In Denmark, Professor Anders Larsen, an urbane man of facts, has lost his wife and his hopes for the future. On an isolated English farm, Tina Hopgood is trapped in a life she doesn’t remember choosing. Both believe their love stories are over.
Brought together by a shared fascination with the Tollund Man, subject of Seamus Heaney’s famous poem, they begin writing letters to one another. And from their vastly different worlds, they find they have more in common than they could have imagined. As they open up to one another about their lives, an unexpected friendship blooms. But then Tina’s letters stop coming, and Anders is thrown into despair. How far are they willing to go to write a new story for themselves?
Meet Me at the Museum (Amazon US) (Amazon UK) (Audible) (AbeBooks) I’m not sure why I grabbed this audiobook when it was on sale, because I’d never heard of Tollund Man or know much about Denmark.
There’s a woman in Bury St. Edmunds named Tina who is farmer’s wife, who had a book dedicated to her when she was a schoolgirl. She decides to write to the professor who wrote the dedication back in 1964, not realizing that he most likely has died.
Anders is a curator of a museum in Denmark with the infamous Tollund Man who came from the Iron Age. He opens a letter from Tina and decides to reply, and therein begins their journey. They share many intimate thoughts as the letters continue, and even though they’ve never met, they grow incredibly close.
Because the book is a series of written letters, you get a great feel for both Anders and Tina as they navigate loss in each of their lives. Tina has lost her best friend, and she seems to be struggling with her life as a farmer’s wife. It also becomes apparent she’s always had that struggle, along with being a mother and grandmother. She always meant to go visit Tollund Man after the book was dedicated to her group of schoolgirls, but she has always found an excuse not to travel to Denmark. This reminds me so much of my mother, who always told me she wanted to travel, yet when she retired and had the time and money to do so, she balked at going into the unknown. She rarely traveled, and much rather preferred to stay home where the familiar was a comfort, much like Tina feels.
However, Anders makes a compelling case for Tina to come to Denmark, as they get to know each other with these letters. Anders has lost his wife and is desperately lonely, despite having a daughter who is about to give birth to his first grandchild. As the book continues, Anders keeps pleading his case with Tina to visit Denmark, not only to visit Tollund Man, but to visit him.
This was a sweet book with a satisfying ending for two lonely souls. Four out of five stars!
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