Susan Vreeland

Book Review: Clara and Mr.Tiffany

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Clara and Mr. Tiffany

by Susan Vreeland

Historical Fiction, 432 pages

Clara and Mr. Tiffany takes place in New York City during the late 1890s. Clara Driscoll creates and designs leaded glass lampshades and stained glass windows under Louis Comfort Tiffany. Clara desires recognition, since none of the artist names are mentioned when featured at the Chicago World’s Fair or in Paris. Tiffany has a strict policy: He doesn’t hire married women. In a sense, Clara is married to Tiffany himself since she works closely with him getting creative feedback and strives to please him. She suggests the idea of  a new glass lampshade, which they keep as a secret. Clara is head of the women’s department or the ‘Tiffany Girls’. There are different men in Clara’s life, but she’s committed to her artistic aspirations and knows that if she marries she can no longer work at Tiffany’s. Throughout Clara and Mr. Tiffany there are struggles between the men’s and women’s department. The women’s work isn’t always appreciated and they’re not in a union. Eventually, Clara must decide who she’s most devoted to. The book highlights New York City changes with skyscrapers being built and the subway. At times, I thought the book was slow. Often, I wanted to shake Clara since she was so attached to Tiffany. The book was enjoyable and I gave it four stars. Clara Driscoll’s life is highlighted with more details in the afterword.