Thank you to the lovely people at Flatiron Books for my copy of Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson. All thoughts and images are my own. If you’d like to win a copy of this book, see rules for entry on this instagram post.
Title: Meet Me at the Museum
Author: Anne Youngson
Genre: Epistolary fiction
Pub date: August 7, 2018
Read if you like: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Euphoria, the poetry of Seamus Heaney.
This is a thoroughly pleasant read. The story of two unlikely friends, it begins when Tina writes a letter to a professor about the Tollund Man, one of the cadavers discovered in a bog in Northern Europe. Tina is surprised to receive a response from Anders, an employee of the professor, who tells her the professor has passed away. Now, that’s all Anders needed to say; their communication could just end there. But it doesn’t. Within a few letters, they are closer with one another than they are with nearly anyone else in their lives.
I love the intimacy that writing letters creates. This book completely immerses you in that experience. And I began to fall in love with Tina and Anders as I read their personal correspondence. Their stories are interesting, their thoughts are unique, their perspectives differ. Some letters are about massive life events, others are about the minutiae of their everyday lives. The cadence of this book is slow and gentle and well suited for the content. We don’t know exactly how old Anders and Tina are, but we know that they are both settled in their lifestyles. Letters take time to write, deliver, read, and respond. Tina and Anders are not in any rush. Their friendship is one that flourishes over times.
If you’re a seasonal reader, I’d recommend picking this one up in the late fall or winter. There’s something about stories set in the English countryside and Denmark that make me want to wrap myself in a blanket with a warm cup of tea by the fire (I don’t have a fireplace, but a girl can dream).
Interested in Meet Me at the Museum? Click here to find it on Amazon or click here to support your local independent bookstore.
SYNOPSIS: (AS TOLD BY THE BACK OF THE BOOK)
In Denmark, Professor Anders Larsen, an urbane man of facts, has lost his wife and his hopes for the future. On an isolated English farm, Tina Hopgood is trapped in a life she doesn’t remember choosing. Both believe their love stories are over.
Brought together by a shared fascination with the Tollund Man, the subject of Seamus Heaney’s famous poem, they begin writing letters to each other. And from their vastly different worlds, they find they have more in common than they could have imagined. As they open up to each other about their lives, an unexpected friendship blooms. But then Tina’s letters stop coming, and Anders is thrown into despair. How far are they willing to go to write a new story for themselves?