I’m a total softie when it comes to books written in letter format. I don’t know what it is, but I just love them. Isn’t everything softer and easier in a letter? It’s a gentler pace, the waiting or even yearning for a response. They take a level of consideration, of planning out, that simply doesn’t exist in modern day life and oh, how I miss them!
Meet Me At The Museum by Anne Youngson pretty much had me from the first “Dear..”. My friend the wonderful Ms B had told me about this book months ago, way before it was released in the US in paperback, but it was most definitely worth the wait. Sometimes Ms B and I can differ dramatically on the types of books we enjoy, but when she’s certain, she seldom fails me.
Tina Hopgood writes to Professor Glob about the Tollund Man and a book he once dedicated to her and her classmates when she was a child. Now in later life, Tina still dreams of visiting Denmark to see his remains in the Silkeborg Museum. For those of you not familiar with the Tollund Man, I would recommend you look him up and follow any links that might be provided to the poetry of Seamus Heaney. Living during the 4th century BC, his remains were found preserved in a peat bog during the 1950s. He is in fact eerily well preserved and appears not so much dead as slumbering. In Youngson’s novel, Tina’s letter receives a reply from Anders Larsen, a curator of the museum, informing her that Professor Glob had died many years previously. Anders and Tina then begin a correspondence that extends far beyond an interest in Iron Age history and into the very personal matters of their lives, relationships and growing older.
I know to some of you that this book will sound like an absolute spods paradise and it is, but really, it is just so lovely that what sounds like a history lesson is, without a doubt, one of the most moving books that I have read in an age.