by Kathleen Tessaro
Why I chose this book? The synopsis and the era interested me
When I read this book? May 2016
Who should read this book? readers who have enjoyed Kathleen Tessaro in the past
Source: TLC Book Tours
Here is a synopsis of Rare Objects from Goodreads
Boston, 1933. Maeve Fanning is a first generation Irish immigrant, born and raised among the poor, industrious Italian families of Boston’s North End by her widowed mother. Clever, capable, and as head strong as her trademark red hair suggests, she’s determined to better herself despite the overwhelming hardships of the Great Depression.
However, Maeve also has a dangerous fondness for strange men and bootleg gin—a rebellious hunger for experience that soon finds her spiraling downward, leading a double life. When the strain proves too much, Maeve becomes an unwilling 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 un-lady-like desire for freedom.
Once out, Maeve faces starting over again, but armed with a bottle of bleach and a few white lies, she finally lands a job at an eccentric antiques shop catering to Boston’s wealthiest and most peculiar collectors. Run by a retired anthropology professor and an elusive English archeologist, The Pandora is a haven of the obscure and incredible, providing rare artifacts as well as unique access into the world of America's social elite. While delivering a purchase to the wealthy Van der Laar family, Maeve is introduced to beautiful socialite Diana Van der Laar—only to discover she’s the same young woman from the hospital.
Reunited with the charming but increasingly unstable Diana and pursued by her attractive brother James, Maeve becomes more and more entwined with the Van der Laar family—a connection that pulls her deep into a world of social and political ambition, deceit, and ultimately betrayal. Bewitched by their wealth and desperate to leave her past behind, Maeve is forced to unearth her true values and discover just how far she’s willing to go to reinvent herself.
A rich, universal story of ambition, transformation, desire, and betrayal, Rare Objects is acclaimed writer Kathleen Tessaro’s finest work to date.
I picked this one up because the synopsis interested me for several reasons. First, it is set in the early thirties, and second, because it appeared to be an immigrant story. I also love the cover! Sadly, I didn’t love the book. I didn’t find the characters likeable, which is not really an issue most of the time. But more than not liking the characters, I just couldn’t make a connection with them. While I loved the cover, and enjoyed the descriptions of the lifestyles, I really did not care what happened to the characters. The story started off well enough, with Maeve getting a job in an antique shop. I really enjoyed the descriptions of the ‘finds’ and the stories that were built around them. But then the story began to drag. I am pretty sure that if I hadn’t committed to this review, I would have set the book aside. While it did pick up again at the end, and I ALMOST was happy for the resolution for Diana, it wasn’t enough for me to feel happy that I read the book.
While I did not enjoy the book, if you read through other reviews on the tour, you will find I am clearly in the minority! So please do read through the other reviews (the stops on the tour are listed below), especially if you have read and enjoyed Kathleen Tessaro in the past, before you decide whether or not this is a book you would enjoy!
About Kathleen Tessaro
Kathleen Tessaro is the author of Elegance, Innocence, The Flirt, and The Debutante. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband and son.
My Rating: ✰✰✰ 3 Stars
This book review is included in a tour by TLC Book Tours. I was provided a copy for review purposes.
Kathleen’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, April 12th: BookNAround
Wednesday, April 13th: Books and Bindings
Thursday, April 14th: Kritters Ramblings
Friday, April 15th: View from the Birdhouse
Monday, April 18th: 100 Pages a Day…Stephanie’s Book Reviews
Tuesday, April 19th: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, April 20th: The Feminist Texican [Reads]
Friday, April 22nd: Peeking Between the Pages
Monday, April 25th: Always With a Book
Tuesday, April 26th: West Metro Mommy
Wednesday, April 27th: Curling Up by the Fire
Thursday, April 28th: #redhead.with.book
Monday, May 2nd: Puddletown Reviews
Tuesday, May 3rd: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, May 4th: The many thoughts of a reader
Thursday, May 5th: Time 2 ReadFriday, May 6th: A Literary Vacation