Just grab your book and share the opening lines; then find another excerpt that “teases” the reader.
I just received this book in the mail last week, and since this blog is about obsessions, collections, etc., it seems fitting to celebrate it here. Objects of My Affection, by Jill Smolinski, tells a story about a personal organizer who tries to reform a “hoarder.”
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, been dumped by her boyfriend, and had 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.
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.
First Chapter/First Paragraph Intro:
I 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.
Not that I’ll mention anything about it to him.
A man at the counter orders one of those ridiculous coffees that sound as if you should get a cake with several people around it singing “Happy Birthday” rather than something in a paper cup. Then he turns his attention to me. “You must be Lucy Bloom.”
This is my guy. “Hi, and you’re Will Meier! Nice to meet you,” I say, shaking his hand. He’s tall, fortyish, clean-cut, and wearing a business suit with the sort of ease that makes it clear he doesn’t usually waste his mornings hanging out in coffee shops.
“I recognized you by your book.” He points toward the copy of Things Are Not People that I’m clutching. “What can I get you to drink?”
“Coffee, black. Thanks.”
I’ve been eagerly awaiting this book, so this opener tells me that I’m going to enjoy it. The narrator sounds like someone trying to make the best of her changed circumstances, even finding a bit of humor along the way.
Teaser #1: (After the interview, the client takes Lucy to meet his mother).
Will starts to unlock the front door, then turns to me. “I feel I ought to say something to prepare you for this.”
“Don’t worry about it. I’ve seen messy places before. I have a teenager.” p. 7
Teaser #2: I’m braced for what I might see, but what hits me before anything else is the smell. Although that’s probably because it’s so dark that relying on my sense of sight is pointless. The smell isn’t horrible. We’re not talking rotting corpses or anything. It smells…dense. As if I need to breathe in deeper to get enough air. I wonder how long it’s been since anyone’s drawn the drapes and thrown open the windows. p. 9
Okay….now I’m really ready to dive in.
What are the rest of you spotlighting today? I can’t wait to see!