Written by Francine Garson
Jenny Gilbert is what you might call a hoarder, but she’s a neat hoarder. She’s a clean hoarder. And she’s keeping it ALL a big secret.
To everyone who knows her, Jenny is a successful young college counselor. But secretly, she is also a collector, some may even say a hoarder. As a former military brat, she is on a mission to find and reacquire the many relics of her childhood that she was forced to leave behind with each of her family’s moves, and she has rented a secret second apartment to accommodate her growing obsession.
When Jenny reconnects with Nick, a man from her past, a romance begins. But, as she tries to hide an increasingly complicated web of secrets from the man she’s falling in love with, she becomes enmeshed in a messy tangle of omissions, half-truths, and lies. Then, when Hurricane Sandy adjusts its course, aiming itself directly at both of her apartments on the New Jersey shore, Jenny finds herself catapulted into a truly desperate situation.
At its heart, Things is the story of a young woman searching for a sense of rootedness, a sense of home. But, she needs to learn that amassing physical things is not the way to find it, and that what she seeks is not an external thing at all.
Her quest is aided, as well as complicated, by Nick’s arrival and the looming threat of the most destructive hurricane in New Jersey’s history.
Interesting, Entertaining & Delightful!
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this novel, but I was impressed by both the quality and how accomplished the writing was – especially for a debut novel.
Jenny’s family moved around a lot due to her father’s army career; as an adult she still feels the loss of a solid and permanent home and has set out to acquire all the items which others can find in their bedrooms and attic when they return to their families. However, Jenny’s obsession is beginning to take over her life and the consequences are beginning to show.
Keeping her burgeoning collection hidden involves Jenny renting a second apartment and creating another life built on secrets and lies to the detriment of her fledgling relationship with Nick, an old acquaintance who values truth and honesty above all else. Something has to give … and right up until the final few pages the reader has no way of knowing exactly what. Whilst Jenny can’t shake the feeling of not belonging, her way of dealing with this is unique and hard to understand, but author Francine Garson has created a beautifully polished piece of writing, encompassing Jenny’s obsession into a much wider story line. There is much to focus on, resulting in a well-conceived and original story; interesting, entertaining and delightful to read. This is a novel I really enjoyed, and I look forward to reading more from this author in future. A definite recommendation to lovers of women’s fiction – well worth adding to your book collection!
My thanks to the author for my copy of her novel. As always, this is my honest, original and unbiased review.
Tags: women’s fiction
- Format: ebook, paperback
- Size: 351 pages
- Publisher: Ant Colony Press
- Publication Date: 10 September 2018
- Purchase Links: Barnes & Noble
- amazon uk
- amazon us
Meet the Author
Francine Garson is a former law school administrator and independent college counselor. She has also been a waitress, a factory worker, a deli clerk, a camp counselor, and the assistant manager of a bookstore. Her children are grown, and she lives in central New Jersey with her husband, a mellow orange cat, and lots of books. She spends her days writing, reading, and attempting to play the piano.
Francine’s work has appeared in a number of print and online magazines. Her flash fiction has received awards from the National League of American Pen Women and WOW-Women On Writing. THINGS, her debut novel, was published by Ant Colony Press in September 2018.