Objects of My Affection

Objects of My Affection

4.4 11
by Jill Smolinski
     
 

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In the humorous, heartfelt new novel by the author of The Next Thing on My List, a personal organizer must somehow convince a reclusive artist to give up her hoarding ways and let go of the stuff she’s hung on to for decades.

Lucy Bloom is broke, freshly dumped by her boyfriend, and forced to sell her house to send her

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Overview

In the humorous, heartfelt new novel by the author of The Next Thing on My List, a personal organizer must somehow convince a reclusive artist to give up her hoarding ways and let go of the stuff she’s hung on to for decades.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Smolinski's heartfelt newest (after The Next Thing On My List), Lucy Bloom, a personal organizer, is desperately trying to get her life back on track. After getting dumped, she had to sell her home in order to finance her 19-year-old son Ash's stint in rehab; now Lucy is sharing a bedroom with a friend's toddler. In order to make a little money, she accepts a peculiar assignment: famed reclusive painter and hoarder Marva Meier Rios wants to clear out most of her possessions before her 65th birthday. Despite initiating the project, Marva is extremely reluctant to relinquish her belongings. Desperate, Lucy brings in ex-boyfriend Daniel, a collectibles enthusiast who treats Marva's things with an appropriate amount of respect. As the artist begins to open up and let go, Lucy and Daniel learn about Marva's complicated past and troubling secrets, and start to realize that even they might have relics holding them back—from one another and moving forward. Smolinski gracefully balances lighthearted humor with insightful musings on addiction, mortality, nostalgia, and affection, making this an entertaining and touching read. (May)
Booklist
“A moving look at the dangers of holding on to both objects and one’s misconceptions, Smolinski’s third novel will draw readers in through her flawed but sympathetic characters."
Woman's World
“A humorous story of self-discovery.”
Sarah Pekkanen
“Simultaneously breezy yet thought provoking, this is a fun read that stays with you."
Claire Cook
“Reading Jill Smolinski feels like hanging out with a charming, savvy, fun-filled new friend."
Melissa Senate
“I loved this deeply felt, bravely honest tale of a professional organizer who discovers just how messy life and love can be, but that everything truly does have a place. A treasure of a novel."
Mia King
“Funny, poignant, and achingly smart, Objects of My Affection will win the hearts of loyal fans and new readers everywhere. Jill Smolinski's writing is smart, funny, and true with fully realized characters that readers will come to love."
Times Record News (Wichita Falls TX)
“Smolinski does an incredible job of weaving together the stories of two willful women. . . and gives the often emotional storyline a genuine feeling of reality.”
From the Publisher
"Simultaneously breezy yet thought provoking, this is a fun read that stays with you." —Sarah Pekkanen, author of These Girls

"Reading Jill Smolinski feels like hanging out with a charming, savvy, fun-filled new friend." —Claire Cook, author of Must Love Dogs

"I loved this deeply felt, bravely honest tale of a professional organizer who discovers just how messy life and love can be, but that everything truly does have a place. A treasure of a novel." —Melissa Senate, author of The Love Goddess' Cooking School

"Funny, poignant, and achingly smart, Objects of My Affection will win the hearts of loyal fans and new readers everywhere. Jill Smolinski's writing is smart, funny, and true with fully realized characters that readers will come to love." —Mia King, author of Good Things and Sweet Life

"A charmingly breezy tone marks this warm appraisal of our addiction to stuff." —Kirkus Reviews

"A moving look at the dangers of holding on to both objects and one’s misconceptions, Smolinski’s third novel will draw readers in through her flawed but sympathetic characters." —Booklist

“A pleasant and engaging novel with likable protagonists who evolve.” —Library Journal

“A humorous story of self-discovery.” —Woman's World

“Smolinski does an incredible job of weaving together the stories of two willful women. . . and gives the often emotional storyline a genuine feeling of reality.” —Times Record News

“Smolinski gracefully balances lighthearted humor with insightful musings on addiction, mortality, nostalgia, and affection, making this an entertaining and touching read.” —Publishers Weekly“Readers will root like crazy for Bloom.” —New Haven Register

Library Journal
Smolinski's (The Next Thing on My List) latest novel revolves around two completely different women brought together under unordinary circumstances. Lucy is broke and homeless, as she has sold everything to pay for her teenage son's rehab. Hired as a professional organizer to clean the home of the great artist Marva Meier Rios, Lucy soon discovers that Marva is difficult, withdrawn, and an incessant hoarder. Helping Marva sort through her possessions is a challenge made even more difficult when there is a fast-approaching deadline. As the two women work together, Lucy literally uncovers a secret that Marva is hoarding, and Marva learns a thing or two about the detached Lucy. Can the stubborn Marva make room for people in her overcluttered space before it's too late? VERDICT This is a pleasant and engaging novel with likable protagonists who evolve; however, the relationships among the book's other characters aren't as fully explored, and the resolution seems hurried and flat.—Anne M. Miskewitch, Chicago P.L.
Kirkus Reviews
If things are not people, then why do they seem to matter so much? A hoarder and organizational expert clash in this light, amusing novel from Smolinski (The Next Thing on my List, 2007, etc.). Lucy Bloom, author of Things are Not People, a book no one seems to have read, is ironically bereft of possessions. Aside from her beloved red Mustang, Lucy has sold her home and its contents, using the proceeds to put her teenage son, Ash, in rehab. Admirable, but now Ash won't speak to her and somehow she lost her boyfriend, Daniel, along the way, too. Broke and lonely, Lucy lands a dream job: help Marva Meier Rios clear her house of clutter in 52 days, and she'll have enough cash to get back on her feet. Of course the reclusive artist makes the job impossible, forcing Lucy to debate the merits of every fork, candlestick and flamingo-shaped umbrella holder. Under pressure from Marva's son to get the job done, not to mention pressure from the gorgeous Niko to take a break, Lucy surprises herself by asking Daniel for help. Just as Lucy tries to help Marva de-clutter her house, so Daniel helps Lucy de-clutter her memory. Lucy and Marva must accept that things may not be people, but people do bind themselves to their things with memories and emotions. Only after Marva confesses the big secret of her life--the secret that has bound her past emotions into all of the objects in her home--is she able to let go of the clutter and begin anew. And Lucy may have let go of a lot of things, but she hasn't released the memories--some true, some misremembered--that bind her to Ash and Daniel. A charmingly breezy tone marks this warm appraisal of our addiction to stuff.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451660753
Publisher:
Touchstone
Publication date:
05/01/2012
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.36(w) x 9.32(h) x 1.08(d)

Meet the Author

Jill Smolinski is the author of the novels The Next Thing on My List and Flip-Flopped. Her work has appeared in major women’s magazines, as well as in an anthology of short stories, American Girls About Town. She lives in Los Angeles with her son.

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Objects of My Affection 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Have you ever seen an episode of Hoarders or one of those organizational shows and wonder what really goes on behind the scenes? This book takes you in behind the scenes of a once famous artist and along with the main character, Lucy, we find out how a person can find themselves buried by their belongings. The main plot with a few sub plots were more than entertaining, enough for me to have to fight sleep to finish the book! Lucy was adorable and quirky. I loved her inability to "practice what you preach". She could help Marva remove belongings and find value in people, yet Lucy was struggling through life with blinders on to many of her own personal situations. Even with a few twists that I wish had gone a different way, the writing was simple and sweet which I always find to be enjoyable. A book that I would pass onto a variety of readers, although a chick lit, skeptics to the genre would adore this sweet story about a woman finding value in herself.
VirtuousWomanKF More than 1 year ago
Turning the page on "Objects of My Affection", was a plesant read. This is a sweet story and one that kept me interested from page one until the end. Jill Smolinski's novel brings to the forfront how hoarding wears on relationships and reasons for their desire to put so much empahsis on "things" instead of people. A few other topics discussed in this book; suicide, tough love, healing and homelessness. Looking for a easy, fast read? Check it out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You cant help but be invested in these characters and feel their struggles and triumphs. An easy flow and wonderfully interwoven story of two women both dealing with overcoming something huge-one a hoarder, the other giving up everything to save her son. They have a conflicted relationship at first but watching them slowly buy into one another is heartwarming.A book i couldnt put down!
norway_girl More than 1 year ago
Reading the back cover you wonder if this would be too quirky a topic to which you might sacrifice precious reading hours. Having elderly family members in the past with "issues" prompted my initial interest, but I was very glad I read it. This is not only about hoarding, or clutter collectors, or reorganizing. Everyone could find something that strikes a familiar chord in this book. The character development is wonderful, the flow of the scenes easy, the moral applicable to life in general. I enjoyed it, and recommend it.
Twink More than 1 year ago
Objects of My Affections is author Jill Smolinski's third novel. I always enjoy looking at covers first, imagining what the story inside will be. Moving on and lots of baggage? And I wasn't far off....... Lucy Bloom (loved the name) has seriously downsized - in fact she's sold just about everything she owned, including her house. Why? Well, her son Ash is an addict and she finally got him to go to a rehab, but needed the money to finance it. Lucy had mild success with her initial book Things Are Not People - an organizational and de-cluttering guide. That book has gotten her an interview with Will Meier. He's the son of reclusive (and difficult) artist Marva Meier Rios and there is a deadline for clearing out the clutter in the house. Lucy lands the job, but what she finds is more than simple clutter - Marva's home could be featured on one of those television shows about hoarding. There's a deadline to meet and Marva isn't going to make it easy - she needs to look at each and every item before a decision is made. The cover of Objects of My Affection immediately brings chick lit to mind. And yes it is, but the story is much more than that. There needs to a be another genre heading - Chick Lit with Heart, Chick Lit with More? Something along those lines. For while Smolinski's book is light and breezy and does include the requisite hunky guy and missed meanings and connections, there's more to the story. Jill handles some serious situations and topics with thoughtfulness and candor. Hoarding of course, which usually involves an underlying catalyst not dealt with. And the opposite - Lucy herself is able to let things go with no problem. I thought that Ash's drug use and Lucy's struggle to deal with it was done very well - it read as quite real. Relationships of all sorts are explored with an emphasis on mothers and sons. I really enjoyed Lucy's ex boyfriend Daniel. His sense of humour, his caring, giving nature and his honesty made him one of my favourite characters. Nelson, the care nurse was also quite funny. And for reasons I'm not quite sure of, I actually found myself enjoying Marva over Lucy. Marva's crotchety ways actually endeared her to me! But, that's not to say I wasn't cheering for Lucy to succeed. As one of her characters says " it's clear that everything here at one time was worth something to you but that doesn't mean it has to be forever. They're holding you back from the life you could have. Let it go." Smolinski has crafted a warm, funny, sweet read that touches on the question what do we keep in our lives and what do we need to let go? Food for thought.... Recommended summer reading - tuck this one in your beach bag for 2012.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
52chickadees More than 1 year ago
“ The Art of Keep, Throw, Donate, Organize—Including Life” Thirty-nine yr. old single Mom, Lucy Bloom would give up everything for her beloved Son, Ash. In fact, that’s just what she did. She gave away almost all of her possessions, leaving the barest of necessities, and, even sold her house in order to pay for Ash’s stay in a Florida rehab facility. With no where to go, she bunks in with her Best Friend, Heather and her husband, sleeping on an inflatable mattress with their pre-school daughter Little does Lucy realize how much the book she has written, “Things are Not People” will help to change her life and her perception of it—especially when she is hired by snarky, staid, and serious Will Meier, to secretly organize his Mother’s house. Imagine her surprise, when she discovers his Mother is none other than the famous (and crusty) artist, Marva Meier Rios AND there is a mysterious deadline of May 15th! This seems like an impossible task, especially when Marva’s and Lucy’s worlds collide! Plus, to complicate things further, ex-boyfriend, Daniel wanders back into the picture, adding to the upheaval already created by Lucy’s ungrateful, drug addict son. Ms. Smolinski ‘s story is intense and moving from beginning to end, with some bits of humor throughout. You’ll follow Lucy through discouragement, anger, and denial, and keep cheering this brave soul on, as she has her “Little Engine That Could” attitude in high gear, There is much to be learned from this book—Lucy is right, things are not people. I, myself have equated the two for years. I applaud the Author for such dynamic characters and heart-tugging story line. You don’t want to miss this one—so make space on your bulging bookshelf for it—you won’t be disappointed! Nancy Narma
MTDIVA More than 1 year ago
This review is from: Objects of My Affection: A Novel (Hardcover) This quirky story intertwines the lives of two totally different women. Young Lucy has lost so much, and is pretty much down on her luck when she takes on a job as a cleaner for Marva. Marva is an ecclectic older lady who is a hoarder, and Lucy finds that organizing this home will take a huge effort. As their personalities blend, we are taken into the mind of Marva, who has chosen to keep clutter in an effort to hang onto her past life. The hoarding of clutter is representative of a much deeper issue, and the reader discovers this about Marva. I found this a quick and interesting read, with great character and plot development. Since many of the members of my book club have some hoarding issues, this will be a great book to discuss and relate to! We may even declutter our own lives!! --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good book! Surprised how many major life topics this novel addressed so smoothly: suicide, drug addiction, hoarding, dating, parental relationships. While none these were in depth or on a serious note the book caused me to think in terms of at least one person I know or knew who suffered as a result of one of topics. The book was a fast read and enjoyable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story line, great charactors...all of them. Would highly reccommend...great 'chick' book.