As the year comes to an end I am trying to get through as many of the books I have been sent during 2019 as I can! Having had to step back for a short while whilst caring for my Husband I am back and today I’m thrilled to be sharing my thoughts on Meet Me At The Museum by Anne Youngson which was kindly sent to me by Alison Barrow from Penguin Random House .
About The Book
When Tina Hopgood writes a letter of regret to a man she has never met, she doesn’t expect a reply.
When Anders Larsen, a lonely museum curator, answers it, nor does he.
They’re both searching for something, they just don’t know it yet.
Anders has lost his wife, along with his hopes and dreams for the future. Tina is trapped in a marriage she doesn’t remember choosing.
Slowly their correspondence blossoms as they bare their souls to each other with stories of joy, anguish and discovery. But then Tina’s letters suddenly cease, and Anders is thrown into despair.
Can their unexpected friendship survive?
Circumstances have seen Tina Hopwood find herself living firmly in a rut as an under appreciated Farmers wife, but that doesn’t mean her dreams have diminished. After the death of her best friend Bella, Tina decides to pen a letter to Professor Glob at the Silkeborg Museum in Denmark who gave her and her childhood friends an honorary dedication in his book about the Tollund Man fifty years previous. However, the numerous years since his book was published means that Professor Glob has sadly passed away and the response to Tina’s letter falls to the museums current curator, Anders Larsen.
Anders lives a solitary life with his work as curator of the Silkeborg Museum having become his main focus, that is until he responds to a letter from England not even destined for him. As fate weaves it’s magic the pairs correspondence becomes something they each treasure, allowing them to speak and share freely, giving them both a much needed friendship. However, after almost a year the foundations of Tina’s life are shook in a way she never anticipated resulting in radio silence for a confused Anders. But can their fledgling relationship survive Tina’s news or will their friendship be confined to the past and become nothing but a forgotten chapter in their life?
This is a short, but sweet story told completely in letter format documenting the progression of an unlikely and unexpected friendship. The content of the letters range from heartfelt revelations and intimate thoughts to informative historical sections that I personally really enjoyed – it’s always a fantastic bonus to learn something new whilst enjoying fiction!
Despite being a relatively short book at only 200 pages the characters are really well developed thanks to the detailed nature of the letters in which they both laid their souls bare. They are both extremely relateable thanks to their vulnerability plus I really enjoyed learning about their everyday lives as well as their family too. It was also interesting to discover how similar Tina and Anders actually were despite the obvious differences of culture and family.
Unintentionally I mistook this book for being more of a rom-com, but it is so much more than the fledgling attraction the characters share. Meet Me At The Museum is a wonderfully crafted tale of regret, loss, heartache and happiness all wrapped up together to make for a beautifully touching tale. I was keen to read more though to see what happened next for Tina and Anders so would have personally liked less of an open ended conclusion, this didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment.
Meet Me At The Museum is an incredibly strong debut novel and I will be watching to see what Anne Youngson has planned for release next.
About The Author
Anne Youngson became a published author in her seventies after many years of a hugely successful other career in senior management in the UK car industry. She undertook a writing course at Oxford Brookes University and Meet Me At The Museum emerged from those studies. She has supported many charities in governance roles, including Chair of the Writers in Prison Network, which provided residencies in prisons for writers. Sh has travelled the UK extensively at events and festivals talking about her novel writing. She lives in Oxfordshire and is married with two children and three grandchildren.