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 onto for decades.
Lucy Bloom is broke, has been dumped by her boyfriend, and had to sell her house to send her 19-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 and those we need to let go—but it’s not always easy to know the difference.
Laugh-out-loud humor, heartfelt writing, relatable characters, and a charming premise all come together to make Objects of My Affection the next read for the fans of Jennifer Weiner, Emily Giffin, and Allison Winn Scotch.
©2012 Jill Smolinski (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“A wonderfully written, heartfelt novel about what to keep and what to let go of as you move forward in your life.” (Claire Cook, best-selling author of Must Love Dogs)
“A hoarder and organizational expert clash in this light, amusing novel from Smolinski…A charmingly breezy tone marks this warm appraisal of our addiction to stuff.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“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)
retired special education director/educ. diagnostician
Yes, for anyone who has either had a problem with too much stuff of their own or had frustration with others close to them who have too many things. The author crafted a sometimes funny, sometimes disturbing, but always captivating story about a gifted and eccentric artist and the life events that lead her into years of hoarding. I'm going to recommend it as my book for our book group.
Unlike anything else I have read. Novel topic and a great listen.
There were many moving moments. I was most moved when Marva, the artist who generally seems cold, unfeeling, and disconnected, is able to show compassion for Lucy, a personal organizer hired to help her, in her relationship with her son.
Besides being a fun listen, the author has given me some food for thought about what I value in life and what I should do about it.
Say something about yourself!
The story line was totally different from any other audio I have listened to.
When Lucy came to terms with her son! This situation is way too common in this day and age (unfortunately).
The main character, Lucy.
This book was refreshing since it was different.
This was an interesting story about a woman who is hired to convince a cantankerous, aging artist de-clutter her house against her will. The story kept me intrigued but I felt the author didn't include enough about the artist's hoarding, given that this was the whole raison d'etre for the novel. A good book for listening to while you are driving or doing other tasks - engaging and well written, but not so laced with literary imagery that you have to concentrate deeply to follow the story.
This book was a nice ride although the outcome was somewhat predictable. The characters were developed enough so that we could say we know them. The situation with Lucy's son is every parents' nightmare and it was painted very well. I felt her pain.The way she reacts to Daniel is so understandable. The two women seemed at the outset to be so different but they really weren't.
The reader did a great job. She was pleasant and did each voice so they personalities came through. I will certainly see if this author has other books available
In the top quartile.
The early interactions between Lucy and the woman for whom she works, as they size each other up.
The scenes where Lucy was hanging out with friends in her temporary quarters,
The artist mother.
A quirky book, refreshingly so.
What do an eccentric artist, her uptight son, and a chemically dependent teen have in common? Lucy Bloom, author of the meagerly sold book on organizing: ???Things are Not People.???
Lucy is homeless, jobless, and sleeping on an air mattress in the home of her best friend. She has sold everything she owns except her 1971 cherry red Mustang, and a few other odds and ends in storage. She used the proceeds of her personal possession sale to send her son, Ash to The Willows to get clean. After that she has a plan ??? sort of. Enter Marva Meier Rios, a recluse artist who has managed to fill her mansion with every object money can buy. The house is so cluttered that there is barely a path from one room to the next. Lucy is hired by Marva???s son to get the place cleaned up in eight weeks. If she manages it, she gets a hefty bonus that can get Lucy back on her feet.
Armed with post-it notes and an organizing mission, Lucy soon finds eccentric, intelligent Marva is not willing to part with a single thing and challenges Lucy at every turn. Then Lucy makes a unintentional discovery about the one thing Marva is willing to part with.
A book that includes challenges, humor, and romance juxtaposed against a unique hoarding backdrop, you find yourself drawn in and cheering on all the characters. The writing style is excellent and I found myself laughing and crying throughout. I was disappointed when it was over and wanted more. Xe Sands does an excellent of narrating the tale. This book is great for a summer reading.
I will make sure I never listen to another book narrated by Xe Sands. The end of her sentences are faded out and gravely, in a way I'm sure is fine if you're chatting with her in person, but was very distracting in an audio book. Her voice made the characters sound confused, like they just woke up from a nap, even during the most strong, passionate dialogue in the story. I kept expecting to get used to her style, but it was annoying until the very end of the book. On the other hand, I got to the end of the book so it wasn't so annoying as to make me waste a credit!
This story is a light, easy listen. Or it would be if the narration weren't so distracting. The pace of the narration is sloooww. I like a slow paced listen much more than a rapid, hard-voiced listen. This is the first time I have ever increased the speed at which the iPod delivers the playback. In addition, in the beginning the narrator's delivery was so affected as to completely distract from what she was reading. Eventually it got better. It was as if she were trying to find her voice. I generally listen while doing chores, walking, exercising and even falling asleep so I tend to buy the unabridged books. This one felt more like two books by the time I'd finished. Whew! It's over! Narration aside, the characters were well drawn and you felt as if you knew them by the time the story ended. Having been married to a pack rat who came from a family of pack rats, the look into the mind of the character in this story was interesting. The pack rat focus was my reason for buying the book.
I really enjoyed this book and it's worth a listen. It was an obvious push/pull of opposites trying to co-exist and bring one another into their world. This was humorous at times, other times very serious. It is interesting to see the complications of life and how they might affect those things we hold dear (or let go of).
If you are or have been a parent of a child in rehab, you will relate to every emotion and situation detailed by the author. I would not be surprised if she had experienced this in her life, as it was vividly accurate.
While I really enjoyed listening to this book, it did have a level of practicability. While some really loved the performance, I was not a fan. It's just a matter of taste, as it did not detract from the substance of the book like some narrators might. All in all, it's about 3.5 stars for me (and I usually reserve 4-5 stars for books I would gladly read again).
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