Mameve Medwed’s book How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life was one of those books you let sit for a bit before you read them. I (mistakenly) thought it was a book about poetry. I was interested to read it as part of the BlogHer Virtual Book Tour (though I’m reviewing it belatedly), but I’m not a huge fan of poetry.
I read the back cover, though, and was intrigued. It isn’t about poetry! Rather, it’s about a young woman who runs an antique booth in one of those large markets with various antique dealers with boothes next to eachother. Abby is at some loose ends after a bad breakup, her mother’s death, and a tell-all novel written by her ex-fiancé. One of her possessions she inherited from her mother is a porcelain chamber pot that a colleague suggests she takes to Antiques Roadshow.
When Abby goes to the Roadshow, she is pulled aside, and discovers that a sketch on the side of it was drawn by the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Rather than saving Abby’s life, this discovery makes her better off financially (more people are coming to her antiques booth), but rips a tear in a lifelong friendship.
As the novel continues, we see Abby go through introspection, learn more about her past, and see her scramble to determine what she should do with her future. It is a beautiful read as we see what is truly most important to Abby, and how she can find her way through life’s maze.
I am so glad I was given the opportunity to read this book. I highly recommend it, and am looking forward to reading other books by the author!