Published by Doubleday
Available in ebook and paperback (17 May 2018)
Source: Review copy
My thanks to the publisher for the copy to review and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the invitation to take part.
| About the Book |
Sometimes it takes a stranger to really know who you are
When Tina Hopgood writes a letter of regret to a man she has never met, she doesn’t expect a reply.
When Anders Larsen, a lonely museum curator, answers it, nor does he.
They’re both searching for something, they just don’t know it yet.
Anders has lost his wife, along with his hopes and dreams for the future. Tina is trapped in a marriage she doesn’t remember choosing.
Slowly their correspondence blossoms as they bare their souls to each other with stories of joy, anguish and discovery. But then Tina’s letters suddenly cease, and Anders is thrown into despair.
Can their unexpected friendship survive?
| My Thoughts |
I do enjoy an epistolary novel, especially when it is done well – and Meet Me at the Museum is very well written indeed.
Tina Hopgood, a farmer’s wife from East Anglia and Anders Larsen, curator of the Silkeborg Museum in Denmark strike up an unlikely friendship when Tina sends a letter addressed to a Professor Glob who 50 years before had dedicated a book to Tina and her schoolfriends about his discovery of the ‘Tollund Man’, an Iron Age man found in a bog whose preserved body (or the remains of) lies in the museum. Tina and her late friend Bella, always meant to visit the museum but neither of them ever did and Tina writes to explain her regret, not knowing whether or not the Professor is still alive.
It turns out that Professor Glob is long dead but her letter is picked up by Anders and this is where their correspondence begins.
The story of Tina and Anders is told entirely in letters between the two of them. They start off on a formal basis conversing about the Tollund Man and their shared archaeological interests but as the correspondence continues it reflects their growing friendship and they find themselves confiding in each other about their feelings, their lives and families and seeking advice from the other. For some reason it is often easier to unburden yourself to a stranger than to a loved one.
Meet me at the Museum is a thoughtful and touching story of two people whose intimate thoughts and, also regrets, are entrusted to someone they have never met.
Don’t expect a fast paced read. This book is very much a gentle character driven narrative. The timeline is set in a period of just over a year and in that time nothing happens but then again, everything happens, as Tina and Anders bare their souls to each other; by the end of the book neither of their worlds will be the same again.
I was spellbound by this debut novel. Anne Youngson writes beautifully and I found myself nodding in agreement with many of Tina’s observations. Both characters are extremely easy to feel empathy for and when the book finished, I felt an immense sadness that I had to say goodbye to these two people.
| Author Bio |
ANNE YOUNGSON worked for many years in senior management in the car industry before embarking on a creative career as a writer. She has supported many charities in governance roles, including Chair of the Writers in Prison Network, which provided residencies in prisons for writers. She lives in Oxfordshire and is married with two children and three grandchildren to date. MEET ME AT THE MUSEUM is her debut novel, which is due to be published around the world.