Still Life With Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen
This is the first I’ve read Quindlen, but I might go check out her earlier works in my friendly public library.
Quindlen gives us a pleasant and nicely written story, with a bit of mystery, tragedy, and happy endings. She manages to combine a “Jewish family in NYC” story with an “artist moves to the country”, which came out a lot better than it sounds like it should. She also feels free to write about older people, which is not a topic I choose in fiction. (I am getting old, why would I want to read about old people?)
The overall story involves a photographer who was famous once but isn’t really succeeding these days. She also faces money worries, as she takes care of her aged parents and not-quite-out-in-the-world son.
She moves to a small town for a combination of reasons that even she doesn’t understand very clearly. There she meets an implausible array of “simple country folk”, acquires a dog, a new man, and a new home. Etc.
If the plot and characters are not particularly plausible, the writing is smooth and complex enough to keep you on your toes. She’s clever with introspection and flashbacks, and more clever than necessary with prophetic inclusions from outside the ken of the protagonist. But I liked it well enough.
- Anna Quindlen, Still Life With Bread Crumbs, New York, Random House, 2014.
Sunday Book Reviews