Thursday, August 14, 2014
Objects of My Affection by Jill Smolinski
Published May 2012 by Touchstone
Source: my copy courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Lucy Bloom is broke, freshly dumped by her boyfriend, and forced to sell her house to send her nineteen-year-old son to drug rehab. Although she’s lost it all, she’s determined to start over. So when she’s offered a high-paying gig helping clear the clutter from the home of reclusive and eccentric painter Marva Meier Rios, Lucy grabs it. Armed with the organizing expertise she gained while writing her book, Things Are Not People, and fueled by a burning desire to get her life back on track, Lucy rolls up her sleeves to take on the mess that fills every room of Marva’s huge home. Lucy soon learns that the real challenge may be taking on Marva, who seems to love the objects in her home too much to let go of any of them.
While trying to stay on course toward a strict deadline—and with an ex-boyfriend back in the picture, a new romance on the scene, and her son’s rehab not going as planned—Lucy discovers that Marva isn’t just hoarding, she is also hiding a big secret. The two form an unlikely bond, as each learns from the other that there are those things in life we keep, those we need to let go—but it’s not always easy to know the difference.
It looks light, right? Even after you read the summary and see hoarding, drug rehab, and financial disaster, you look at the cover and think light. And it is, to an extent. Objects of My Affection has plenty of humor and there are those two great-looking guys that Lucy basically drools over so there's that froth.
But Smolinski balances that with two interesting story lines about parenting and a wonderful look at how we hold on to things, both physical and emotional. Y'all know how much I love to declutter (I have no idea when I became Southern) but how I also have those things that feed my soul that I have to hang onto so you know there's a part of me that can relate to both Lucy and Marva. Except that Lucy doesn't believe in hanging on to anything and Marva doesn't believe in letting go of anything - the journey of Objects of My Affection is in helping both of them find the middle ground.