Lucy Bloom’s life is in disarray. Freshly dumped by her boyfriend and suddenly rootless after selling her house to send her teenage son to rehab, she is reduced to sharing a bedroom with her best friend’s pre-schooler daughter. Although Lucy has lost it all, she’s determined to start over and build a solid foundation for her son’s recovery. Armed only with her decidedly NON-bestselling book, Things Are Not People, and a possibly bogus online degree in professional organizing, she snags a high-paying job clearing clutter from the home of renowned artist turned reclusive hoarder, Marva Meier Rios.
As Lucy rolls up her sleeves to tackle the “stuff” that fills every room of Marva’s huge Chicago home, she soon learns that the real challenge may be taking on Marva herself. However, when Lucy accidentally discovers that Marva is clinging to a big secret more tenaciously than to any mere household object, the two women form an unlikely bond. Each soon learns that there are those things in life we keep and those we need to let go—though it’s not always easy to know the difference.
Right off the bat I am going to tell you I cannot stand Lucy Bloom only because I've seen enough Dr. Phil and Intervention episodes to know that she is doing absolutely everything wrong with her son. And it drives me NUTS through the entire book. But I will say that despite me wanting to smack Lucy up constantly, I eventually came around to liking her at the end because she finally gets it.
I loved the story line with Marva- she seems like a really fun crazy person you'd like to get drunk and chat with. You can tell she has a lot of history in her own past even though she's reluctant to share it and it obviously is connected to how she lives her present day life. I really loved everything you learn about Marva and honestly, at some points in the book it feels like we shift from Lucy to a more Marva driven novel, but then we come back around. And it's great. I also love that not only are we pulling things out of the Intervention show, we're also pulling some stuff from Hoarders. Clearly, Jill Smolinski is a fan of A&E programming, as am I.
I love so much how Jill can weave a story with serious plot lines and yet make it funny in a "it's so bad you can't help but laugh otherwise you'll cry" kind of way. And you really enjoy it. She's light-hearted, she's funny, she's realistic, and she's a good writer. Basically this book ends up being that creeper book you don't realize you really like until it's over.
I suggest you check out Jill's website and then buy her book. Buy all of her books because as someone who has read them all, I will tell you they are all good.