Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Fall of Marigolds gets 4.5/5 Stars {historical fiction, adult lit}

A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner gets 4.5 out of 5 stars in my book review of this adult literature historical fiction set in 1911 on Ellis Island, and 2011 in NYC.  Great book.  Book club. touch of romance. Healing. Grieving a loss. imigrants. death. love, scarf Alohamora open a book alohamoraopenabook https://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

Two women, living 100 years apart, grieving a loss of a loved one with a connection to the same scarf.  It's a beautiful and unique story line for this adult historical fiction book. 

A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner is a fabulous book, and it'd make a great book club choice.  My book club actually read it, months ago, but I was awesome enough to have just recently finished the book.  Though to my credit, my book club picked 2 books that month.  So, I'm only a half-way book club slacker.  

Now that I have read this book, I will say it is a great story.  I loved learning about the Triangle Shirtwaist fire in 1911 and about the hospitals on Ellis Island for the immigrants.  I also loved this 9/11 story.  I loved the connection of the scarf.  I loved how both women were grieving.  I loved how both women had to be pushed to heal b/c they both felt a sense of responsibility.  

Clara was a nurse on Ellis Island in 1911.  Before going to the island she was a nurse at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory when a fire destroyed the building and killed many including a young man Clara cared for.  I like Clara, but I did get a little annoyed with her b/c her character developed incredibly slow.  I felt Clara's deep attachment for someone she barely knew and then not able to get over him dragged on far too long.  I understand her feeling guilty for his death, but she didn't try to overcome.  In my opinion, Clara's grief didn't seem to be equivalent to Taryn's grief. 

Taryn's story takes place in 2011, but her tragic story really brought the emotions out in me.  I cried while reading Taryn's story.  I think the reason for Taryn's story being more powerful was b/c Taryn was married and had not just met her love like Clara.  Being married is different in my eyes.  Taryn's story was also more powerful b/c I personally remember the historical tragedy, 9/11, that Taryn grieves from. Taryn's story, and the texts and phone messages she received had me in absolute tears.  I love when I cry yet cheer for the characters; you know it's a good book when that happens.   

Taryn's story was overall stronger, but Clara's scarf connection was more powerful.  Both stories were needed.  I do feel that love, healing, and God's hand in our lives is a beautiful theme.  I also feel there are some fantastic deep and impactful messages found throughout this book.  For example, I do agree with the message that people who experience tough things can stay in an in between place unless they try to heal and make the choice to "be happy."

Overall, A Fall of Marigolds is great and earned 4.5 out of 5 stars in my book review.  I loved how the two women's stories were woven together with a scarf but also with their grief and their agony from witnessing the tragedies.  I loved how both women had to get closure from their loves before they could move on and be happy.  I love how both stories were unique and set during great historical times, but that they were still tied together.  I loved the ending and thought it was truly beautiful.  

I did think the character development of Clara could've been written better aka made more realistic and less annoying.  There seemed to be too much time spent and pages written with Clara's story of her inability to try and overcome.  I felt Clara's grief was less powerful, and that time should've been spent on Taryn's story.  

However, I still thoroughly enjoyed  A Fall of Marigolds completely, and felt the story has some power to help other's heal and move past their "in between place."   

Happy Beautiful Historical Fiction Reading! 

A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Best For: Adults, especially a book club read.
Worth a Check Out: Yes. The audiobook is a great check-out as well.
Buy It or Not: Buy, especially if you love historical fictions or reading it for book club
Read Aloud: The audiobook is great, I am sure it could make a great read aloud with the right class.
Lesson Ideas: symbolism of scarf; healing; grieving; New York City tragedies

Did you read A Fall of Marigolds? What did you think? 


  1. I just bought the book and am so excited to read it! Thanks for the review. :) Candice

    1. You are welcome! Thanks for reading my review. I'd love to know what you thought of the book.