Objects of my Affection by Jill Smolinski is a novel about a professional organizer, hoarding, drug addiction, romance, and much more. On the surface it appears to be just a “chick lit” type of easy breezy read, but it is much more than that when you actually dig in and read this book. If you’re looking for a story that is a fun and humorous read, but actually makes you think about life and things in a new way, this is the perfect summer read to do just that!
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, 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. ” – Objects of my Affection
Objects of my Affection is one of the best novels I’ve read in a long time. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book, but I quickly realized after the first few pages that I loved the style this author writes in, and this story was one I’d really enjoy. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t stop. I read it in a weekend off and on, and even talked about some of the characters to my family members. You know it is a good book to bring up characters to someone saying “Quit being such a Marva. You can throw that away or donate it.”
The main character, Lucy Bloom, is a writer and professional organizer. She doesn’t quite feel like a professional in either field, but she wrote a book (and got it published) on the subject, and was hired to clean up a celebrity artist’s home. The catch? The celebrity, Marva, is a hoarder and has to look at everything before she can let it go, and it takes a long time to even let go of one item in the house!
Marva has some secrets that aren’t revealed until the end of the book about why she is like she is, and why she is secretly cleaning up her house now. I won’t ruin the surprise for anyone who plans to read this book, so all I’m going to say is that it is quite a surprise! She is more of a complex and actually caring person than she appears to be at first, so don’t write her off in the beginning as just being a rude old crazy hoarder lady.
The love story is a bit of a background story in the book, but it too is interesting and more complex than you may realize at first. Jill Smolinski is fabulous with making things in the story more than they appear, so while she is a very funny writer in many portions of the book, it is also quite serious as well.
I highly recommend this novel for everyone to read. It isn’t only a fantastic read, but it might also give you some inspiration to clean out your home, too.
* Thank you to the publisher of Objects of my Affection, Touchstone, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.