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A Fall of Marigolds

A Fall of Marigolds [Kindle Edition]

Susan Meissner
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

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 1911. 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 2011. 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?

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1249 KB
  • Print Length: 401 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 045141991X
  • Publisher: NAL (4 Feb 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DMCV21E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #496,546 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Kindle Edition
It took a while to engage with the story but it became quite gripping as I encountered the main characters of Clara and Taryn and followed their individual but connected stories,this shows me that as humanity how our stories often interweave and that there is a divine plan for our lives. We need to take every opportunity to reach out to others and often that involves risk taking. This has been well written & researched .
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Fall of Marigolds 8 Mar 2014
By Clare O'Beara TOP 500 REVIEWER
A coloured scrap of fabric connects the tragic events of September eleventh in New York with the Triangle Shirtwaist fire.

Taryn runs a textile store in Manhattan and has managed to bury her memories of surviving the attack on the World Trade Centre. She has a little daughter in school now. We next look through the eyes of Clara from Pennsylvania working on Ellis Island in 1911. As a nurse, she cares for the polyglot immigrants quarantined on the doorstep of the city. She still carries nightmares of the industrial accident in the garment district which she had barely survived, when 147 employees died.

The immigrants have they left all they knew behind, and many have lost loved ones to illnesses like scarlet fever and measles; the main item of value they carry is a trade. Clare is reluctant to rejoin life. She breaks the rules to help a Welshman in the hospital whose sole reminder of his wife is a flowered scarf. Clara had a young man called Edward, who died in the fire, and to get past her grief she decides to find out more about him and visit his grave. Through Taryn's eyes, we relive the modern terrorist attack; her husband was in one of the towers and she was delayed from meeting him by a customer asking her to match an old silk scarf. Taryn survived, but was widowed, and carries numbing regrets.

The attractive picture of flowers on the first page of each chapter, made for tediously slow progress through the computer reader. Other than that, the book read quickly, full of details and the disparate lives of Taryn and Clara. Some readers might choose to skip a few pages if they find the retelling of 9/11 distressing. The two women each inspire admiration as they work hard and seek reassurance of love, while a broad portrait of the city past and present is painted. As all such atmospheric stories must, A FALL OF MARIGOLDS has a bittersweet ending, so read Susan Meissner's book with a box of tissues handy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  168 reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lyrical story that I loved! 21 Feb 2014
By Cara Putman - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have long been a fan of Susan Meissner's lyrical writing. I also love her stories that marry a historical story with a contemporary plot. She has a knack for finding varied stories that beautifully fit.

A Fall of Marigolds is a perfect example of that skill. This story invites us into the stories of two women who experienced tragedy in New York City, one on 9/11 and the other in the early 1900s. The tragedies have amazing similarities not the least of which is a scarf that is decorated with marigolds that ties the heroines together. The stories flow seamlessly back and forth and propelled me easily through the book. I longed to know what was going to happen to both women.

This story will grip you and pull you in whether you prefer historical or contemporary novels. Give this book a try...I don't think you'll be disappointed.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book!!! 4 Mar 2014
By Cory B. - Published on
For a book to be rated a 5 for me it must teach me something and grab my emotions. "A Fall of Marigolds" did both. It's an extremely well written novel of historical fiction tying the immigrants coming though Ellis Island & the medical staff who took care of the sick ones along with a 9/11 survivor story. Throughout the book I could feel what the characters felt. There is a section where Susan Meissner describes the thirst felt at the 9/11 site right after both towers went down. I could feel that thirst. Both stories told are compelling and the more I got into the book the more I wanted to keep reading it. I missed it when it was over. I loved the award winning historical fiction novel titled "Molokai" and think that "A Fall of Marigolds" is an equally wonderful book. Highly recommend!!!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complex and engaging! 26 Feb 2014
By OpenBookSociety dot com - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kim

*Beware of possible Spoilers*

a-fall-of-marigolds-susan-meissnerI give this book 5 stars because of the complexity of the story and they way Susan Meissner wove these two characters together. I actually cried.

Have you ever experienced something so traumatic that your heart and mind can’t wrap itself around it, then to only throw yourself into living but not actually living but just on automation. It’s call the in between place, it’s a place where you are stuck until something or someone finally shoves you into the present where you have to face the past so that there may be a future.

Here we have a story of two different women in a different place and time, one in 2011 and the other in 1911, but both have loved and lost. They both play the horror that’s befallen on them in their mind one way and to find out it’s not the truth as they thought it was.

In present day Tayrn works at a shop that deals in fabric called Heirloom Yard with her best friend Celine, after her husband dies in theattack of 9/11, she has to let go of their home and move into the apartment above the shop. The day of the attack after years of trying, she found out she was pregnant. Sadly, she didn’t get the news to her husband before he perished. So today she’s working and living above the shop trying to raise their daughter.

Then her worst nightmare comes true, a picture of her among the ashes of the twin towers emerges 10 years later and she is finally going to have to face the truth about the day she lost her husband and the day that left her unborn child fatherless. How is she going to be able to tell her daughter the truth of that day when she can’t even face it?

On the day of the attack Tayrn is running late because of a client and a scarf that she wants matched up to some fabric and if not for that scarf she and the unborn child would have perished among the ashes. How can Taryn live with the truth of being the cause of her husband’s death and him dying before finding out he was going to be a father?

Clara has decided to move to Manhattan and get her life started far away from home. Something about the liveliness of the city attracted her. Then one day she met this wonderful man on the elevator in the building they both work in and it was love at first sight. Do you believe in love at first sight? After reading this you will. After about two weeks of small talk and lovelorn looks he wants her to see the place he works.

At around the time they are to meet a fire breaks out in the building and she is taken outside to safety. As she’s looking up at the floor they were supposed to meet, she sees the very person getting ready to jump out of the window and there is nothing she can do to save him or anyone else. Now the fact that he’s gone and not wanting to let go of the never to be’s, the what-if and the might have beens, she’s found her in-between space on Ellis Island and immerses herself in her work so she doesn’t have to read the paper about the fire. As unexpected events happen, she’s pushed into facing her fears and they love that might not have been.

A man arrives on Ellis Island, an immigrant whose wife died on her way to the welcoming arms of lady liberty, has a bright and beautiful scarf but with a sadness in his eyes that Clara can relate to. So in order to ease his pain she’s forced to face hers. The lives of these women are as intertwined as the fabric and dyes on the scarf that somehow makes its way into both womens’ lives with vibrant colors and marigolds.

*A print copy of this book was supplied by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Reviews at openbooksociety dot com
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful exploration of grief and hope 4 Mar 2014
By Lisa Bartelt - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Reading a book by Susan Meissner is like treating yourself to fine chocolate. Her last work was a masterpiece that left me aching to return to Italy. She is a masterful storyteller.

So, when I knew she had a new book releasing, I didn't hesitate to enter a Goodreads giveaway for a copy, even though I knew next to nothing about the story. And I won!

A Fall of Marigolds has been sitting on my shelf for a few months while I tackled other reviews, but I recently finished it and can easily say this book makes my top whatever list of best books I've ever read.

The book opens in Manhattan 2011 with Taryn, a woman whose husband died in the Twin Towers on 9/11. She works in a specialty fabric store and lives above it with her 9-year-old daughter. A picture of her from the day of the tragedy surfaces suddenly and the quiet life she thought she'd gotten on with is disturbed.

Intertwined with her story is that of Clara, a nurse working on Ellis Island in 1911. She was a witness to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and has come to the island to escape the memories of her loss that day.

Both stories are steeped in heavy sadness, and honestly, I've been avoiding stories, documentaries and movies about 9/11 since the day it happened because I can sometimes still feel the weight of the national despair. I don't often lean in to pain, and I might have been more hesitant to read this story if I'd known that was part of it.

And I won't lie. This story is not all feel-good. There are heart-wrenching scenes as these two women, separated by a century of time, allow themselves to grieve the past and open their lives to the present and future. I had to set it down a few times and let the feelings sink in and pass before starting again.

The beauty of this story, though, is the thread of hope woven through the tragedies. Meissner does not avoid the reality of how these women were affected nor does she let them stay in their comfortable grief. When the story was finished, I felt full in my soul. I may have even released a satisfied sigh. This is one of those books that is not so much an escape as it is examination, helping readers to see that whatever hardship seems to be at the forefront, a larger, stronger force is at work.

After reading A Fall of Marigolds, I feel ready to explore other 9/11 literature, and I'd certainly read this book again.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Emotionally Provoking 28 Feb 2014
By Kindle Customer - Published on
At times emotionally overwhelming, a woven thread of character stories that tore at my heart – and then proceeded to put it back together again – “A Fall of Marigolds” is sure to impact lives and remind readers of what they have to be grateful for.

Set between two American tragedies in 1911 and again on 9/11 there were scenes throughout the book that were so emotionally evoking that I almost wanted to set the book down and breathe a different breath of air. I was taken to the streets of Manhattan on both of these tragedies that tore at my heart.

Clara and Taryn are two women, separated by one hundred years and yet tied together with this piece of cloth, a scarf that has seen them through some of the hardest points of their life. While the story has much going on within our characters, there is a tremendous level of hope. The story is told so both spectrums are well balanced and I found I didn’t want to put the book down. I wanted to find out what happened to these women that came alive on the page.

This novel is written for the secular market, but one no less powerful with a story line that I think will connect with so many readers. It takes a great deal of emotional energy to write an emotionally impactful story and that was certainly accomplished within this novel.

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the author and publisher for my copy to review.
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