Fabulous Fiction Firsts #783
Fri, 06/25/2021 - 5:59pm by muffy
17 year-old Lenni Pettersson is a patient in the Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital. Though terminally ill, she is not ready to give up living, or asking questions. Curiosity leads her to the hospital’s almost-always empty chapel and she befriends the chaplain Father Arthur, but it is the 83-year-old purple-wearing, fruitcake-eating, dumpster-diving rebel Margot McCrea whom she meets at the hospital’s art class that sparks the recognition of a kindred spirit.
As they exchange stories, Lenni realizes that together, they have been alive for 100 yeas, and comes up with the idea of creating 100 paintings, a painting for every year of their lives. Moving back and forth in time, the narrative beautifully renders Margot's much-longer life of a lost baby, a missing husband, a complicated lifelong friendship with a woman and second chance at love with an astronomer while we learn about Lenni’s childhood in Sweden, and her mother’s mental illness.
“Holding all the pieces together are Lenni's exquisite honesty, humor, and curiosity at the life she won't live. Readers will know by page two that sharp-tongued, funny, brave Lenni will break their heart, and that they'll be all in for the ride. Rich for its cast of characters unique in their messiness, humanity, and kindness, debut author Cronin's masterpiece won't let go, long after the last page.” (Library Journal, reviewed by Beth Andersen, formerly with Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI)
Already optioned for film adaptation.