|(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)|
The follow-up to Susan Gloss’s successful debut, Vintage, is a charming mid-western story of artists, inspiration, and how to reinvent your life with purpose and flair.
Nell Parker has a PhD in Art History, a loving husband named Josh, and a Craftsman bungalow in Madison, WI. But her last pregnancy ended later in the second trimester, and rather than pausing to grieve, she pushes harder for testing and fertility treatments. Urging Nell to apply for jobs, Josh believes his wife needs something else to focus on other than a baby that may never be.
Finding a job turns out to be difficult for an art historian . . . until Nell sees the ad seeking a director for a new nonprofit called the Mansion Hill Artists’ Colony. The colony is the brainchild of the late, unconventional society dame Betsy Barrett, who left behind her vast fortune and a killer collection of modern art to establish an artist-in-residency program to be run out of her lakeside mansion. The executor of Betsy’s estate simply hands Nell a set of house keys and wishes her luck, leaving her to manage the mansion and the eccentric personalities of the artists who live there on her own.
Soon one of the artists, a young metal sculptor named Odin, is keeping the other residents awake with his late-night welding projects. Nell is pretty sure that Annie, a dreadlocked granny known for her avant garde performance pieces, is dealing drugs out of the basement “studio.” Meanwhile Paige, an art student from the university, takes up residence in the third-floor turret, experimenting with new printing and design techniques, as well as leading a string of bad boyfriends upstairs when she stumbles home late at night.
Despite all the drama, Nell finds something akin to a family among the members of the creative community that she’s brought together. And when her attraction to Odin begins to heat up, Nell is forced to decide what will bring her greater joy—the creative, inspired world she’s created, or the familiar but increasingly fragile one of her marriage.
What a book! I absolutely LOVED The Curiosities by Susan Gloss. It was such a terrific story. There was drama, art, love, loss, grief, and reinvention. I just couldn't help but fall in love with the characters, the setting, and their stories. This was definitely an unputdownable read.
Nell wants a baby. She wants a family. After enduring a miscarriage late in her pregnancy, she is even more determined to have a baby. So much so, that she hides how much the fertility treatments are really costing her and her husband. As for her husband, he wants her to focus on something else - perhaps a job. Of course being an art historian doesn't make Nell all that in demand for jobs. Except, there is a new position open for a director at an artist's retreat. Hmm...maybe a job for Nell, something to keep her occupied? Let me just say, this new job most definitely keeps her occupied - from the kooky residents arting up to the new responsibilities Nell finds herself dealing with. Plus, she's also finding herself experiencing an attraction to one of the artists at the retreat - something she didn't expect. The more Nell gets to know these artists, the more she begins to see them as friends/family. She finds herself opening up to the possibility of discovering more about herself and what she truly wants.
Gloss has written a cast of characters that are interesting, relatable, and unforgettable. She's created a place for them all to come together, live together, work on their art, figure out their futures, and become a family of sorts. Its fun, engaging, and thrilling to read about. I just loved getting to know all of these quirky folks as Nell finds her self at the retreat. This was definitely a great story to get lost in. I would happily recommend it to fans of Gloss and anyone looking for their next great read - you will LOVE The Curiosities!!
Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: The Curiosities