I have the honour of kicking off another blog tour today, this time it’s for ‘Meet Me At The Museum’ by Anne Youngson. Thank you to Anne Cater for the tour invite, as well as the ARC. ‘Meet Me At The Museum’ will be published on the 17th May by DoubledayUK.
Sometimes it takes a stranger to really know who you are..
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?
What does TWG think?
You know, I don’t think I have ever read a book before that was written in the same format as this one! Instead of being set out in the way we all know, Anne Youngson has set her debut novel out in a completely different way – by using letters!
No, no, I don’t mean letters that make up words, because that would be pretty obvious. Actual written letters, you know, the conversing type…before e-mails were invented and stamps didn’t cost nearly a pound. Those letters!
With history as the basis of this novel and the letters, Tina Hopgood decided to write a letter to a museum curator in Denmark (her reasons become known further in the book). Unfortunately, the recipient had passed away and instead, the current curator of the museum replied to her letter. As they say, ‘and the rest is history’.
The letters between Tina and Danish man, Anders, set the scene for the overall novel, with both characters comparing lifestyles in the letters as Tina lives in Bury St.Edmunds, and Anders lives in Denmark. Neither characters had any idea that one simple letter could end up changing their lives..
I appreciated the emotion in the letters, as well as the honesty, lifestyle differences, and snippets of history. For me, those were the highlights of the novel. I did struggle with how the book was set out as I kept waiting for the novel to change into a story as opposed to letters. Of course the letters themselves told a story, but it wasn’t really an obvious story. I was half expecting Tina to meet Anders at the museum to coincide with the title, but that particular lightbulb remained off.
Even though this book wasn’t my cup of tea, I thought the author wrote the content of the letters absolutely beautifully, making the characters jump off the page due to how much I had found out about them in such a short space of time. I enjoyed the historic feel to the novel, that’s for sure.
Overall, I thought that ‘Meet Me At The Museum’ was an intense, different and thought-provoking read. If you’re after something out of your comfort zone, I am sure that this will tick the box.
About the author.
ANNE YOUNGSON worked for many years in senior management
in the car industry before embarking on a creative career as a writer. She has supported many charities in governance roles, including Chair of the Writers in Prison Network, which provided residencies in prisons for writers. She lives in Oxfordshire and is married with two children and three grandchildren to date. MEET ME AT THE MUSEUM is her debut novel, which is due to be published around the world.