Love Objects by Emily Maguire

Published: 2021 1. First lines. 2. Cover: Allen & Unwin 3. Figure drawing [Public Domain] via Pxhere 4. Cas éloquent d’accumulation compulsive [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Original image has been cropped. 5. Clutter [Public Domain] via Pxhere

Middle-aged Nic, living alone, is storing hundreds of items that she collects daily being unable to part with anything. Lena Harris, a University student, is her niece and the two meet regularly for lunch. When one day Nic fails to show up, Lena goes to her house and is faced with a house overflowing with things, and Nic in trouble. Lena is also in trouble after trusting a fellow student finding herself the subject of a porn video posted online.

“This is too delicate an object for this room of heavy love and heavier pain.”

BOOKSNAPS: A very moving and thought-provoking read. The author seems to be inside the characters’ minds, and has managed to make them all relatable to the reader, who feels empathy rather than horror at the predicament in which they find themselves.

  • The Guardian: “The ending is a little too tidily resolved and Love Object’s interplay of mental illness, class divisions and sexual misconduct can make for a harrowing read – but what shines above all is Maguire’s compassion for her characters in all their messy vulnerabilities.”
  • Newtown Review of Books: “Emily Maguire has created a world we know and peopled it with characters we can care about. Most importantly, her novel leaves us with complex questions to consider; their answers are not easy to find.”

Quotes:


Josh was waiting in a dim, narrow booth close to the bar.

“If she walked home at night she would not see treasures like the doll’s bonnet (she at first thinks baby’s bonnet, but not even a newborn’s head could be so tiny, surely?) that winks at her from under the swings in the pocket park three doors from her house. It must have been dropped only that afternoon, so unblemished by dust or dog piss or cigarette ash is the white brocade. When she holds it up close, she can see that a length of shiny satin ribbon meant to act as an under-chin tie has been attached to each side, but unevenly and in a jagged stitch. A handmade bonnet, imperfectly made but so clean and crisp it hurts her heart to think how the one who sewed it would feel about its casual discarding. She pulls a scrunched plastic bag from her jacket pocket, shakes it smooth and gently places the bonnet inside.”


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