Author: Kathleen Tessaro Publisher: Harper ISBN: 9780062357540
ESCAPING North Boston to New York City, Maeve Fanning was one of the ambitious many who wanted to make it in the big city. Except, she didn’t.
Turns out, she wasn’t as uniquely talented as she thought, and ended up in a “loony bin” after a failed suicide attempt following a series of misfortunes.
Fanning eventually returns to native Boston to live with her mother, who is mostly acrimonious of her ability as a skilful seamstress and her preoccupation with social status.
Rare Objects shows Fanning nagivating her way through a new life back home and striving to find her footing while her mother mothers her, in hopes that her daughter can still be a success.
Dyeing her Irish red hair blonde to avoid anti-Irish prejudice and going by the name May, Fanning lands a job at an antique shop.
While she finds solace in her employers’ quirks and vast collection, the job leads to a series of disruptive adventures when Fanning reunites with socialite Diana Van der Larr, whom she befriended while in the asylum.
Author Tessaro is witty, and her complicated young female characters inspire questions on the issues of convention, morality, and self-discovery very well.
Subplots – involving Fanning’s Italian neighbours, the Russos, and her employers at the antique shop, Mr Kessler and Mr Winshaw, who are mostly away on archeological exploration – provide much of the story’s comic relief from Fanning’s continuous spiral into destruction.
This is overall an entertaining read and if you’re looking for a book with just the right amount of intensity without being too overwhelming, Rare Objects has a good balance of both. – Yeevon Ong