This debut novel by Anne Youngson is not my normal kind of book. Tina is grieving for her friend Bella when she decides to write to the Professor who dedicated his book on the Tollund man to her and her childhood friends. Professor Glob had passed away some years before but Tina’s letter receives a reply from Anders, the curator at the museum.
Meet Me at the Museum is a beautifully observed story told in the form of letters between the Suffolk farmers wife and the Danish museum curator. Their bittersweet tales deal with the minutiae of their lives: the farm, the museum, grandchildren, music etc. This is a quietly gentle book exploring the innermost thoughts of two middle aged people realising that their best years are behind them.
It sparked my interest and did make me google Tollund Man and I discovered the real history of the man in the bog. Youngson has crafted an interesting mix between fact and fiction in this novella.
All the way through the story I was completely drawn in by the simplicity and beauty of the relationships, between Anders and Tina but also the way they describe interactions with their respective grown up children. Ultimately I found the ending quite disappointing, but that may say more about me and my expectations than the book itself. For me it took an otherwise excellent four star book down a notch.
Advance Reader Copy supplied by Net Galley and Doubleday in exchange for an honest review.
UK Publication Date: May 17 2018. 224 pages.