What happens when you combine a professional organizer with a messy personal life, an eccentric artist who considers hoarding a full-time job, and a huge secret that one of them is trying to keep from the other? You get Jill Smolinski’s newest novel, Objects of My Affection.
In this amusing and sometimes frustrating story about deciding what is valuable and what to let go, Lucy Bloom’s life is a disaster. She naively thought that when she published her first book, Things Are Not People, that she would become a best-selling author and her phone would be ringing off the hook with clients wanting her to organize their lives from A to Z.
Instead, her book tanks, her boyfriend dumps her, she loses her job, and worst of all, she sells her home to pay for her teenage son’s drug rehab bill and is left with nowhere to live.
Things seem to look up, however, when Lucy is hired by the son of Marva Meier Rios, a wealthy, reclusive artist, to unclutter her home. Lucy is excited about the job because it pays well and will give her a chance to get her feet back on the ground. However, when she enters Marva’s house, she is shocked. Except for small winding trails, the house is packed to the rafters with “Marva’s stuff.” Worse yet, if Lucy wants to earn a bonus that she desperately needs, she must finish the job in a matter of weeks.
As Lucy and Marva begin digging through the overwhelming piles of junk mixed with treasure in Marva’s home, they also begin to unearth their secrets to each other and sort through the painful clutter of emotions and relationships that hinder their personal lives. The one thing that Lucy can’t get Marva to tell her, though, is why it is suddenly so important for her to get her house in order and why does it have to do done by a very specific deadline.
Published in 2012, Objects of My Affection is a quick read with an easy writing style and somewhat falls into the “chick lit” category. It is also the type of book that is great for taking along on vacation because it is engaging without being too deep.
The one annoyance with the novel is that Lucy throughout most of the book is in denial about her life and allows people to walk all over her. At times, you find yourself wanting to shake her into reality. But by the end of the story, Lucy does begin to understand this weakness in herself and takes big steps to rectify the problem.
Objects of My Affection is the third book for author Smolinski, who has also written for many major women’s magazines in a career that actually started quite young. She was bitten by the writing bug at age six after creating her first short story and being inspired by her first grade teacher, Mrs. Lipson, whom Smolinski says was “amazing.”
Smolinski also has a wicked sense of humor, which is seen not only throughout Objects of My Affection, but also in her video, “Book Launch Gone Bad."
To check out a copy of Objects of My Affection, simply visit the library catalog and reserve a copy, which you can pick up at the branch of your choice.
About the Author
Amy Morris is a librarian technical assistant at the Westport Branch. She earned a B.A. in English, with an emphasis in creative writing, from Avila University. Besides reading and writing, Amy enjoys traveling, art, playing the piano, being creative, and spending time with her family. She also writes her own blog at livingkansascity.blogspot.com