Author: Susan Meissner
Publisher: Penguin Group
ISBN: 978-0-451-41991-0

“The scarf came to me twice, in the most amazing of ways. I was meant to have it, just as I believe that you are meant to have it now,” the recipient reads when given the special article in Susan Meissner’s novel, A Fall of Marigolds.

This four hundred and one page paperback book targets those who enjoy reading stories of love that lasts viewed through individuals in two separate lifetimes. With some minor profanity, there is no extreme violence or overtly sexual scenes so it would be appropriate for mature teenagers and older. The ending includes author’s notes, acknowledgements, a conversation, and ten discussion questions along with references.

Separating chapters between one hundred years of time in New York, the tome deals with two women’s chance happenings involving the same beautiful scarf of marigold designs whose threads have seen love tried, tested and torn apart.

In 1911 Clara works as a nurse at Ellis Hospital, where she treats and cares for immigrants coming to America who are sick with infectious diseases. Trying to ignore her broken heart, she refuses to leave the island, wanting to forget her emotions of witnessing a man’s death during the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. Having feelings for the deceased, she pours her attention into a newcomer who wears a women’s lovely scarf. Connecting emotionally to the ill man who has lost his wife to scarlet fever, she gets more involved than she should be trying to share his loss.

One hundred years later, Taryn, working at the Heirloom Yard fabric shop in Manhattan, reminisces when she was asked to match a gorgeous scarf for a special client ten years ago. Being late to meet her husband at the World Trade Towers on the horrific day of nine-eleven to pick up the item, her life was forever altered, feeling she was never able to tell him her exciting news.

Written in first person, both women feel stuck in the “in-between” of their lives as they try to move forward, unable to shed the guilt, grief, and remembrances of tragedies endured. Wondering what might have been if those they loved had not died, they try to unravel the past to weave better futures.

Focusing on how everything happens for a reason, Meissner weaves a tender tale of love involving a simple scarf that means so much to so many. With sorrow, pain, and heartbreak, she shows how two women finally find peace and purpose.

Thanks to Bookpleasures and Penguin Group for furnishing this book in exchange for a review of the reader’s honest opinion.

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