Meet Me At The Museum
by Anne Youngson
Please be aware I am writing to you to make sense of myself …
When the curator of a Danish museum responds to a query about ancient exhibits, he doesn’t expect a reply.
When Tina Hopgood first wrote it, nor did she …
Tina Hopgood is dissatisfied with her life.
As a school child her class had corresponded with Professor Glob at the Silkeborg museum in Denmark about the discovery of the Tollund Man, an Iron Age man found perfectly preserved in a Danish bog. She is now the wrong side of 60 years old and writes once again to Professor Glob. Unfortunately he has passed away, but Tina receives a reply from the present curator of the museum, Anders Larson. What starts out as a quite formal exchange of letters about the Tollund Man and his effect on modern life, soon turns into a more personal correspondence.
Two very different characters; Tina, a disillusioned hard-working farmer’s wife from East Anglia and Anders, a widower and the curator of the Silkeborg museum in Denmark. They both find they have common ground in feeling somewhat surplus to their own lives. Tina is a cog in the efficinet working of the farm, but feels her family wouldn’t notice her otherwise. Anders, a widower, lives alone. Always looking back to the life he lived with his wife and wondering if he had done enough to help her.
This book is gentle, thoughtful and tender. The relationship grows slowly, like the opening of a fern frond. As they discuss their lives they develop a closeness with each other that neither seems able to find with their own families.
When there is upheaval in Tina’s life she has to re-evaluate their relationship. Whether that means ending it or setting it on a new pathway only she can decide.
A beautiful debut with gorgeous prose. I totally loved both characters and the slow, thoughtful response to each other’s letters. I was quite ridiculously peeved at the thought of them using email rather than real letters, I loved the idea of their handwritten letters dropping through the letter box and the feel and touch of the paper and envelopes.
I did guess quite early on what was going to happen, but it in no way impaired my enjoyment of the book. I felt the author played out the events perfectly…or her characters did.
A book about lost lives, missed opportunities and the fact that it’s never too late to change your life. A wonderful read and highly recommended.
Anne Youngson will be appearing at urmston bookshop on Wednesday 6th june 2018, to talk about her book and her writing journey. Tickets are £3 inc glass of wine and redeemable aginst the cost of a book.
Tel: 0161 747 7442