Still Life with Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen (Random House, 2014)
This is former New York Times columnist Anna Quindlen’s seventh novel, but only the second one I’ve read. They are not sequential or even related though, so it’s not a problem. This story, about an artist who moves to a rural area when her income starts drying up, reminds me a bit of Nicholson Baker’s novels. I suppose that’s because there is occasional discussion of the glamorous world of agents and publishers in New York City (whom artists and writers depend on to make their living), in the setting of a small town in the Northeast. The protagonist is Rebecca Winter, 60 year old photographer, who leaves the city for financial reasons but is open to the new friendships that occur in her new home. She is not as enthused about the responsibilities of maintaining a home, having only experienced apartment living, but the man who comes to rid her attic of a raccoon turns out to have a story of his own. All the characters are well developed and serve to create a realistic setting that focuses on adults of middle age and older. The book title comes from the title of one of the main character’s famous photographs. I liked this book and might even read some of Quindlen’s other works.