Saturday, May 17, 2014
Wonderful book that captures love in all its beauty
Beautifully written story about love, honor, and sacrifice. One character tells Taryn , "Everything beautiful has a story to tell," and A Fall of Marigolds is actually two stories in one book, linked by the universality of love, grief, and a scarf. Taryn Michael's is a 911 widow, whose harrowing memories of the day harbor a heart wrenching secret that is drowning her with guilt. Clara Woods, a nurse on Ellis Island in 1911, keeps reliving the horror of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, where her life ended emotionally when so many people died. She is holding onto the memory of a man, a fleeting relationship that stole her heart in life and devastated her by death. She hides on Ellis Island, steeped in regret for what might have been. Clara nurses a young immigrant widower back to health, his dead wife's scarf becomes a talisman for Clara to climb out of her well of depression. Meissner questions if everything happens for a reason, and if all the small events that occur in our lives are indeed random or part of a greater plan. When loss is so very painful, her character Edward quotes Keats reminding us "'Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter.' Keats is saying that what you can still dream about is often sweeter than reality." Love is a real thing, whether it is mutually returned or not, it exists in all it's sweet glory. A Fall of Marigolds is a cornucopia of beautiful colors that jump off the pages. Meissner's characters grief is so real, visceral, that I cried along with them. Ultimately, the tale is like the scarf that travels from person to person, linking them like pearls on a strand, to tell their story and find the answers that are just beyond their reach.
Carole P. Roman