Published by Random House LLC on 2014-01-28
Genres: Contemporary Women, Fiction, Literary, Sagas
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERA superb love story from Anna Quindlen, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Rise and Shine, Blessings, and A Short Guide to a Happy Life Still Life with Bread Crumbs begins with an imagined gunshot and ends with a new tin roof. Between the two is a wry and knowing portrait of Rebecca Winter, a photographer whose work made her an unlikely heroine for many women. Her career is now descendent, her bank balance shaky, and she has fled the city for the middle of nowhere. There she discovers, in a tree stand with a roofer named Jim Bates, that what she sees through a camera lens is not all there is to life. Brilliantly written, powerfully observed, Still Life with Bread Crumbs is a deeply moving and often very funny story of unexpected love, and a stunningly crafted journey into the life of a woman, her heart, her mind, her days, as she discovers that life is a story with many levels, a story that is longer and more exciting than she ever imagined.Praise for Still Life with Bread Crumbs“There comes a moment in every novelist’s career when she . . . ventures into new territory, breaking free into a marriage of tone and style, of plot and characterization, that’s utterly her own. Anna Quindlen’s marvelous romantic comedy of manners is just such a book. . . . Taken as a whole, Quindlen’s writings represent a generous and moving interrogation of women’s experience across the lines of class and race. . . . [Still Life with Bread Crumbs] proves all the more moving because of its light, sophisticated humor. Quindlen’s least overtly political novel, it packs perhaps the most serious punch. . . . Quindlen has delivered a novel that will have a staying power all its own.”—The New York Times Book Review “Charming . . . a hot cup of tea of a story, smooth and comforting about the vulnerabilities of growing older . . . a pleasure.”—USA Today “[The protagonist’s] photographs are celebrated for turning the ‘minutiae of women’s lives into unforgettable images,’ and Quindlen does the same here with her enveloping, sure-handed storytelling.”—People“Quindlen has made a home at the top of the bestsellers lists with novels that capture the grace and frailty of everyday life, and her latest work is sure to take her there again. With spare, elegant prose, she crafts a poignant glimpse into the inner life of an aging woman who discovers that reality contains much more color than her own celebrated black-and-white images.”—Library Journal “Quindlen has always excelled at capturing telling details in a story, and she does so again in this quiet, powerful novel, showing the charged emotions that teem beneath the surface of daily life.”—Publishers Weekly “A Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist and star in the pantheon of domestic fiction (Every Last One, 2010), Quindlen presents instantly recognizable characters who may be appealingly warm and nonthreatening, but that only serves to drive home her potent message that it’s never too late to embrace life’s second chances.”—Booklist “Profound . . . engaging.”—Kirkus ReviewsFrom the Hardcover edition.
Still Life with Breads Crumbs may be one of my favorite books that I’ve read in 2014 so far. It is a wonderful love story about second chances, taking risks and re-discovering who you truly are. The book has it all: love, friendship, humor, real life issues and superb writing.
The story centers on the heroine Rebecca Winters, a 60 year old photographer whose fame is dwindling as she struggles to shoot her next big piece and keep her checking account in the green. In order to save some money and get away from the city to become ‘inspired,’ Rebecca sublets her gorgeous overpriced New York City apartment to another couple and decides to take residence in a low-rent cabin in the outskirts of New York City (right smack in the middle of the woods).
During Rebecca’s time in the countryside, she meets a wonderful cast of characters including Jim, a younger (and handsome) man who is known around the town for fixing roofs and his handyman skills. And then there is Sarah, the vivacious owner of the local coffee shop Tea for Two who talks way too much and Tad, an ex-opera singer and current clown. These characters are so unique and relatable and throughout the book, you see them progress and overcome obstacles at the same time as Rebecca.
It is in the middle of nowhere that Rebecca begins to look at her photographs from a different perspective and starts shooting things she wouldn’t normally think of capturing including birds, dogs and a series of wooden crosses, each with their own theme, scattered through the forest. While she reinvents herself behind the camera, Rebecca also takes another chance at love with Jim, someone who is not only younger than she is but is also the exact opposite of her ex-husband in every way possible.
Quindlen’s writing is so unique that I was mesmerized from the very first chapter. I haven’t read any of her books before and after reading Still Life with Bread Crumbs, I want to go back and tackle more of them! This is a thought provoking and lovely story with a heroine who reinvigorates herself through all aspects of her life – a definite winner that I would highly recommend.