The Book Mark

Books that make the grade.

A Fall of Marigolds

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Marigolds are hardy flowers that continually bloom into late September. In A Fall of Marigolds (B+) by Susan Meissner these flowers are depicted on a scarf worn by women who have endured terrible losses.

In September 1911, the scarf was brought to Ellis Island by Nurse Clara Wood’s patient. The scarf belonged to his wife who died on the journey. Clara identifies with his grief because she too recently lost a loved one in a factory fire in Manhattan. She goes against all rules of nursing and makes decisions that she believes are in her patient’s best interest.

On September 11, 2001, Taryn’s husband dies in the attack on the World Trade Center. Her plan was to meet him there that morning to tell him that she was pregnant. A customer that wants Tayrn to find a duplicate to her beautiful antique marigold scarf delays her. The delay saves the life of Taryn and her unborn child.

Tayrn and Clara secure themselves at “in between places” hoping to cling to their lost loves by not moving past the events that took them. The story is well written and narrated by both women as they struggle to live and love again.

I was pleasantly surprised by how beautifully Meissner writes her story. It delivers potent messages about love and compassion without becoming corny or trite. I do recommend A Fall of Marigolds to anyone who believes in the everlasting power of love.

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