Still Life With Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen
I’ve been a fan of Anna Quindlen’s work for years. I was an avid reader of her Pulitzer Prize winning column for The New York Times, “Life in the Thirties,” and most recently I enjoyed her memoir Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, her wry musings on life after the thirties.
Quindlen’s latest book, Still Life with Bread Crumbs, is fiction although the themes will be instantly recognizable to all female baby boomers, regardless of your specific circumstances.
The novel’s protagonist Rebecca Winter is a formerly famous and currently broke photographer.
Unable to afford her chic NYC apartment, she moves to a dilapidated cabin in the country, meets a roofer named Jim, and starts over. (The initial premise reminded me a little of the Diane Keaton/Sam Sheppard movie in which Diane, a disgraced corporate hot shot, moves to a dilapidated cabin in the country, meets hunky Sam Sheppard, and starts over— Baby Something? )
So the plot may be a bit predictable, but there are a few unexpected twists, and Rebecca is very good company. In fact, the book goes down so easily you almost don’t notice Quindlen’s formidable prose skills.