Read and Recommended: Still Life with Bread Crumbs

Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen

Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen

No wonder she hadn’t been able to sleep. There had been bees in her brain, a whole hive, no honey.Anna Quindlen, Still Life with Bread Crumbs

Rebecca finds herself at a crossroads: career in a slump, forced to sublet her NY apartment, and her income non-existent. Still Life with Bread Crumbs follows her renewal of spirit, creativity, and love.

Rebecca’s own syntax was stiff and old-fashioned because, when she was growing up, her mother had made slang, even contractions, seem like obscenities. “Honey, dangle a participle every once in a while,” Dorthea has said to her one night in college, and Rebecca had flushed, embarrassed.Anna Quindlen, Still Life with Bread Crumbs

Why I recommend this book

Ms. Quindlen knows how to slice a piece of cake: just sweet enough and just clever enough to whet our appetites–and leave us salivating for more. Her inimitable style, shining with personality and charm, is more like listening to a friend tell a story rather than an anonymous author writing a work of fiction.

Several times, while reading Still Life, I realized I was smiling. Can’t wait to read more of her work!

But that’s for later (read the book and you will understand).

It was what had always made Rebecca feel loved when she was a child, the tone of excitement in her father’s nasal voice. When she had entered the dining room in the morning for breakfast his greeting suggested a visiting dignitary: “My beauty! Have some toast! Sonya! Marmalade for my princess!” Then she went to the office when she was eight and discovered for the first time that he spoke to everyone that way. “Irving! Good to see you!” he said to an acquaintance at the bank. “Ramona, my love!” he called to the waitress at the kosher deli, ordering corned beef as though he has just invented it and wanted to introduce it to the entire room. It made everyone like him, but it had disappointed Rebecca, to know she was not special in that way.Anna Quindlen, Still Life with Bread Crumbs

Writing ideas inspired by this book

  • Stay true to your personal writing style.
  • Share all the foibles and quirks that make the characters endearing, human, and sometimes lovable.
  • While sex is important (and enjoyable, if you are lucky while you’re getting lucky), it isn’t the driving force behind the heroine’s life—focus on the struggle, in this case, of an artist past their prime, looking for a new audience and new respect for their talent; i.e. how to go from being a has-been to a right-now.

    She kept telling herself that is was so much less expensive to live here: she hadn’t bought wine since Thanksgiving, and the two dresses she’d brought with her in case of—well, just in case—stood in the corner of her closet like guests who have come to the wrong party and are backing out the door.Anna Quindlen, Still Life with Bread Crumbs


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