Novels about New York City have a special draw for me. I’ve been a New Yorker since moving there after college, and although my current zip code is far away, it still feels like home. Reading about New York keeps its pulse close. I recently read A Fall of Marigold by Susan Meissner, a New York novel with a fascinating twist: it weaves the stories of two women living in New York City a century apart.
The two women, nurse Clara Wood and seamstress Taryn Michaels, are not connected by family. A beautiful gold flower scarf is what binds their stories. Clara’s takes place in September of 1911 as she works on Ellis Island, nursing sick immigrants before they are allowed to enter the US. Taryn’s story begins on a September day most of us will never forget, when she goes to meet a rich customer to take delivery of the heirloom scarf.
Although the author’s descriptions of 9/11 and its aftermath moved me deeply, I found myself more captivated by the life of Clara Wood as an unmarried nurse on Ellis Island. I couldn’t get enough of the descriptions of such a young New York city, teeming with languages and individuals who had risked everything for a fresh start. A Fall of Marigold gave me an appetite to learn more about the history of Ellis Island and guaranteed a family field trip the next time we fly to New York.
Are you also a lover of New York novels? Leave a comment at the end of this post to be entered to win a copy of a Fall of Marigold. The PR department of Penguin Publishing has given me one copy to give away to a reader selected at random. I’ll select the winner on March 3. Continental US residents only.
A Fall of Marigold is currently available in paperback. It’s available at Amazon today for $12.34. I was given my review copy by Penguin Publishing, but this review is entirely my own.