I am not a book reviewer. I’ve never pretended to be. I simply tell y’all what I like, thus I often group together what I’ve been reading. But even as I composed such a post last week, I knew A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner would need its very own post.
I love Susan. As a woman, she is sweet and kind and godly and thinks deeply about things. I love sitting in her writing classes, for she has such a gentle way of bringing you around to her point of view. She’s the kind of person that doesn’t always talk, but when she does, you feel you ought to listen for there will likely be some gem of wisdom spouted unobtrusively, one you could miss if you aren’t paying attention.
Ever since reading The Shape of Mercy, I’ve been a huge fan of her writing, too. She has a way of pulling you into not one but two stories and making you care about them both. I never miss a Susan Meissner book. They are worthwhile reads, every one. But none of them touched quite the power of The Shape of Mercy for me–until A Fall of Marigolds.
I’m not sure what it is, exactly. Maybe it’s because it is set in Manhattan and Ellis Island, two of my favorite places to visit. Maybe it’s because it has both a 9/11 angle (which fascinates me) and and 1911 story (which is near the time period in which I have written). Maybe it’s that this book, unlike her other dual storyline books, focuses more on the historical story (and I’m a history girl!) than the contemporary, though both are equally fascinating. Maybe it was that amazing plot twist near the end that literally stole my breath and left me weeping–both for the character and in awe at Susan’s skill as an author to set it up and make it work, all without my knowing it was coming.
I can’t say enough how much I loved this book. I only hope one day I can write one half as compelling.