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It is 1928, and twenty-five-year-old Clara, a talented illustrator, is teaching at the lauded Grand Central School of Art. She has dreams of creating cover art for Vogue, but not even the prestige of the school can override the public’s disdain for a “woman artist.” Clara has no idea that she’ll soon be blindsided by the looming Great Depression, and that an even greater tragedy has yet to come.

Fifty years later, in 1974, Grand Central is plagued with grime and danger: Is the once-grand building a landmark to be preserved, or a cancer to be demolished? When Virginia stumbles upon an abandoned art school within the terminal and a striking watercolor hidden under the dust, she is pulled into the battle to save Grand Central and solve the mystery of Clara Darden, the famed 1920s illustrator who disappeared from history in 1931.