More than a few weeks have passed since I said “See y’all later.” We’ve accomplished a lot, though more still awaits! Life is full, and that’s all good, yes?  One pleasure has been some good books. (Are you surprised? grin) So I’ll tell you a bit about some of them. First, Susan Meissner’s latest–A FALL OF MARIGOLDS.

Some people WRITE IN BOOKS! Not only do I write in them, but good pages get flagged making favorite passages easier to return to. So A FALL OF MARIGOLDS in the photo below is a review on its own.

A FALL OF MARIGOLDS by Susan Meissner

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…assumptions she’s made. What she learns could devastate her–or free her.

September 2011. On Manhattan’s Upper West Side, widow Taryn Michals 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. …” [back cover copy]

Reading Meissner’s captivating story of either Taryn or Clara, women buckled by tragedy and strengthened by love, would be a day well-spent. Meissner, however, weaves their stories together, doubling our enjoyment of the gripping journey.

Taryn and Clara each endure an infamous event and recoil from the pain of living. We accompany them as circumstances force them to discover how to peel off their armor like bandages from a burn and let their tender selves face life again.

Meissner creates a rich, evocative story that engages the reader deeply. At times the immediacy makes reading about the disasters difficult. But the poetry, love, and hope Meissner weaves into the story softens the ragged edges and stark terror of those days.

Everything about Meissner’s work is rich—characters, setting, plot—making A FALL OF MARIGOLDS a stunning and satisfying read.

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