BKMT READING GUIDES
Objects of My Affection: A Novel
by Jill Smolinski
Hardcover : 320 pages
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Lucy Bloom is broke, freshly dumped by her boyfriend, and ...
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.
Editorial ReviewNo editorial review at this time.
ExcerptI remind myself as I enter the coffee shop that it’s actually a good thing I sold my house and, for that matter, almost everything in it. Sure, some may find my situation pitiful—a thirty-nine-year-old woman reduced to sharing a bedroom with her best friend’s preschooler daughter. But for purposes of this particular job interview—I pause to look around to see if anyone is looking around for me—it makes me even more of an expert. Will Meier is going to be downright impressed that the woman he’s thinking of hiring to clear out his mother’s home barely has a possession left of her own. ... view entire excerpt...
Discussion Questions1. Lucy and Marva’s relationship gets off to a rocky start, and Lucy initially finds her new employer both intimidating and crass. In what ways did Lucy’s view of Marva change throughout the course of the novel? What were some of the turning points in their relationship? What was the most important one?
2. How do you think Marva’s hoarding tendencies developed? Do you believe she truly intended to clear out her house? Why now?
3. Lucy admits she initially refused to grasp the severity of her son’s drug problems. Why do you think that is?
4. Compare Marva and Lucy as mothers. Are they as different as they appear on the surface? What scares Lucy about Will’s relationship to Marva, and how does that affect Lucy’s approach to dealing with Ash?
5. Daniel and Lucy’s quest to rescue Grimm’s Fairy Tales from the storage warehouse is a rare screwball comedy moment for the otherwise serious Lucy. Is there anything you’d go to such lengths to rescue?
6. Lucy may be the organizing expert, but it soon becomes clear both of these women have something to teach the other. Other than how to de-clutter her home, what did Marva ultimately learn from Lucy? And were you surprised by what Lucy learned from Marva?
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