Every week, The Thread checks in with booksellers around the country about their favorite books of the moment. This week, we spoke to Francine Tanguay of Annie’s Book Stop in Wells, Maine.
Susan Meissner’s novel “A Fall of Marigolds” first came out in 2015, and it hasn’t stopped selling at Annie’s Book Stop in the small town of Wells, Maine.
“I can’t tell you how many copies we’ve sold in my tiny store,” said Francine Tanguay. “And the fact that it is still selling today.”
The novel follows two women living a century apart, who share a tragic connection. Clara is a nurse working on Ellis Island in 1911, who loses her husband in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. Taryn, who works in a fabric store in Manhattan, circa 2011, lost her husband in the World Trade Center on September 11. Through a trick of history, a scarf that Clara once owned has made its way to Taryn.
“Both women survive the tragedies, but it marked them. And both women realize, because of their tragedies, they couldn't quite move on with their lives. And they -- not physically, but mentally -- went somewhere in between what their life was and what their life became later.”
“The thing that struck me as most important is that when we love somebody and we lose somebody, we think our life is over. And for a period of time, we go to that in between place, no matter what century we’re living in,” Tanguay said. “And when we’re ready, we come out of it again and find that life is worth living. There are still things like love, and that we can move forward. Life is not the same. It’s different, but just as good.”
Some people at Tanguay’s shop have been initially hesitant to pick it up because of its heavy topic, or because of the split-century story, but so far everyone has been won over by Meissner’s writing.
That’s the wonder of a small bookstore, Tanguay said. People there can hand-sell just the right book, even if it’s not a best-seller elsewhere.