BKMT READING GUIDES



 
Optimistic,
Romantic,
Informative

13 reviews

A Fall of Marigolds
by Susan Meissner

Published: 2014-02-04
Paperback : 400 pages
32 members reading this now
136 clubs reading this now
16 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 12 of 13 members
A beautiful scarf connects two women touched by tragedy in this compelling, emotional novel from the author of A Bridge Across the Ocean and The Last Year of the War.

September 1911. On Ellis Island in New York Harbor, nurse Clara Wood cannot face returning to Manhattan, where the man she ...
No other editions available.
Add to Club Selections
Add to Possible Club Selections
Add to My Personal Queue
Jump to

Introduction

A beautiful scarf connects two women touched by tragedy in this compelling, emotional novel from the author of A Bridge Across the Ocean and The Last Year of the War.

September 1911. On Ellis Island in New York Harbor, nurse Clara Wood cannot face returning to Manhattan, where the man she loved fell to his death in the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. Then, while caring for a fevered immigrant whose own loss mirrors hers, she becomes intrigued by a name embroidered onto the scarf he carries…and finds herself caught in a dilemma that compels her to confront the truth about the assumptions she’s made. Will what she learns devastate her or free her? 

September 2011. On Manhattan’s Upper West Side, widow Taryn Michaels has convinced herself that she is living fully, working in a charming specialty fabric store and raising her daughter alone. Then a long-lost photograph appears in a national magazine, and she is forced to relive the terrible day her husband died in the collapse of the World Trade Towers…the same day a stranger reached out and saved her. Will a chance reconnection and a century-old scarf open Taryn’s eyes to the larger forces at work in her life?

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

No Excerpt Currently Available

Discussion Questions

**Spoiler Alert: The questions that follow tell more about what happens in the book than you might want to know until you read it.

1. What did you most enjoy about A Fall of Marigolds? What do you think you’ll remember about it six months from now?

2. Discuss the ways in which the contemporary and historical sections of the novel relate to each other. What story elements do they share? How do they echo and amplify each other? Did you enjoy going back and forth between the two narratives, or did you much prefer one over the other?

3. When Clara Wood finds Lily’s letter to Andrew and the certificate of annulment, she faces an ethical dilemma—should she tell Andrew the truth about the woman he loved and break his heart, or leave him in ignorance? What would be the most ethical choice? What would you have done?

4. Have you ever gone to, or wanted to go to, an “in-between place”? Would you share that experience?

5. Despite the little interaction they had, Clara is convinced that Edward would have become her lover and eventually her husband. Have you ever experienced a similar certainty about someone after just meeting them? Do you believe in “love at first sight?”

6. Ten years after her husband’s death, Taryn seems to be living a full life, but once her photo is published, she begins to realize that she has also been in an “in-between place.” How has she been held back? How are her circumstances similar to and different from Clara’s?

7. Discuss the role of the marigold scarf in the story. Trace its path from Lily to Taryn. How does the scarf enrich the experience of the characters? Would you react to the scarf in the same way that the characters do?

8. Andrew plays a key role in Clara’s life. Is it okay with you that she doesn’t end up in a romantic relationship with him? Does Ethan seem a better or worse choice to you? The book ends with Taryn and Mick heading toward a romantic relationship. Do you find that believable and satisfying?

9. Taryn and Clara each experience a horrific tragic event in which someone they love dies. Have you ever been personally touched by tragedy? Would you be willing to share how your experience compares to what Taryn and Clara go through?

10. Do you believe in destiny? That God has a purpose for each of our lives? Discuss how these ideas play out in A Fall of Marigolds.
(Questions courtesy of the author.)

Suggested by Members

Appreciation for the past and the future.
Discuss the human spirit and the abiltity to heal.
by polishchick811 (see profile) 05/11/16

What do you think about the need for
Compare Clara and Taryn. Who gained more through their loss?
Explore the immigrant theme in the story, escaping the past, pursuing a new life. What does Clara learn from her patients at Ellis Island?
by Ttundidor826 (see profile) 09/29/15

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by debhoffman (see profile) 09/09/20

 
by fodiorne (see profile) 02/08/20

 
by laureensa (see profile) 09/29/19

 
by [email protected] (see profile) 06/11/19

Lovely, intertwining two separate love stories

 
by [email protected] (see profile) 06/08/19

I enjoyed the book. Love the way the author wove the two stories together. Her portrayal of life on Ellis island is probably very accurate. I had a problem with Clara’s love story although I could see... (read more)

 
by [email protected] (see profile) 01/24/19

Interesting and believable enough.

Rate this book
MEMBER LOGIN
Remember me
BECOME A MEMBER it's free

Join the leading website for book clubs with over 35,000 clubs and 20,000 reading guides.

SEARCH OUR READING GUIDES Search
Search




FEATURED EVENTS
PAST AUTHOR CHATS
JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...