Curiosities by Susan Gloss

Coming Soon-from Harper Collins- February 5, 2019

Susan Gloss is the bestselling author of  the novels Vintage and The Curiosities (coming February 5, 2019 from HarperCollins). She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where she majored in English and Spanish, and the University of Wisconsin Law School. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her family. Learn more at susangloss.com.

Nell is holding onto a shoebox filled with art gallery catalog pages and photos of people she doesn’t even know. Standing in front of a house in the Mansion Hill Historic District of Madison, Wisconsin, overlooking Lake Mendota; she’s wondering how she ended up here! Nell and husband, Josh, are struggling mightily with the early delivery and death of their baby daughter, and now the costly journey of IVF, in hopes of another baby, has them deep in debt. As Nell takes the job of director of Mansion Hill Artists’ Colony, she becomes entangled in the lives of the three residents that the benefactor, Elizabeth Barrett, had chosen before her death. The new “artists in residence” will be: Paige Jewell, a young college student whose art medium of preference changes along with the men she’s dating; Odin Sorenson, sculpture of metal, in his own level of grieving; and Annie Beck, already famous but needing to revive her name in the Art World. Coming together from three totally different backgrounds, Nell is challenged to form a family where there are three dysfunctional adults-each with their own dreams, hoping to find fulfillment at the Mansion Hill Artists’ Colony. By the way, the residency for each artist is 6 months.

The reader will come to know the characters and really be “pulling” for each one in their own set of struggles. Susan Gloss does an amazing job revealing the “inside” feelings of Nell and Josh with their so very different approaches to dealing with death and then infertility. So real that I feel like she has a “microscope of feelings” at her fingertips. Book clubs will be discussing for hours.

I particularly enjoyed the art references at the beginning of each chapter, and then to read how the piece connected with the characters or plot, was so eye opening. Extremely well described, but I still longed for a photo of the art work.

The topics of death, grieving and infertility are certainly heavy and so personal, but recovery, reconciliation, and reunions will leave you with a full heart; and maybe a new found urge to find an art gallery to explore! Maybe a local art gallery or museum would be a fitting place for your book club discussion.

Reviews coming soon:

I’m Fine, and Neither Are You by Camille Pagan http://Camille Pagan

The Southern Side of Paradise by Kristy Woodson Harvey http://Kristy Woodson Harvey

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