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This week’s review: Meet me at the Museum by Ann Youngson
Meet Me at the Museum | Anne Youngson | 2018, 272 pages | Fiction
In 1964 a young girl named Tina was fascinated by the Tollund Man, a mummified body from the Iron Age found in Denmark. His body had been preserved in a bog. She and her schoolgirl friends wrote to Professor Glob about it, and he dedicated his book, The Bog People, to these young girls.
Now, more than 50 years later, Tina writes to the professor again. She has always wanted to visit the Silkeborg Museum of Denmark to see the Tollund Man, but has never made the trip. The time has never been right. Professor Anders Larsen answers Tina’s letter, and a wonderful correspondence begins. They are both captivated by the Tollund Man and Seamus Heaney’s poem about him.
Tina is married to a farmer and lives in East Anglia in England. She is a mother and a grandmother. She works hard cleaning, cooking and doing chores on the farm. She married young, and wonders now about how her life might have been different. She is lonely and wants someone to share her thoughts with. Anders is a widower and also lonely. What begins as a request for information becomes a very important friendship for both of them, even though they have never seen or spoken to each other.
This story told in letters is about two isolated people who have much in common. Little by little they write details of their lives, their hopes, joys and griefs. They look forward to reading each other’s letters and give each other advice. And Anders encourages Tina to come someday and meet him at the museum.
If you liked 84, Charing Cross Road and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society stories, you should try this one. This is a charming novel, a small gem of a book, and I was sorry to see it end.