“A lush, romantic historical mystery...a heroine to root for.” —Kristin Hannah, New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale
“Fascinating…an enchanting glimpse of Jazz Age New York.” —Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train and A Piece of the World
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.
This reading group guide for Tiffany Bluesincludes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
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. Supported by her closest friend, Minx Deering, a seemingly carefree socialite who is nevertheless a dedicated sculptor, 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—and the shocking tale of murder that connects them—threaten to overwhelm Jenny’s thoughts, and despite her efforts to the contrary, 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. 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.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
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 says to Jenny, “You’re wounded and need to heal. The business of living can steal away the wonder of life. One man’s ugliness can blind another to the world’s magic” (page 136). How does his wisdom impact Jenny?
8. When Ben writes to Jenny asking her to share her secrets (page 144), why does she refuse? How do you feel about this decision?
9. Why doesn’t Jenny immediately confront Minx when she notices her and Edward’s strange behaviors?
10. What does Oliver do to convince Jenny to use colors again? Describe this moment.
11. How does Edward fit into Jenny’s past? Were you surprised by the revelation?
12. What kind of life does Jenny lead after leaving Laurelton Hall? How does she change from beginning to end? Would you say that she found a happy ending? Discuss.
Enhance Your Book Club
1. To learn more about the real-life Louis Comfort Tiffany and his works, visit the Morse Museum in Florida.
2. “Why are some people so committed to recreating the world around them, to synthesizing their surroundings and remaking them in their own vision? And others take the world at face value and are satisfied?” (page 69). Discuss your answers to this question.
3. Enroll in an art class with your fellow members. Draw or paint something with colors, then without colors.
4. “There is beauty even in broken things. That through the cracks, light still shines” (page 304). Do you agree with this statement?
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.
“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."— Kristin Hannah, New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Great Alone
“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.”— Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train and A Piece of the World
“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.”— RT Book Reviews
“Rose (The Library of Light and Shadow) keeps readers spellbound with her skillful first-person narration, a tightly paced plot, and authentic details that vividly capture the Roaring Twenties, with a touch of Gatsby-esque flavor and opulence and a research-rich mix of facts and fiction. VERDICT: 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.”— Library Journal (starred review)
“Rose steps away from the magical elements that defined her recent titles and instead brings to life the enchanted setting of Laurelton Hall, its artist's colony, and the vibrant backdrop of New York's Roaring Twenties, applying her typical intricate plotting, sensuous descriptions, and abundant skill in blending fact, fiction, and a broad cast of distinctive characters to captivating effect. A lush, mesmerizing story.”—Kirkus Reviews
"A glitzy Jazz Age story but one with a noirish current of darkness running throughout . . . Written with a good eye for character and period detail."—Booklist
“Intriguing . . . The multifaceted Jenny will strike Rose fans as her best creation yet.”— Publishers Weekly