A Piece of the World
A fascinating novel about a young, struggling artist mentored by the celebrated jeweler and stained-glass creator Louis Comfort Tiffany. Tiffany Blues brings together an enchanting glimpse of Jazz Age New York and an inspired fictional story about Jenny Bell and the terrible secret she's hiding.

Reader Reviews

Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

Excellent - Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
What had happened in Jenny’s past that kept haunting her and kept her shrinking into the background instead of taking all that New York could offer her? Was it bad enough to have to sidestep questions about it and fear that others were looking ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

The History of Tiffany's

Much of the action in M. J. Rose's novel Tiffany Blues takes place at Louis Comfort Tiffany's fabulous estate near Oyster Bay, New York. It's an 84-room mansion, standing on over 60 acres of lush landscaping, all conceived and designed by Louis himself. Since the late 1800s he had been the chief creative force behind the famous jewelers' fabulous collections of jewels, china, silver and, most particularly, glass. He was a gifted painter, architect and landscape artist as well.

Charles Lewis Tiffany at His StoreCharles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young founded a store in 1837. Four years later they were joined by J. L. Ellis and became Tiffany, Young and Ellis. They sold stationery and fancy goods to the fashionable ladies who frequented their location ...

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