Friday, September 11, 2015

Review: A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner

A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner
Paperback, 394 pages
Published February 4th 2014 by NAL
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


A beautiful scarf, passed down through the generations, connects two women who learn that the weight of the world is made bearable by the love we give away....

September 1911. On Ellis Island in New York Harbor, nurse Clara Wood cannot face returning to Manhattan, where the man she loved fell to his death in the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. Then, while caring for a fevered immigrant whose own loss mirrors hers, she becomes intrigued by a name embroidered onto the scarf he carries …and finds herself caught in a dilemma that compels her to confront the truth about the assumptions she’s made. Will what she learns devastate her or free her?

September 2011. On Manhattan’s Upper West Side, widow Taryn Michaels has convinced herself that she is living fully, working in a charming specialty fabric store and raising her daughter alone. Then a long-lost photograph appears in a national magazine, and she is forced to relive the terrible day her husband died in the collapse of the World Trade Towers …the same day a stranger reached out and saved her. Will a chance reconnection and a century-old scarf open Taryn’s eyes to the larger forces at work in her life?

My Review:

I'm still reeling from this beautifully written story. I was completely drawn into the story and touched by the way two events separated by about 100 years were woven together so well. I've been thinking a lot about the way our lives are lived and if our stories will live on after we are gone. This story revolves around a beautiful scarf and the way it touches the lives of women, both past and present, who are searching for peace. The writing is very well done and really plays on a reader's emotions.

In 1911, there was a horrific fire that impacted the life of young Clara. Her journey for peace and comfort is very engaging and she is extremely likable, easy to relate to, developed, and I loved learning about her friendships, relationships, and inner struggles. There is a parallel story within this story, as well as with a story in present day.

Taryn was widowed in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Towers and ten years later, is still seeking that complete peace from the event. In many ways, her story is similar to Clara's and they are bound in an unforeseeable way. The book spends more time in the past, but the reader still gets a good glimpse at Taryn's life, emotions, and struggles. I think most people remember where they were when this attack happened and it was easy to relive those feelings and remember what a tragedy it was, which is fitting, as it is the anniversary.

I really enjoyed the story and feel as those these characters are real. I can't say what I would do if I were in their situations and although things ended differently than I was anticipating, I was still very content with it.

Content: some mild swearing; talk of violent acts, death, illnesses, etc, but all is non-descriptive; mild romance. Clean.

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About the Author:  

Susan MeissnerSusan Meissner was born in San Diego, California, the second of three. She spent her childhood in just two houses.
Her first writings are a laughable collection of oddly worded poems and predictable stories she wrote when she was eight.

She attended Point Loma College in San Diego, and married her husband, Bob, who is now an associate pastor and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves, in 1980. When she is not working on a new novel, she is directing the small groups ministries at The Church at Rancho Bernardo. She also enjoy teaching workshops on writing and dream-following, spending time with my family, music, reading great books, and traveling.

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