In Depression-era Boston, a city divided by privilege and poverty, two unlikely friends are bound by a dangerous secret. . .
Maeve Fanning, a first generation Irish immigrant, was born and raised among the poor, industrious Italian families of Boston’s North End by her widowed mother. Clever, capable, and headstrong, Maeve is determined to better herself despite the hardships of the Great Depression. However, she also has a dangerous fondness for strange men and bootleg gin—a rebellious appetite for experience that soon finds her spiraling downward in New York City. When the strain proves too much, Maeve becomes an involuntary patient in a remote psychiatric hospital, where she strikes up a friendship with an enigmatic young woman, who, like Maeve, is unable or unwilling to control her unladylike desire for freedom.
After her release, Maeve returns to Boston to start over again, landing a job at an antiques shop catering to the city’s wealthiest and most peculiar collectors. Run by an elusive English archeologist, the shop is a haven for the obscure and incredible, supplying one-of-a-kind artifacts to its customers while providing Maeve with unique access into the world of New England’s social elite. While delivering a purchase to a wealthy family, Maeve is introduced to beautiful socialite Diana Van der Laar—only to discover she’s the same young woman from the hospital.
Title: Rare Objects
Author: Kathleen Tessaro
Genre: Fiction | Historical Fiction | Women’s Fiction
Published: April 12, 2016
Format: Kindle, 400 pages
FTC Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed are mine.
Rare Objects is the story of Maeve Fanning, a young woman on a journey of self-discovery. All too often, Maeve’s journey leads her in the wrong direction.
Kathleen Tessaro is an extraordinary writer, and having read her earlier work, The Perfume Collector, I wanted to take part in this tour and review Rare Objects. Her characters are strongly drawn, and without a doubt, the reader comes to know them intimately. Descriptive language of time and place keeps the reader fixed in the setting.
However, in Rare Objects, unlike The Perfume Collector, I felt there were too many small stories attempting to pull the larger, main story apart. I wish the author had spent more time on unfolding and sharing with the reader Maeve’s life as she struggled to become her own person. Focusing on Maeve and the realities of coming from an impoverished background and wanting to find a way out of not only the “neighborhood,” but also the troubles she has suffered would have certainly strengthened the story and not all the tidbits hanging alongside the main plot.
If Kathleen Tessaro had a reason for writing this story the way she did, it was lost on me.
Fans of Boston in the 1930s and historical fiction will enjoy the background and the sounds and smells brought to life in this book. Fans of antiquities will enjoy some of the items Maeve comes to love and sell in her job. Others who enjoy Kathleen Tessaro’s earlier works may see the book in a different light and enjoy it very much.
Kathleen Tessaro is the author of Elegance, Innocence, The Flirt, and The Debutante. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband and son.
Follow the rest of Kathleen’s tour by clicking here.