Basically, the jist of the story is about Richard, who is a self proclaimed "junker" and he owns a thrift/junk store in Detroit, MI. He's not really a loner, but is fairly unlucky in love, and has a strained relationship with his family. At the very beginning of the book his mother dies which sends him into somewhat of a spiral into depression, but at the same time, he meets a woman named Theresa who is a perfect match for him. Well, aside from the fact she has serious depression issues among other things. But you root for Richard and Theresa together and separately because you like them. The great thing about Michael's writing? It's like you are having a conversation with an old friend- the characters are speaking to you and it really is like talking to a good friend on the phone. Throughout the book you hear his theories on life and junk, and how both are really just the same. Here's a part of the book to give you a taste:
"Think of all the things we touch every day, the million tiny linchpins that hold our lives together-the coffee mugs, the tie clasps, the alarm clocks, the sunglasses, the key fobs, the beanbag ashtrays. What if they absorbed some scintilla of you, as if the oil from your fingers carried the essence of your soul? Then think of all the stuff you've ever owned, that's ever passed through your hands, where it all might be right now. Think of the million other lives you've touched through those things that you've owned, that carry the essence of you. Amazing, huh?
Oh shit. You're right. Most of t is probably in a landfill in New Jersey. But I do think that when you own something that once belonged to someone else, it's like some secret contact with them, with their past. A way to touch people without having things get all messy and emotional.
That's what secondhand is. But then there are always people who worry about whether those hands were properly washed."
Anyways. I highly recommend this book. And I will tell you that as soon as I finished reading it, I had this unexplainable urge to hit up some thrift stores. Of course, I'm broke (as usual) so that's on hold until this weekend. But then? It is ON. I look at junk in a whole new light. Oh! But I did find a free dresser that needs on a little touch up free on the side of the road. I totally had Matt pick it up. :) I swear to you- it was a sign. Thank you, Michael, for being such an amazing writer.