A NovelBook - 2016
Rare Objects is a captivating new work of historical fiction from Kathleen Tessaro, the New York Times-bestselling author of The Perfume Collector. Near the end of the Prohibition era and the beginning of the Great Depression, in a city divided by privilege and poverty, two very unlikely friends meet in desperate circumstances, bound by a shared secret . . .
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 headstrong 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 unladylike desire for freedom. Once out, Maeve must start over again, and armed with a bottle of bleach and a few white lies, she 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 exclusive shop is a haven of the obscure and incredible that opens a window onto the world of rare artifacts--and that 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 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.
"Kathleen Tessaro writes beautifully." --MARIAN KEYES
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