The novel is a series of unlikely letters between Tina, an English farmer’s wife, and Anders, a museum administrator in Denmark ... it’s the exchange of their reflections on life that proves so peacefully compelling ... How subtle. How perceptive. How mundane ... Meet Me at the Museum is gently provoking, delving into how we interact with our children, our spouses, our communities, but mostly with ourselves.
Her lovely debut novel recalls heartwarmers like Kent Haruf's Our Souls at Night, and two longtime favorite epistolary novels, Helene Hanff's 84, Charing Cross Road and Jean Webster's 1912 classic, Daddy-Long-Legs. Youngson captures two distinct characters through their thoughtful, empathetic letters ... Meet Me at the Museum is a touching, hopeful story about figuring out what matters and mustering the courage to make necessary changes ... Both the substance and very existence of this impressive late-life debut bring to mind a nugget of advice imparted to a friend by his wise therapist: 'Life's open-ended if you can get there.'
Told through a series of letters, Youngson’s debut follows Tina and Anders’ journey of discovering something that was missing from their lives, thoughtfully revealing their emotions of the present and reflections on the past. The book’s slower pace and attention to detail match the patient process of letter writing, too. Through each new letter, the story moves forward with ease, feelings of isolation begin to dissipate, and room for hope grows.
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. There is also an overly earnest quality to some of what Tina and Anders write to one another ... Though well-crafted, this genteel novel never quite achieves liftoff.