Sunday, August 10, 2014

Book Review-A Fall of Marigolds

Susan Meissner was my guest on February 14 of this year. Click here to read her post. We mostly had a standing room only for her visit.

Susan's book, A Fall of Marigolds, was featured that day. Since her featured day, I have read this well-crafted book and have chosen to do a book review. As you may recall, I don't post reviews of every book I read on my site, only the ones I really want to praise.

Meissner's book tells the parallel stories of two women living in New York City. Taryn lived during the 9/11 terrorist attack and Clara lived during the September 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. Each woman attempts to live with the loss of a loved one in the tragedy and the struggle to find a way to move forward with her life. Their way of dealing was to avoid reliving the day.

Yet, circumstances force Taryn and Clara to deal with the hurt buried in their hearts. 

Clara finds a job on Ellis Island and refuses to leave the shores. Safe in the confines of the one place offering a key to the American dream, Clara locks herself away from anything that can stir her memories. She buries herself in her nursing career caring for immigrants suffering from diseases and hiding until one day when a patient's need outweighs her fears. 

Widow Taryn works in a specialty fabric store and lives in the apartment above the store with her daughter. She feels she has been successful in coping until one day when a photographer found a long lost photo of her at the towers and published it for all the world to see.

In addition to the time connection of two similar events, is a beautiful scarf with vibrant colors and marigolds woven into the fabric. Passed down with love and hope through the generations, Clara and Taryn find the tangible cloth one that soothes their ache until the day when they can give it to another.

Photo Courtesy
Meissner has a gift of vividly transporting the reader into the character's life. You'll need a box of tissues handy, but don't let that stop you from reading Clara and Taryn's story.  

I rarely give 5 stars to a book. For me, 5 stars means more than I really like the book. The book must have exceptional components, superb writing, and an engaging story. I gave A Fall of Marigolds 5 stars because of the in-depth information about scarlet fever and the physical experience of fleeing 9/11 in addition to superb writing and an very engaging story.

Do historical novels intrigue you? 
Do contemporary novels interest you?
Would you want to read a book that mixed the two so well you couldn't see the seams of time? 


Janice said...

I enjoy historical novels partly because they fill a void in my knowledge of history. They can be eye opening as to how we got to contemporary times. I tend to choose contemporary over historical to see how characters handle the issues of today.

Have a great week, Mary.
Blessings, Janice

Mary Vee Writer said...

This is one to definitely check out, Janice. She did a great job of transporting us into 2 worlds 100 years apart. Blended like a fine cream. I like the idea, too of contemporary, but wonder if maybe the people of yesterday had the same struggles we have today--and their solutions or coping mechanisms might work even today. Just a thought.

Janice said...

Since there is nothing new under the sun, you are right about that the same struggles were faced in the past as today. I think the new technology does add depth or pervasiveness of struggle opportunities that did not exist in days long ago. Evil is still evil, and sin no matter how large or small in our eyes still separates people from God as it has for all times. I do like to see how people in different time periods approached their challenges and kept God as their priority.

Mary Vee Writer said... too. ;)

Connie Porter Saunders said...

I have read other reviews of this book and I also think it will be a wonderful read. Hoping my library gets it soon!

Mary Vee Writer said...

I do too!