Life has got in the way of my book blogging – I have been super busy and then I was ill, but today I am stuck at home (work being done on the house), so I am getting a few things crossed off the job list.
I think this is my first Quindlen novel – I have read an essay she wrote, but this is my first piece of fiction.
Here is the blurb …
Still Life with Bread Crumbs begins with an imagined gunshot and ends with a new tin roof. Between the two is a wry and knowing portrait of Rebecca Winter, a photographer whose work made her an unlikely heroine for many women. Her career is now descendent, her bank balance shaky, and she has fled the city for the middle of nowhere. There she discovers, in a tree stand with a roofer named Jim Bates, that what she sees through a camera lens is not all there is to life.
Brilliantly written, powerfully observed, Still Life with Bread Crumbs is a deeply moving and often very funny story of unexpected love, and a stunningly crafted journey into the life of a woman, her heart, her mind, her days, as she discovers that life is a story with many levels, a story that is longer and more exciting than she ever imagined.
I found myself getting quite anxious while I read this novel – Rebecca is very concerned about her finances (the idea of being old and poor must be a universal concern), what do the white crosses mean? Who is leaving little shrines in isolated parts of the forest? It is a beautifully written, quiet story about a middle-aged woman whose success is fading, who with a dwindling income is supporting her aging parents financially (and occasionally her son) and trying to pay the fees on her Central Park apartment, but who rescues herself and finds new artistic direction and a quirky (but supportive) community. This probably all sounds a bit trite, but the writing (beautiful detail and characterisation) make it something quite interesting.
More reviews …