Talk about a stunning cover!
Thanks to William Morrow and TLC Book Tours for the free advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.
THE CURIOSITIES – Susan Gloss (out now!)
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.
My Thoughts: 4/5 stars!
This was one of those moments where I needed a thriller cleanse. THE CURIOSITIES by Susan Gloss was just what I needed! This was my introduction to Susan Gloss and this will not be the last book I pick up of hers.
This is a very engrossing and emotional novel. I was amazed at how effortlessly Gloss was able to weave together these paralleling stories and characters while also giving them all their moments to shine. Nell is our main character and the one that holds together all the other unique and eclectic cast we meet. Loved seeing this set in Wisconsin – my neighbor state! The mannerisms were a perfect representation of mid-westerners and she set the scene very well.
Gloss covers an array of emotions and captures the struggles experienced by the different characters. They are all very relatable and felt authentic – we experiencing their grief, hope, and resilience along beside them. If you’re looking for a captivating contemporary fiction, then this is perfect for you. The writing was fluid and the story unfolded in front of us in real time. Highly recommend for those that love art and seeing into the minds of artists of all kinds.
Photo by Nick Wilkes
About the Author:
Susan Gloss is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Wisconsin Law School. When she’s not writing fiction, Susan can be found working as an attorney, blogging at GlossingOverIt.com, or hunting for vintage treasures for her Etsy shop, Cleverly Curated. She lives with her family in Madison, Wisconsin.
Where to Purchase a Copy: