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)

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