My Review – DAVIDA … by Karen Ingalls

This book, researched and told by Karen Ingalls describes the poignant love story between Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907), an American sculptor of the Beaux-Arts generation who most embodied the ideals of the “American Renaissance”, and Davida Clark Johnson, a young Swedish immigrant.

Davida: Model and Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens by [Ingalls, Karen]

Book Description

Augustus Saint-Gaudens was the premier American sculptor from 1880-1920. Though married he fell in love with his model, Davida Johnson Clark and their love affair lasted more than twenty-five years. This fictionalized account will introduce the reader to some of the great art, historical facts, and the moral values of that era.
The author is the great-granddaughter from this union and her purpose in writing the book is to bring recognition to Davida and remove any negative stigma to her. Her grandfather suffered his whole life from being labeled a bastard while growing up and this story is intended to remove that label.
How can a love affair last for such a long period of time? What affect did it have on his career? How did his wife and son cope with their being a second family?
This is a compelling and beautiful love story that has needed to be told.

My Review

Hauntingly Poignant Story Of Love’s Triumph Despite Adversities, 28 Jan. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Davida: Model and Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens (Kindle Edition)
It has been a long while since I’ve read a story which has not allowed me to let go of it. It fired my imagination to such an extend that I read everything about Augustus Saint-Gaudens and DAVIDA Clark Johnson I could find, even before I finished the book. I fully understand the author’s profound interest in Davida Clark Johnson – a wonderful legacy – yet, it’s more than family ties; it’s almost bordering on an obsession and even though Ms Ingalls masterfully filled in the gaps – fluent writing, meaningful, believable dialogue, and excellent, extensive research – especially as far as DAVIDA is concerned, I wish somehow more could have been revealed.
Even though I admire the exquisite art of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, I feel that he has taken advantage of DAVIDA, considering her youth and being a young immigrant at a time, after the Civil War when work would have been scarce. So I don’t like him much, although he ingratiated himself with me when he handsomely provided for his mistress and her child. Yet, all this would never lessen the pain and stigma an-out-of-wedlock birth would bring to both of them for the rest of their lives. The author describes such feelings and surrounding circumstances in a most satisfying manner.
There is so much more to say, but suffice to mention that this story is well-researched, written with insight and deep feeling, well-edited and therefore an all-together pleasant, memorable read. If you like historical fiction based on truth, you will enjoy this timeless story immensely, which rings true in our modern society as well, namely that there will always be co-lateral damage in a love triangle and most often, children born from such unions suffer the most.



I might be a retired RN, but I am an active and enthusiastic writer of non-fiction and fiction. It took a few years before I was willing to show that deeper part of myself. I love to get lost in the world of my novels and let the creative juices flow. I have written several articles for medical and nursing journals. I enjoy researching and discovering new information.

I enjoy writing for my two blogs ( and The first one is about health/wellness, relationships, spirituality, and cancer. My second blog is for authors and avid readers who wish to be interviewed, do a guest blog, and be promoted. I have “met” so many interesting and enchanting people, who have done guest posts for me; or those around the world who follow my blogs and leave comments.

I was thrilled and honored to be recognized as a runner-up at the Midwest Book Awards and then receiving first place in the category of “women’s health” at the National Indie Excellence Awards.
The greatest reward is when a reader shares how my book(s) inspired them, taught them something, or brought a deeper awareness about life.

My first novel, Novy’s Son is about one man’s search for his father’s love and acceptance. It is based on my father and those men I counseled when I was a nurse therapist.
Davida is my second novel which is a fictionalized biography about the love affair between Augustus Saint-Gaudens and his model. He was the premier sculptor from 1880 through the early 1900’s. These two people just happen to be my great-grandparents.

Karen Ingalls’ AUTHOR PAGE:

Thank you so much for visiting my site today!  Please remember, should you feel inclined to FOLLOW/COMMENT and review.  


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