Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson

1. First lines. 2 Published 2018: Penguin 3. First verse of “The Tollund Man”, a poem by Sheamus Heaney via ibiblio 4. Head of bog body Tollund Man. Found on 1950-05-06 near Tollund, Silkebjorg, Denmark and C14 dated to approximately 375-210 BCE. Public Domain via Wikimedia
I absolutely loved this book.

In a series of letters, Tina Hopgood, who lives in England, and Anders Larsen, living in Denmark, develop a deep friendship. Anders is a curator at the museum where the Tollund Man (a preserved 4th Century corpse found in 1950) is displayed. Tina has been fascinated by the story of the Tollund Man since her childhood, and had always vowed to visit the Museum, but had never made the journey. Over time, the two exchange details about their lives through their correspondence, and a deeper relationship develops.

“Whenever I pick raspberries, I go as carefully as possible down the row, looking for every ripe fruit. But however careful I am, when I turn round to go back the other way, I find fruit I had not seen approaching from the opposite direction. Another life, I thought, might be like a second pass down the row of raspberry canes; there would be good things I had not come across in my first life, but I suspect I would find much of the fruit was already in my basket.”

“I was irritated by the simplicity of my mother’s view of the world when I was younger, but now that I know how hard it is to keep upright, cheerful, balanced, and in control, which is expected of us as adults, I can appreciate the mechanisms she used to achieve this.” 

~ Quotes from “Meet Me at the Museum” by Anne Youngson
  • Kirkus: “The writing is, for the most part, poised and literate; and Tina’s descriptions of the natural world she knows so well can be quite lovely. Unfortunately, she sounds way too sophisticated given the cloistered life she is supposed to have led. … Though well-crafted, this genteel novel never quite achieves liftoff.”
  • NPR “Meet Me at the Museum’ is a touching, hopeful story about figuring out what matters and mustering the courage to make necessary changes.”

This edition by Macmillan

Award: 2018 Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award

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