Friday, December 12, 2014

Still Life with Bread Crumbs, Anna Quindlen

Still Life with Bread Crumbs: A Novel

Anna Quindlen   

Category: Fiction

Synopsis: Sixty-year-old divorcee, Rebecca Winter, moves from the city to the country. Just how much will her life change?

Date finished: 24 September 2014 

Rating: ****

I’ve long enjoyed Anna Quindlen’s nonfiction. Her essay collections, her book on reading, her latest woman-of-a-certain-age memoir, I’ve enjoyed them all. I’ve also read one (two?) of her novels, and I was sorely disappointed. But other bloggers read Still Life with Bread Crumbs earlier this year and praised it so highly, I had to check it out.

I was not disappointed. The plot, best described as woman-of-a-certain-age-romance (I see a theme developing in Quindlen’s writing lately), as well as the characters, were light and breezy. It’s a quiet slice of life novel, complete with a dislocated artist, an all-around good guy, and some other stock characters. There’s nothing really striking in the plot or characters arena. But the writing is where it’s at for this novel. I wrote down many whole passages in which Quindlen absolutely nails the human condition to the wall. Her writerly turn of phrase is a special gift. The writing kept me reading; the story was secondary. 

A couple of my favorite passages:

They were photographs that you had to explain, which meant they were a failure. (page 35)

Bebe Winter had never relaxed into anything, especially motherhood. (page 53)

It would make sense that the women who lived there thought he was her dog, given her mental state; it made sense that [the dog] was agnostic about the whole thing, given his history. (page 63)

If you’re looking for a nice light, quick, read with some romance and human psychology, this is the book for you.

Would you recommend this to a friend?

You might also enjoy:
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake


  1. That sounds like a good read! I will check that one out.

  2. It's a good book. Short. Happy ending. Good writing. I read a lot of heavy nonfiction, so this was a refreshing change.