The world is spinning out of control for Lucy Bloom. Her son is in drug rehab in Florida, which she paid for by selling her home. The book she wrote about organizing your life and home is a failure as far as sales go, the man she loved for two years left because of her son’s drug addiction and now she has lost her job as well.
Lucy moves in with her friend, Heather, and her family. How much lower can Lucy get? Turning to her ability to purge clean and organize, Lucy tries to make a new start by taking on a job to clear out the home of artist and recluse, Marva Meier Rios, who has become a hoarder of the most extreme type. Will Lucy get the job done by the deadline, or will Marva continue to block every step Lucy makes? Will she ever find out why Marva has become such a hoarder and why there is no flexibility in the deadline for the job? Will Lucy’s son, Ash, complete the rehab, or fall back into his old habits and addictions? Will Lucy fall in love with a fellow worker, Niko, or find the love she longs for in old flame, Daniel Kapinski?
Jill Smolinski’s Objects of My Affections is a slice of modern day life for an everyday woman. It not only reads as a romance, but so much more. There are elements of mystery and an inspirational story woven throughout. As the reader moves farther into the story they will find themselves on an emotional roller coaster whether cheering Lucy on or thinking Marva is just a lonely old woman or wondering how she could be such a selfish mother to Will.
Smolinski takes the reality television look at hoarders and paints a sympathetic and understanding picture of what the cause is behind people who suffer from this addiction. There are so many elements to this story. It’s amazing to see Smolinski pull them all together into a true understanding of the human condition as well as the need for love, understanding, forgiveness, and hope.
I have to admit that it took me a while to get into the story, but I quickly found myself sympathetic to Lucy. I have loved, lost, dealt with family members with addictions and even a couple who are hoarders due to their special needs. Still, I also found myself upset with Lucy because it seems that she could be so naïve and self-deprecating when dealing with others. To see the main character become a strong, confident woman throughout the story and in her dealings with the other characters was a joy. I found myself often trying to verbally will my advice into the book, whether warning Lucy, or telling her to stand strong.
The story took me from moments of anxiety to moments of triumph over and over. One of my favorite parts of the book were the bits of wit and wisdom that were given at the beginning of chapters as if they were quotes from Lucy’s book, various other sources or future books. I found that these little quotes had a great deal of truth to them.
One of my favorite quotes from the book is:
“The best way to honor someone who’s passed on is not by keeping their belongings, it’s by keeping their memory alive in the way you live your life.” -Organizing expert Claudia Marx, as quoted in Things Are Not People
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book to other readers who are eighteen and older. As far as those younger than eighteen, there is some foul language and intimate situations that would keep me from recommending it.
Rated R: The book contains some foul language and references to sexual situations including premarital sex.
Book provided by the publisher. Thank you!