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A Fall of Marigolds

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  42,047 ratings  ·  4,819 reviews
A beautiful scarf, passed down through the generations, connects two women who learn that the weight of the world is made bearable by the love we give away....

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 im
Paperback, 370 pages
Published February 4th 2014 by NAL
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Connie Schuchard I liked the story and it had a happy ending but the style of writing was more like a novel written for a young teenager. It lacked the depth of some o…moreI liked the story and it had a happy ending but the style of writing was more like a novel written for a young teenager. It lacked the depth of some other novels written concerning the subjects of the book. (less)
Veronica I am with Kate that the letter is pinned by Eleanor was Mrs. Stauer's aunt whom Clara left the scarf for. Elanor & Steven we married 50 years. :D…moreI am with Kate that the letter is pinned by Eleanor was Mrs. Stauer's aunt whom Clara left the scarf for. Elanor & Steven we married 50 years. :D(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  42,047 ratings  ·  4,819 reviews

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♞ Pat Gent
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: archives
This book could quite possibly be my most favorite book of all time. I can't remember when I've read a story that resonates with me as deeply as this one. I feel richer for just having read it.

The story is about two women, their lives lived a century apart yet entwined with a single scarf and a shared grief. Meissner masterfully weaves the stories together, blending the edges in a smooth flow, making their lives almost one and the same. Both harbor pain as the result of tragedy, both are stuck
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

"The marigold insisted I not give up. They are very resilient flowers, you know.... They aren't fragrant like roses and sweet peas, but they can stand against odds that the more fragile flowers cannot.... They can bloom in the fall, even after a frost. Even after all other flowers have given up."

A scarf connects two women both coping with tragic events which lead to loss and heartache.

In 1911, Nurse Clara Wood survived the Triangle Shirtwaist fire. The fire was the deadliest industrial
Stephanie Steinberg
Apr 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
The story set in 1911 was kind of ridiculous. The main character falls in love so many times and so easily that it is not believable. Her despair at losing someone who she barely knew can not compare to the heartache of the main character of the modern story. The modern story of a woman whose husband died in the Twin Towers is very touching and sad. Overall, while entertaining, it was just o.k.
Mar 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm sitting here covered in goosebumps. There is NO way my review can do justice to this beautiful, beautiful story. Here's just a piece of it: "perhaps you are thinking, as I once did, that love is too precarious to want to lavish it again on another. I want you to know that love is not a person. It is not of this earth at all. It wasn't until now that I realized I had mistakenly come to believe that love came from a place inside me and therefore I had to protect that place. It comes from heave ...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
This was a beautiful book, an emotional read, one where I would suddenly find tears streaming down my face.

By some strange quirk of fate I was reading 2 books set partly around 9/11 simultaneously. Both 4 star reads.

'Everything beautiful has a story it wants to tell, but not every story is beautiful. '

A beautiful scarf passed down through the generations links 2 stories a century apart.

Very moving. And beautifully narrated by Tavia Gilbert.

Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book tells the stories of two women after two horrific events in history and alternates in time periods one hundred years apart, 1911 and 2011. Clara and Taryn’s stories revolve around the aftermaths of events in New York, the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in 1911 and the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Nurse Clara Wood working on Ellis Island in 1911 is grieving the loss of man she loved, to the factory fires and Taryn Michaels is trying to put her life together in 2011, ten years after she lost her ...more
Betsy Robinson
Jul 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
I had an odd and ambivalent journey with this book that weaves together the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of 1911 and the 9/11/01 World Trade Center attack. Obviously I wasn't alive for the Shirtwaist fire that killed three floors of locked-in garment workers, but I did live through 9/11. And, like every longtime (45 years) New Yorker, I still hold vivid visions of it. So when I realized Meissner was writing it as historical fiction, I jumped to the acknowledgements to deduce whether “she ha ...more
Sherri Thacker
This is my first Susan Meissner book and I already can’t wait to read more books from her. She KNOWS how to write a great story!! I really enjoyed this book about a scarf's history and how it played a part in two women's lives. Highly recommend.
Oct 06, 2014 rated it liked it
I thought this book had a good premise -- one character from 1911 and losing someone in the Triangle Park Shirt fire, the other in 2011 who lost someone in 9/11 and tied together by a marigold scarf. The book was well written and moved along fairly well. I think the book could have been so much more. It tried to explore loss and opening up to love again but at such a surface level. The woman in 1911 lost someone whom she had been seeing as they rode a work elevator for 2 weeks. She was convinced ...more
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
This is quite simply an emotional, multifaceted and well written novel. You get two stories of tragic events within one book set many years ago and in the present. I love the way the two stories weave together by a beautiful scarf. An interesting cast of characters with some predictability but overall a quick and enjoyable read. Recommend it to those that like parallel stories.
Do you think everything happens for a reason? The effects of our choices spill onto each other.
I didn't expect to love this book. It wasn't even on my very long TBR list. My Mom had borrowed it from our local library, and told me it was very good. This story goes from Ellis Island, 1911 to Manhattan, 2011. It is very much like a novel written by Sarah Jio, that goes between two story lines that eventually tie in at the end. This is a beautiful tale of love, and love lost.
I wish I could write a
Diane Yannick
Jul 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
Two horrific NYC events a hundred years apart form the framework for this historical novel. I have no major complaints about the writing as it didn't get in the way of the story. I have some major complaints about the plotting. The number of coincidences made it majorly unbelievable. I also did not feel that the two stories were well meshed. Taryn's story was fairly interesting but not well developed. Clara's time on Ellis Island held more of my interest. I know that the scarf held the stories t ...more
Feb 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
Silly, predictable, very poorly written book filled with whiny, unbelievable characters. Only the historical bits were of any interest. But a quick read which will help me get back on schedule to finish 52 books this year.
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book; Meissner attempted to deftly weave similarities between a woman living and working in 1911's NYC and a woman living/working in present-day NYC (having suffered a tragedy in the 9/11 terrorist attacks).

I felt the parts dealing with the present-day (and the near-past flashbacks to 9/11) were handled fairly well; they felt raw, real, and organic. My issue with the novel stemmed from the 1911 flashbacks, which focused on a woman who lost a potential love in the Triangle S
Maureen DeLuca
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
There were times where I felt this book was a 5 star read- other times- for me anyway, it went to a 3 star read. I decided to give it a 4 star.

This story goes back and forth between two horrific NYC events a hundred years apart to form the framework for this historical novel. The majority of the book occurred in the early 1900s when Ellis Island was accepting immigrants from all over the world. A lot of the historical detail was interesting about the various sick wards and how people were proces
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-books
I can't believe it took me so long to pick this one up, I could kick myself! So very good. So emotional, relatable and just perfect. Loved both eras and women and their stories. Truly something I will remember for a very long time.
Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)
I picked this up to read on my kindle kind of on a whim and ended up LOVING it. It tells the parallel stories of two women—one who survives the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire at the turn of the 20th century, and the other who survives the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings at the turn of the 21st century. I loved both women and their stories, particularly that of Clara who worked as a nurse on Ellis Island. It's Clara's story that seemed to really demonstrate how debilitating survivor's guil ...more
Paula Ackley
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I was drawn into it from the beginning. I found myself reading and telling myself just one more chapter before bed! The characters and their stories are woven together like the marigold scarf. The past is connected to the present. Sad, beautiful, engaging. I have not read any other books by this author, but I plan on doing so. This story is well written, completely satisfying, and totally heartwarming. I am looking forward to the book's release. My Goodreads copy is missing 10 ...more
Stacey D.
Nov 02, 2016 rated it liked it
This started off well and I was eager to read it, as a couple of friends had recommended it. After a few chapters though, I just found the dual historical stories - one from 100 years ago and one contemporary, centered around 9/11 - very unbalanced and quite hokey.

Like other readers, I disliked Clara a lot and faulted her initial nosiness for the ethical pickle she found herself in. Yet, not having learned her agonizing lesson once,"Ms. Buttinsky" continues her snooping throughout the book. And
Mar 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015-books
3.5 stars. There were certainly parts of the story that I really liked, but I felt that too much time was given to Clara (and a lot of it was repetitive) and not enough time was given to Taryn to really flush out her story. Both women's stories deal with tragedies in NYC a hundred years apart.

Spending time with Clara on Ellis Island was informative to me, although I do think the author put a gloss on the hospital care (I could be wrong, I wasn't there). Having said that, I thought Clara was pret
Laura • lauralovestoread
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Everything Beautiful has a story it wants to tell.”

I fell in love with Susan Meissner’s writing, after reading As Bright As Heaven last year. It was only natural that I decided I needed to read everything else written by Meissner. A Fall of Marigolds is a beautiful story about love and heartache. It’s a journey of sorts told through the eyes of two women, years apart, but both sharing a tragedy.

I enjoyed this book very much! I loved learning more about Ellis Island and the process that takes
“The person who completes your life is not so much the person who shares all the years of your existence, but rather the person who made your life worth living, no matter how long or short a time you were given to spend with them.”

Two women, two devastating events one-hundred-years apart, and one silk artisan Marigold scarf that unifies and lays bare secrets and sorrows with opportunity for healing the brokenhearted.

“Love was both the softest edge and the sharpest edge of what made life real.”
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.
This is the story of two women who lost love in two violent tragedies a century apart. They are joined by a beautiful, colorful scarf that comes into their possession shortly before or after their loss.

Clara works at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory and meets a man a couple of weeks before the deadly fire, in which he perished. She is certain that they were falling in love and were destined to be together. She can no longer bear to live in Manhattan, so she takes a job as a nurse on El
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
Disappointing and uneven. I was excited to read this choice by my book club. The premise sounded interesting--two women linked by a scarf who each go through a tragedy in New York. However, Meissner needed a better editor to delete 1/3-1/2 of the first story. Clara is an unbelievable woman, in love with a man who is kind to her in an elevator where she works and pining for him after he dies in the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. She blames herself for his death (which is ridiculous) and is so bereft t ...more
Jul 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
In A Fall of Marigolds, Meissner beautifully weaves the delicate stories of two women living during different centuries, experiencing events unique to their respective time in history. Like Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale or Jodi Picoult's The Storyteller, Meissner meticulously switches between the alternating story lines, enticing the reader to the edge of her seat. I never felt like I had reached an acceptable resting point until the very last page. This was a wonderful stay-up-all night to f ...more
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting stories. I liked learning about Ellis Island and the immigration process in 1911. Clara suffered a traumatic event. I think that’s why she grieved losing Edward so long. Not because of losing Edward himself or even the dream of what might be but because of the trauma. It was her way of subconsciously grieving all that she witnessed. I liked how everything came together at the end. This is the first book I’ve read by this author. I will keep my eye out for more.
Morgan Smith
What a moving, unforgettable story! The ties between the great tragedies of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and 2001 September 11th terrorist attacks were central to the story and the emotional journeys of the two main protagonists. So impactful. A novel that is important and so relevant.
Carol (Reading Ladies)
4.5 stars....a new favorite read

A beautiful scarf with a marigold design connects two women who experience traumatic and personally devastating events almost one hundred years apart. Clara witnesses the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of 1911 in Manhattan while Taryn witnesses the collapse of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. Both young women suffer loss and experience the effects of PTSD. This is a story of their healing journey and their decision to risk love again.

Before starting my review, I
Jocelyn Green
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: time-slip
Oh my goodness, this book. The characters for both storylines touched me deeply, and I cried (in a good, cathartic way) plenty during the 9-11-01 story. I loved this novel, which is firmly centered around historic events, but remains unquestionably character-driven. One of my favorites by Meissner.
MaryannC. Book Freak
First off this was listed as Christian fiction but that doesn't really matter because this is just a beautiful and lovely read. This doesn't have embellished descriptions to make it sound more beautifully written, it simply is what it is. Two stories told a hundred years apart, one story is about Clara Wood, a young nurse who witnesses the heartbreaking tragedy at The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in 1911 that continues to have a gripping affect on her life as she tries to move on. The other story is ...more
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Susan Meissner was born in San Diego, California, the second of three. She spent her childhood in just two houses.
Her first writings are a laughable collection of oddly worded poems and predictable stories she wrote when she was eight.

She attended Point Loma College in San Diego, and married her husband, Bob, who is now an associate pastor and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves, in 1980. When sh

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