After her best friend Bella died, Tina Hopgood wrote to a professor at the Silkeborg Museum where the Tollund Man lies waiting for visitors like Tina and Bella who always hoped to go see him. Kristian, the curator, wrote back to let her know the professor had long passed and so began a correspondence, a friendship, and the best epistolary novel since “84, Charing Cross Road.”
Epistolary novels are tricky things. The story must be their lives, not their letters. If the conceit of letters is a substitute for story and creativity, then it will fail. In this case, their lives fill the story, as do their thoughts about life and love and everything in between. Tina is a woman who feels just a bit trapped by life. Kristian is a man mourning his wife and feeling alone in the world, wondering if he spent so much time being a good husband he was not a good father. They are both old, with adult children, and thinking life is mostly past them now. Their letters remind them they still have things to learn and life yet to live.
I loved Meet Me at the Museum.It’s one of those kind, gentle books that are full of love and humanity. It’s a book that makes you want to sit down to tea with these wonderful people. It makes you wish things for them they might not be so bold as to wish for themselves…or maybe they would be.
Meet Me at the Museum will be released August 7th. I received an ARC from the publisher through Shelf Awareness.