By Kathleen Tessaro
Harper, 2016. 378 pgs. Historical Fiction
Set in Depression-era Boston, Rare Objects tells of Maeve Fanning, a first generation Irish immigrant determined to create a place for herself despite mistakes she has made an unhealthy interest in bootlegged gin and shadowy gentlemen.
In order to start anew and secure employment at an antiques store, she bleaches her hair and hides her heritage. Unfortunately, her past comes back to haunt her when a wealthy heiress shows up in the shop bringing with her the secrets Maeve most wants to keep hidden.
Maeve’s Boston is beautifully described in Tessaro’s quiet prose. The antiques shop is an ideal setting for a story demonstrating that we all have a past, whether it be filled with joys or pains, and it makes us who we are. And we are, each of us, unique treasures of indescribable value. A lovely work of insightful historical fiction.