Still Life with Bread Crumbs–Life is not over at 61

Still Life with Bread Crumbs

By Anna Quindlen

Published 2014

Read July 2021

Once again, this reader’s local Little Library provided a good book to read.  This reader has read several Quindlen books and they are usually a good break from some of the heavier, grittier books often on this reader’s book list. 

Rebecca Winter’s original artist outlet had been painting.  But when the photographs she took of various kitchen objects she planned to paint became of interest to the photography art community, photography became her (very successful) focus.  She even has recently received a notable award—although she is concerned this signals the fading of her career.  She is now 61.  She hasn’t sold any photographs for a while and her income has dwindled although her expenses haven’t, especially the bill to the Jewish Home for the Aged and the Infirm at which her mother resides.  She has rented a small cottage in a small town that is driving distance to New York and is renting her apartment in New York with the difference in costs designed to supplement her income.

The book follows her experiences in this small town and with this cottage which needs maintenance skills she doesn’t possess but which Jim Bates, a local, does.  Along the way we learn that she married and is now divorced from a professor who is enchanted by younger women until he finds need of a younger one, and that she has a grown son from that union.  The story isn’t wholly unpredictable but that’s ok. 

Quindlen’s storytelling and language is always engaging for this reader.  This reader liked Rebecca Winter much more than the main character in Alternate Side, perhaps because she is both more vulnerable and more self-effacing. At any rate, this was just the right book for this reader at the right time.  This reader looks forward to more from this author. 

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