[PDF / Epub] ✩ A Fall of Marigolds ☉ Susan Meissner – Sausageskinsuk.co.uk


A Fall of Marigolds A Beautiful Scarf, Passed Down Through The Generations, Connects Two Women Who Learn That The Weight Of The World Is Made Bearable By The Love We Give Away September 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 The Truth About The Assumptions She S Made Will What She Learns Devastate Her Or Free Her September On Manhattan S Upper West Side, Widow Taryn Michaels 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 Will A Chance Reconnection And A Century Old Scarf Open Taryn S Eyes To The Larger Forces At Work In Her Life


10 thoughts on “A Fall of Marigolds

  1. says:

    This book could quite possibly be my most favorite book of all time I can t remember when I ve read a story that resonates with me as deeply as this one I feel richer for just having read it The story is about two women, their lives lived a century apart yet entwined with a single scarf and a shared grief Meissner masterfully weaves the stories together, blending the edges in a smooth flow, making their lives almost one and the same Both harbor pain as the result of tragedy, both are stuck in an in between place unable to go back, incapable of moving on The scarf pulls both of them out of their inertia and forces them to see the truth that love is a gift, something we choose, and that our lives move forward and change us whether we like it or not This book is historical fiction on two fronts, both the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and the Twin Towers tragedy Being connected to the reality of September 11 watching those events unfold on live television, watching the towers fall, watching the people who chose their own destiny from the windows made Clara s shock and grief over the events of August 1911 real to me I found myself in tears over passages at several different points in the story But the overall message is one of hope, Life goes on, and it is far too short to spend it on wishing you d made a different choice or taken a different path Rejoice in today and be happy.


  2. says:

    3.5 stars The marigold insisted I not give up They are very resilient flowers, you know They aren t fragrant like roses and sweet peas, but they can stand against odds that the fragile flowers cannot They can bloom in the fall, even after a frost Even after all other flowers have given up A scarf connects two women both coping with tragic events which lead to loss and heartache.In 1911, Nurse Clara Wood survived the Triangle Shirtwaist fire The fire was the deadliest industrial disaster in U.S history The fire resulted in the death of 123 women and 23 men In the book, Clara was able to get out of the factory in time only to see those who jumped, including a man she had feelings for, to their deaths rather than face the flames However, the trauma of the fire and what and who she has lost haunts her and she accepts a job on Ellis Island caring for sick immigrants There she meets a man with whom she feels a connection as he has a loss like her own She is drawn to the scarf he has, and the name embroidered on it In helping the man obtain some of his belongings, she learns some truths and is left with a decision concerning the truth and whether to tell the truth and in doing so will she herself learn some truths In September 2011, widow Taryn Michaels is working in a specialty fabric store Her life is turned upside down when a photograph of her is published in a magazine The photograph shows her and a man who helped her on September 11, 2001 when she was attempting to meet her husband at the World Trade Center when tragedy struck In the book, her husband dies in the collapse in the World Trade Center The attacks on 9 11 killed 2,996 people and injured 6,000 others according to Wikipedia Everything beautiful has a story it wants to tell But not every story is beautiful The book is about both women but mainly focuses on Clara s story With dual story lines, I find I always enjoy one than the other and this was the case here I did enjoy Clara s story but wonder if that is because her story was given attention in this book Her story takes up most of the book I did learn some about scarlet fever and how immigration was handled during that time specifically when dealing with ill immigrants I enjoyed how the Author showed Clara being unwilling to move on with her life as her friends were gently prodding her to do just that To move on, to stop being stuck, and to finally see the truth about not only how she was living but also about the man who died the day of the fire Having said that, I also feel that the Author could have moved things along a little faster in this aspect.I would have liked to have seen Taryn s story line fleshed out a lot She lost her husband in 9 11 and is coping with the guilt that he was on a certain floor in the tower because she asked him to meet her there She is also wrestling with what her daughter s reaction will be when she learns this information I remember watching the towers fall on television I can t even imagine what it must have been like to be in NYC during that time and after or what it was like for those who lost loved ones, survived or in any way were affected by the tragedy that day In this book Taryn was saved by a stranger as so many were that tragic day I really would have loved about Taryn s experiences in this book Her story line got the short end of the stick here and I would have liked to have known about her and her daughter Overall, this was an enjoyable read about two women who share the theme of loss and have a connection to a scarf Their story line s eventually merge, and it was rewarding to learn how As the Author used real life tragic events, I wish she would have given both equal time I know I have said that before in my review, but I just wanted a little bit I realize that Clara s story line is necessary for setting up the reason for the connecting of both story lines, but I feel that could have been done with giving focus to Taryn s story line as well This is a great book for books clubs as there is a lot to discuss here historical events, loss, tragedies, love, denial, what constitutes love, survivor s guilt, moving on, coping with loss of a loved one, transference, ethics, etc.Read of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com


  3. says:

    The story set in 1911 was kind of ridiculous The main character falls in love so many times and so easily that it is not believable Her despair at losing someone who she barely knew can not compare to the heartache of the main character of the modern story The modern story of a woman whose husband died in the Twin Towers is very touching and sad Overall, while entertaining, it was just o.k.


  4. says:

    I m sitting here covered in goosebumps There is NO way my review can do justice to this beautiful, beautiful story Here s just a piece of it perhaps you are thinking, as I once did, that love is too precarious to want to lavish it again on another I want you to know that love is not a person It is not of this earth at all It wasn t until now that I realized I had mistakenly come to believe that love came from a place inside me and therefore I had to protect that place It comes from heaven, Eleanor It is given to us not to hold into or hide from, but to give away I wish I could give this book stars And because I know my words will fail me, I ll just say if you like Lisa Wingate or Carla Stewart you ll love this author This is my first by her but most definitely not my last What a joy


  5. says:

    This was a beautiful book, an emotional read, one where I would suddenly find tears streaming down my face By some strange quirk of fate I was reading 2 books set partly around 9 11 simultaneously Both 4 star reads Everything beautiful has a story it wants to tell, but not every story is beautiful A beautiful scarf passed down through the generations links 2 stories a century apart Very moving And beautifully narrated by Tavia Gilbert.


  6. says:

    This book tells the stories of two women after two horrific events in history and alternates in time periods one hundred years apart, 1911 and 2011 Clara and Taryn s stories revolve around the aftermaths of events in New York, the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in 1911 and the terrorist attacks of 9 11 Nurse Clara Wood working on Ellis Island in 1911 is grieving the loss of man she loved, to the factory fires and Taryn Michaels is trying to put her life together in 2011, ten years after she lost her husband in the 9 11 terrorist attacks The one thing that connects them both is a scarf passed through the generations.I m afraid I was not a fan of this book It was a huge disappointment I had it on my list to read for a long time and I was delighted that it was chosen in my book club as I finally had an opportunity to read it and especially as it has many high ratings I don t even know where to begin with the aspects of this book that I didn t like Clara s character and situation weren t credible In fact, I really disliked her character and it was unfortunate that most of the book revolved around her character, therefore there was a huge imbalance of the story being told in 2011 Clara was such a weak character She was so frustratingly needy At one point when one of the men called her over to their side, she obeyed him The fact that she had to obey such a simple request, really got me riled up It was difficult to believe that she was grieving over a man that she barely knew and only knew for a few weeks She had everyone tiptoeing around her and I got very fed up very quickly with the woe is me attitude The scarf itself was a weak tool to connect the themes, every time is was mentioned, I felt myself gritting my teeth Even annoying is the in between space the characters found themselves in Every time this space , place , whatever, was mentioned, I wanted to find my own in between space to get away from this book and be done with it Additionally, the author had an annoying habit of explaining things that didn t need explaining, I got it us readers can work some things out for ourselves, we are clever people Why am I even giving this book two stars There are a few reasons and I feel it s only right to balance out my thoughts on this book with some aspects that I did like The writing was just okay, I ve read a lot worse, but the only things I probably did like is that I had never heard of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, so I did learn something new and I always enjoy that I learn new things from my reading Also the fact that it was set in the hospital on Ellis Island which was in itself an interesting setting.I think if this book wasn t one of my book club reads, I wouldn t have finished it to its conclusion and I would have given up long before I got out of my own in between space I felt obliged to finish it out This book should make for an interesting book club discussion, like it or not and I ll be very interested to hear what our group thinks of it and how it was received I m afraid this is not a book I would be recommending in the future, personally it just didn t work for me.


  7. says:

    I had an odd and ambivalent journey with this book that weaves together the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of 1911 and the 9 11 01 World Trade Center attack Obviously I wasn t alive for the Shirtwaist fire that killed three floors of locked in garment workers, but I did live through 9 11 And, like every longtime 45 years New Yorker, I still hold vivid visions of it So when I realized Meissner was writing it as historical fiction, I jumped to the acknowledgements to deduce whether she had a right to it And when I learned that she had pieced 9 11 together from interviewed people s experiences, even though she did a believable job, I felt defensive as if she d exploited something she doesn t own I m not justifying this just admitting it Foiled Why Because Meissner did such a comprehensive and authentic job that my own defensiveness this ownership of a traumatic story which many firsthand experiencers feel is also part of the book So what was I to do but surrender to the fact that she is a good storyteller who respects the material and read on However, some substantial complaints that have nothing to do with my psychological issues I dislike the cover of this book so much that had it not been my book club s selection, I probably would not have picked it up Gaudy marigolds frame such a faded, blued out New York City skyline that for the longest time I didn t even realize it was there, and the title font screams women s fiction Although to be fair, it is women s fiction not my favorite genre, which is probably a lot of my ambivalence But my major problem is the writing Although it is serviceable, it could use tightening a lot of it Things like she carried it in her hands and I yanked insert off my nurse s cap off my headand change Spinning thoughts circled in my brain as to how I could decline the invitation to How could I decline the invitation Conversations repeat information ad nauseum the way obsessed people repeat what they are obsessing about And there is endless redundancy of inner turmoil and basic motivations I m guessing a third of the word count could be cut, sharpening the story and diluting the women s fiction sappiness quotient By page 200, it became so tedious that, with an anguished scream spinning thought circles in my cranium, I longed to either whip out my editor s pencil or abandon the book But the plot is good the feeling of time, place, and people are truly authentic and I loved the details medical, textiles which were such an organic part of the story that they felt like firsthand knowledge So I kept reading to find out what happens Now back to my psychological issues Despite the positive qualities of this book, I simply don t believe the relationships here or in most women s fiction romances For my taste, they are contrived and overwritten, and therefore I still feel as if the 9 11 material was exploited for this book By that I mean it was manipulated for the purposes of telling a contrived story Lesson Learned Henceforth, I ll stay away from this genre I simply can t stomach it.


  8. says:

    This is my first Susan Meissner book and I already can t wait to read books from her She KNOWS how to write a great story I really enjoyed this book about a scarf s history and how it played a part in two women s lives Highly recommend.


  9. says:

    I thought this book had a good premise one character from 1911 and losing someone in the Triangle Park Shirt fire, the other in 2011 who lost someone in 9 11 and tied together by a marigold scarf The book was well written and moved along fairly well I think the book could have been so much It tried to explore loss and opening up to love again but at such a surface level The woman in 1911 lost someone whom she had been seeing as they rode a work elevator for 2 weeks She was convinced this guy was the one So when he died she was devastated Then the book spends pages and pages on wondering if love at first sight is valid or not This book could have been so much discussing love and loss, following the characters as they grow and change It seemed to paint such a lovely picture of the Ellis Island hospital too I suspect the Ellis Island hospital of 1911 was not as picturesque and healing as the author suggests She could have done so much with the Triangle fire and the losses of 9 11 Good premise but too much of a surface treatment.


  10. says:

    This is quite simply an emotional, multifaceted and well written novel You get two stories of tragic events within one book set many years ago and in the present I love the way the two stories weave together by a beautiful scarf An interesting cast of characters with some predictability but overall a quick and enjoyable read Recommend it to those that like parallel stories.


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