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Book Review ” Still Life with Bread crumbs” By:Anna Quindlen

When I decided to read this book and then began readings it ,I did not think I would really end up enjoying it. I knew it had been a really popular book and wondered why. I have read many books that have a photographer as the center of the story and many of them were beautiful books, but I didn’t really expect to read another photographer based book that would really strike at something deeply within me like this book ended up doing.This book, a seven on my scale, really made me think again about the important of three things:Money, Dedication to your devotion, and family.

It made me rethink… Money.

I hope for those of you who haven’t read the book and are intending to that I don’t spoil anything for you but I might have to in the process of getting my thoughts across.With the main character money is one of the reasons she moves into the cottage outside of the city. money motivates her to go away from her comfort zone, she does not have enough money to stay there and still needs to make money to survive. I think money is not necessary to life and humanity and should be done away with entirely. Yet if it hadn’t been for her need for money she would have never moved to the cottage, never met Jim, never photographed those white crosses and never have fired TG, which I wanted fired from the moment she was mentioned.If the book has been about her living her life in New York  without needing more money because she had it all, then I really would have ended up hating this book. It taught me something about money though I still hold true that we would be better off without it. It taught me that while money can’t buy happiness or peace, and even though it can buy us commodities: Sometimes what money really buys us is a life we would never have thought to pursue before but are now in pursuit of.Is your money really buying you a trip to London or a alternate way of living ? Now you can see what it is like to live in a fancy hotel and drink real English tea. That is something that money bought you, an experience but not just an experience, it is more than that… A life you never really pondered being a part of before. Sometimes this is good and sometimes this is bad and sometimes we can’t really pinpoint what it means.Buying a $2000 dress might make you feel rich, or if you truly have the budget for it, your are living the luxurious life a life that , even if you had the money, but chose not to by expensive things with it, you really wouldn’t be living.This also ties  in with the next to things. If the main character had not moved into the cottage because of her lack of money then she would not of ended up with the same relations as she did. Her family would of been different. She would not of met Jim. She would not have remarried to Jim.She would of still been known a the woman who divorced Peter.Money is pretty complicated and it can’t buy us happiness but it can buy us the life we never truly envisioned for ourselves and not only through our possession of it but through our lack of it as well.

It made me rethink…Devotion.

It would have been so easy for the main character to have given up on her devotion to photography all together. She needed money after all, to live, not photographs that weren’t bringing her in very much money. She could easily find a new job as something completely different yet she stuck to taking this unique pictures.This taught me that devotion trumps desperation is many ways I had not even considered before.When one is truly devoted to something, weather it is a good devotion or a bad devotion, that devotion often stays the enter of their lives even in times when things go sour. desperate times do call for desperate measure but sometimes even if that ought to mean tossing aside something one is devoted to, that devotion still remains centered.Her devotion to photography ended up paying out in the end ad being truly devoted to something is a mystical thing. What if she had given up, once again then I would not have enjoyed this book.It was her devotion to her art that made her art beat out the desperation from her life.

It made me rethink…Family.

The photographs of the white crosses meant something to Jim all along.They were the manifestation of his sister after she committed suicide. To the photographer though they were simply beautiful pictures that turned out perfectly in her camera, and called to her.They, at the  beginning, did not represent family to her because she was ignorant as to there meaning.In the end though they came to mean family to her as well because her definition of family shifted and her view on the photos was altered.This made me think about how family is ever changing. We will have out set in stone family, whether we like it or not, and then we have our vastly ever changing family.This is the meaning of the crosses in the end, in my opinion. She all along was bringing Polly into  her family.Polly who never really has anyone but Jim, now seemed to have a growing family. And though she only sold three of the pictures, it was through selling them and letting other view them that somehow all of the viewers were becoming, unknowingly, part of Polly’s family. I think there is something very beautiful to that idea and I am really glad this book made me consider it.

Wonderful book. A lot to think about here.

Let me know in the comments what books you think I  ought to read and review and/ or any thoughts you had on this book.

-Wishing you the brightest of days, Eva

” Me and the pen,we are one. If its ink would cease to flow, my ink would cease to flow.”




I am the author of and am currently working on a book of poems. To find out more check out my about me page as well as my page about my blog and welcome to the ink angels community.

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