Rebecca Winter, a famous photographer is aging. Her work is not as popular as it once was and the money is not as plentiful. On top of having to pay for her apartment in New York (which she loves and can’t even entertain the thought of getting rid of) she has to pay her father’s hospital bills and the fees for the nursing home care for her mother who is suffering from dementia.
No longer able to afford her apartment, she rents it out and moves to a cabin in a small town outside the city while nervously watching her bank balance dwindle as she has to pay for a roofer to help with an attic hole that a raccoon manages to work his way into and heat for the cabin for the winter.
A little embarrassed with her financial situation , she takes a side job snapping photos of eagles for a wildlife organization pamphlet, even though still life black & white photography is what she does, never wildlife. Rebecca spends some time in a tree stand with Jim, the roofer who hooks her up with this gig, and she gets to know this kind gentle person, and in the process ends up learning even more about herself.
Still Life With Bread Crumbs starts out slow and I felt it to be a little disjointed at first. But in coming to know Jim, and the locals – Sarah the owner of an English style tea house and Kevin, her husband the con artist/crook, as well as Tad the clown with a beautiful operatic voice, I was able to watch Rebecca’s life start to unfold and bloom as if I was a part of that process. Life isn’t always rapid paced, continuous activity, especially as you start to enter your 60’s. It kind of meanders like a back country road, narrow, a little bumpy and kind of rutted.
I enjoyed Anna Quindlen’s novel of love, life and personal discovery. I’m glad I stayed along for the ride.