Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Anna Quindlen's Still Life With Bread Crumbs




I must say that I am a huge Anna Quindlen fan going back many decades.  I never knew her as a columnist and a Pullitzer Prize winning one at that. No I discovered her through her book Thinking Out Loud and loved the way she wrote...couching heavy topics in an easy reading manner is a true talent.




When Anna turned her hand to novel writing I was pleased and also curious to see how her talent for journalism would translate.  Of course, she handled fiction with the same seeming ease as her column pieces.
To date she has written five best selling novels and I've enjoyed all of them.
Her One True Thing was made into a movie starring Meryl Streep, Renee Zellweger and William Hurt. While I enjoyed the movie very much and Meryl garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her role, I liked the book better.
 This latest book of Anna's, Still Life With Bread Crumbs also did not disappoint.
I do not like books that are love stories so it is a little surprising I enjoyed this one so much.  Perhaps it is because Rebecca the protagonist is about my age, sandwiched between generations, is experiencing a 'reversal of fortune', has had to downsize, is still creatively motivated, that I identified and got drawn in.
 But also and just as importantly,  this book reminded me of how much I enjoy Anna Quindlen's writing.  I love the way she writes about tiny (yes, domestic) happenings and can have them somehow add up to greater meaning and even the true substance of life; yes imagine that!
Along the way, I empathized with not just Rebecca, but all the characters and the little humorous bits were an added bonus.
By the way, Rebecca's art  is as a photographer (hence, the title) and I was interested in how her work was portrayed.  The whole idea of the camera, the subject, interpretation, seeing not just the surface of things provided interesting layers of meaning to Rebecca's life journey itself, I thought.
Gentle, true and interesting are three words I would use to describe this book. I am so happy I came across it in the library and did not dismiss it because it's top billing is as a love story.  And yes, there is love.

Meanwhile, you can read Anna Quindlen's bi-weekly column in Newsweek magazine.