Historical Romance swirls with color and passion in Tiffany Girl by Deeanne Gist just as vibrant as the pattern in a real Tiffany Lamp. In flashback, our story lays the groundwork for us to meet and understand the motivation behind the main characters. There is something tender, poignant and very real about them. Something that reminds us of the things we struggle with or fear might happen to ourselves like loss of job, an accident that might hurt someone we love, embarrassing moments, getting swindled, being naïve and gullible.
Flossie Jayne yearns to go to college to study art. An only child, her parents have spoiled her and given her most anything she has wanted; but now her life is about to change. She jumps at a temporary opportunity to work for Mr. Tiffany on his Chapel Display for the Chicago World’s Fair and moves out to a boarding house on her own so that she can keep her earnings. We all need to mature and gain experience but that is so often painful as Flossie discovers.
At the Boarding House where Flossie finds a room we meet her fellow tenants among them, Reeve Wilder, a newspaper reporter. Reeve prefers his daily routine and minding his own business to Flossie’s bubbly personality and penchant to stir things up.
Ms. Gist’s novel carries us into the late 1800’s as women are challenging the culture by leaving traditional roles and becoming "new women" taking charge of their futures and destinies in what has been predominantly a man’s world. Her descriptions of the art, early photographic technique, architecture, and stain glass production are detailed. We experience, first hand, life in a boarding house, travel on trolley cars with disrespectful men known as “bustle pinchers”, and the daily struggles young women dealt with in late nineteenth century life.
Reeve irritated me, at first, because he seemed so heartless and cruel to Flossie. Then, later he seems to mature and accept her flaws as strengths, after all; and finally recognizes the way she tried to draw him out as making him better in the long run. He helps Flossie to grow and mature out of her naivety as he points out her error in trusting everyone and her inexperience in the ways of the world. He tries to protect her even as he strives to remain aloof.
Tiffany Girl reveals that true love takes our worst parts and makes us better and our best parts and makes us shine. That two people are merely two parts of a puzzle that fit. We can relate to Flossie because we all desire to belong, to be wanted. Some of us can relate to Reeve because we suffer from loneliness and self-imposed isolation.
You’ll cry when Reeve lets go and reaches out for family and you’ll laugh with Flossie at Reeve’s reason for falling in love with her. But most of all, you’ll feel the sweet exquisite tension undulating between them while doing the waltz steps for Mr. Holiday’s phenakistoscope. This is one of the most romantic scenes ever.
Tiffany Girl is a complex story revolving around two intricate characters. What happens is what can happen to all us when we are striving to grow and learn and live and love in a world full of harsh reality. Can Reeve and Flossie find the piece of the puzzle that fits them together? Can they find forgiveness for themselves and each other and learn to accept what they cannot change and accept that some change can be for the better? Home and family are ultimately what is important to both hero and heroine regardless of how they view themselves and how they blend or don't blend with the culture of their day.
I can’t say enough about this Five out of Five star novel—A must Read—A must for your keeper shelf. I received this book from the author’s publisher for an honest review and it is all that!