Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Book Recommendations: SECRETS OF A CHARMED LIFE and A FALL OF MARIGOLDS by Susan Meissner
In present-day England, an American history major, Kendra Van Zant, goes to a cottage in the Cotswolds for a prearranged interview with a survivor of the London Blitz. The interviewee, Isabel McFarland, is a reclusive painter whose family is celebrating her ninety-third birthday later that day. After exchanging the usual pleasantries, Kendra pulls out her list of questions, but she can't bring herself to ask any of the questions on her list. So Kendra asks the question that pops into her head instead: "What would you like to tell me about the London Blitz?" Isabel smiles enigmatically, as if, after all these years, someone's finally asked the question she's been waiting to answer. "My name is not Isabel," she says, "and I am not ninety-three years old."
Both SECRETS and MARIGOLDS are a lovely blend of history, romance, and personal growth, and I eagerly await Ms. Meissner's next book.
*As part of my binge, I also read Ms. Meissner's STARS OF SUNSET BOULEVARD. Though I didn't love it like I loved SECRETS and MARIGOLDS, it was an engaging read, especially if you're a fan of the film Gone with the Wind.