A Fall of Marigolds [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...
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A Fall of Marigolds

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Overview

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?

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2013-12-07
A scarf ties together the stories of two women as they struggle with personal journeys 100 years apart in Meissner's historical novel (The Girl in the Glass, 2012, etc.). In 1911, Clara Wood witnesses the traumatic death of the man she loves in the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and chooses to bury her grief and guilt while ministering to sick immigrants on Ellis Island. The hospital's remote and insulated from the rest of New York City, and she refuses travel to the mainland, even on her days off. Then an emigrant Welshman wrapped in his deceased wife's distinctive marigold scarf arrives, and Clara finds herself reaching beyond her normal duties to help the quarantined man. The truths she uncovers about his wife trigger reflections about ethical decisions and compel her to examine her own convictions about life and a person's capacity to love, as a colleague tries to help her. Gently interwoven into Clara's tale is the story of widow Taryn Michaels, whose life 100 years later in some ways parallels Clara's. Taryn works in a tony fabric shop, raises her daughter in the apartment above and does her best to avoid the overwhelming emotions she's felt since she stood across the street from the World Trade Center and witnessed the destruction as the first tower crumbled. A recently discovered photo from that day is published in a national magazine and now, 10 years after 9/11, Taryn is forced to relive the events and face the guilt she's harbored because she acceded to a customer's request and stopped by a hotel to pick up a marigold scarf, an action that delayed Taryn from joining her husband at Windows on the World for a celebration she'd planned. Meissner is a practiced writer whose two main characters cope with universal themes that many people deal with: loss, survivor's guilt, and permitting oneself to move on and achieve happiness again. Although their stories are unbalanced--Clara's account dominates the narrative--the author creates two sympathetic, relatable characters that readers will applaud. Touching and inspirational.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101625545
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/4/2014
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 13,669
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

A native of San Diego, Susan Meissner is a former managing editor of a weekly newspaper and an award-winning columnist. She is the author of The Girl in the Glass, A Sound Among the Trees, Lady in Waiting, and The Shape of Mercy.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 28, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Take An Emotional Journey With 'Marigolds' Have you ever found

    Take An Emotional Journey With 'Marigolds'

    Have you ever found an item and wondered about the lives of its previous owners? I have, which is why I was intrigued by A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner which is, at its core, about one beautiful scarf linking two women across time. A dual narrative spanning a century, this story follows two women: Clara, a nurse at Ellis Island in 1911, and Taryn, a single mother in present day. Both women are struggling to overcome personal tragedies and are, ultimately, seeking redemption.




    One of the things that I loved about this book, aside from the storyline, was the setting. The detailed descriptions about the life and patients on Ellis Island created such a vivid world that I could easily lose myself in the early 1900′s. Present-day Manhattan, of course, required less description and I am glad that the author chose to to use her words wisely by focusing on the past. Meissner avoids the mistake most historical fiction writers make by striking the perfect balance between description and plot.




    Lyrically written and with impeccable character development, A Fall of Marigolds is the perfect book to curl up with. The author has a gift for bringing emotions to the surface and takes the reader on an emotional journey that will leave you breathless. As the women faced their fears and made decisions that would last a lifetime, I felt like I was standing beside them, my heart racing in time with theirs. Historical fiction fans will absolutely adore this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2014

    Susan Meissner is a master storyteller. Once again I was drawn q

    Susan Meissner is a master storyteller. Once again I was drawn quickly into her story. Clara Wood knows she's escaped from the traumatic event of witnessing someone she cared about jumping to his death during the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire by taking a job on Ellis Island. She prefers to stay in what she calls her in between place but when an immigrant arrives wearing his recently deceased wife's scarf, she is drawn to their common experience of grief. Fortunately for Clara, there are others around her who see that she needs to heal rather than escape from her trauma. The scene where the doctor helps her board the ferry to go to Manhattan is so descriptive I felt Clara's anxiety while I rooted her on. The parallel modern story, which gets much less coverage in the novel but is equally powerful, involves Taryn who happens to have that same scarf with her when the World Trade Towers collapse, killing her husband before she has a chance to tell him something important. Ten years later a photo of her is published, bringing back painful memories but also propelling Taryn into finally sharing the story with her daughter. I loved how Meissner tied this up in such a satisfying loving way.

    I truly loved this book and highly recommend it to readers of both historical and contemporary novels who like stories about overcoming pain to love again.

    I received a complimentary copy from Berkley/New American Library, a division of Penguin Group for an honest, unbiased review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2014

    Compelling story of love, loss, and new beginnings! Oh my. Susa

    Compelling story of love, loss, and new beginnings!

    Oh my. Susan Meissner is on my short list of must-read authors so I know to expect an excellent book, but A Fall of Marigolds eclipses all of her previous works to become my absolute favorite of her novels. Meissner's trademark is fusing two stories--a contemporary and historical--into one novel, and she skillfuly links the two events in this novel by their similarities and by a beautiful scarf. Her prose sings, and the characters wrapped themselves around my heart as I thought what if? and what would I do? The compelling glimpse into the history of Ellis Island's hospital fascinated me and gave me a new appreciation for this slice of American's culture. I couldn't set aside this beautiful tale of love, loss, and new beginnings until I finished it. In fact, this is one of a few novels that I was tempted to return to chapter one and begin again the moment I reached the end. A Fall of Marigolds contains much to ponder and discuss, whether over coffee with a friend or at a book club. Put this one at the top of your must-read list! 




    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Susan Meissner and Penguin NAL Trade Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 9, 2014

    A tale of two women who need to move past the tragedies in their

    A tale of two women who need to move past the tragedies in their lives, A Fall of Marigolds is a gripping, heartwarming story. Both Clara Wood in 1911 and Taryn Michaels in 2011, are in an in-between place to try and escape the devastating reality of the death of loved ones. Both women experience challenges that pull them out of their in-between comfort zone and force them to move on. One unique marigold patterned scarf plays a significant role in both cases.

    Not really the kind of book that would top my to-be-read list; now after reading it, it is going on my list of favorite reads of 2014. There are many similarities in the stories of Clara and Taryn. Both were to meet their loved ones close to where the eventual tragedies occurred and neither could move on afterwards, choosing to hide in an in-between world for a time. For Clara it was six months working in the Ellis Island hospital, and for Taryn, a job and home in the quiet depth of the Heirloom Yard.

    The well developed, lifelike main characters, Clara and Taryn, grow throughout the story. As the author dedicates more pages to Clara's narrative, her personality stands out. Tenderhearted, yet often quite stubborn, Clara has a tendency to tie herself to people for the wrong reasons while rejecting others who truly have honest intentions. Despite her often prickly personality, however, her best friend as well as her aspiring suitor won't give up on her. 

    This book is not without its share of action. Clara's story takes a suspenseful twist that certainly had me on the edge of my chair for a while. The touches of mature romance are tastefully presented and do not dominate the story at all.

    Even the dialogue alternates from the slightly formal style of the early twentieth century to the more relaxed, casual style of the twenty first century.

    Truly a five-star read, A Fall of Marigolds is a story that deals with the what-ifs in life. It is an uplifting tale of hope, acceptance of the past, and moving on to the future.  (Ellen Fritz)

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  • Posted August 25, 2014

    I liked the way the story moved back and forth between the two w

    I liked the way the story moved back and forth between the two women who lived a century apart. I kept waiting to see how the scarf connected them, and didn't expect how it turned out. It was a great story of healing. I loved this story and I would recommend it. 
    I won this book in an online giveaway.

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  • Posted August 15, 2014

    Very sweet, romantic look at two time periods in New York City.

    Really enjoy this book. A look at NYC in 1911 thru the eyes of a woman who has lost someone she loves in a tragic event. And a look
    at another woman who loses her husband on 9/11. Some historical
    moments, some romance. A really easy read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    Good

    I enjoyed the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2014

    Great story!

    Susan Meissner wrote a great book here. The back and forth between the two stories is easy to keep track of.The way she connected the two was brilliant. It's heartbreaking and uplifting all in one!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    Highly recommended

    Two women a century apart experience love , loss , renewal and the link that interweaves their lives. This is the first book that I have read by this author and I can' t wait to read another of her books. I could not put the book down.

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  • Posted March 30, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    An excellent book, very well-written, centered on the moving sto

    An excellent book, very well-written, centered on the moving stories of two women a century apart, whose lives are loosely linked together by a beautiful scarf. Both of them have similar experiences of love and loss through great tragedies, but find healing and the strength to move on, and to love again. It moved me to tears at times and kept me reading late into the night. I didn't want to put it down!
    5+ stars! This one is not to be missed--highly recommend!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2014

    Wonderful story. Beautifully written.

    Loved the way Susan Meissner wove the two stories together. At fist I couldn't figure out how she would pull together characters from 1911 with those in 2011; however, everything came together beautifully, and I was pleasantly surprised at the end. If you have a hard time following two story lines, this book may not be for you. I had a hard time putting the book down. Had not read anything by Susan Meissner, but I will certainly explore another of her novels.

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  • Posted March 2, 2014

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Two main charac

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings

    Two main characters and their stories intertwine in the most eloquent way through a beautiful scarf that has stood the test of time.  The smaller of the two stories is the modern day story about a woman who lived through the tragedy of September 11th in New York City and lost her husband when the towers collapsed.  The story that took center stage centered around a woman who lived through the tragedy of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York in 1911 - Clara is a nurse and lived through this tragedy and is still trying to put the pieces of her life back together.

    There were moments in this book that completely took my breath away as these two women find out bits of information surrounding their deepest moments that help them recover and figure out what can be next after hitting extreme lows.  The way these two tragedies in New York City mirror one another was amazing - I couldn't believe that the history behind it was completely true.  

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  • Posted February 21, 2014

    I have long been a fan of Susan Meissner's lyrical writing. I al

    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. 

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  • Posted February 4, 2014

    FALL OF MARIGOLDS is a historical novel connecting similarities

    FALL OF MARIGOLDS is a historical novel connecting similarities and characters in two time periods in New York City, and the events of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Fire with the catastrophic time surrounding the World Trade Towers collapse in 2011.

    The characters, an immigration nurse on Ellis Island, Clara, and a 9/11 widow and mother, Taryn, are connected through a common object, an unusual scarf. It’s a story of love, of taking risks, and of pursuing life and love despite horrific circumstances. It’s a beautiful book. I have read other books by Susan Meissner, and this novel is my favorite of all of her books out so far. It is simply outstanding.

    Highly recommend, also a great book for book club discussion.

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    Posted August 22, 2014

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    Posted June 21, 2014

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    Posted March 18, 2014

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    Posted February 19, 2014

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    Posted May 18, 2014

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