Blog Tour: The Curiosities by Susan Gloss | a work of art, dreams, and grief + Giveaway!

img_0268

The Curiosities is a stunning fictional novel that includes many perspectives, and memorable characters you will cherish long after reading. Not only was I drawn into its beautiful cover, but its premise was unique too! One of our main characters, Nell Parker holds a PhD in Art History–after unsuccessful pregnancies and IVF treatments, she lands in an unexpected role in her life. Gloss is able to create an imitate story that explores grief, loss, and finding one’s purpose.

img_0181

Title: The Curiosities

Author: Susan Gloss

Publisher: William Morrow

Pages: 368

Edition: Paperback *A copy has been provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Rating: ★★★★ (approximately 4.1 stars)

img_0046

What’s it about?

The follow-up to Susan Gloss’s successful debut, Vintage, is a charming mid-western story of artists, inspiration, and how to reinvent your life with purpose and flair.

Note: It is not necessary to read Vintage first.
Nell Parker has a PhD in Art History, a loving husband named Josh, and a Craftsman bungalow in Madison, WI. But her last pregnancy ended later in the second trimester, and rather than pausing to grieve, she pushes harder for testing and fertility treatments. Urging Nell to apply for jobs, Josh believes his wife needs something else to focus on other than a baby that may never be.
Finding a job turns out to be difficult for an art historian . . . until Nell sees the ad seeking a director for a new nonprofit called the Mansion Hill Artists’ Colony. The colony is the brainchild of the late, unconventional society dame Betsy Barrett, who left behind her vast fortune and a killer collection of modern art to establish an artist-in-residency program to be run out of her lakeside mansion. The executor of Betsy’s estate simply hands Nell a set of house keys and wishes her luck, leaving her to manage the mansion and the eccentric personalities of the artists who live there on her own.
Soon one of the artists, a young metal sculptor named Odin, is keeping the other residents awake with his late-night welding projects. Nell is pretty sure that Annie, a dreadlocked granny known for her avant garde performance pieces, is dealing drugs out of the basement “studio.” Meanwhile Paige, an art student from the university, takes up residence in the third-floor turret, experimenting with new printing and design techniques, as well as leading a string of bad boyfriends upstairs when she stumbles home late at night.
Despite all the drama, Nell finds something akin to a family among the members of the creative community that she’s brought together. And when her attraction to Odin begins to heat up, Nell is forced to decide what will bring her greater joy—the creative, inspired world she’s created, or the familiar but increasingly fragile one of her marriage.
img_0046

Positives

  • Relationships. This doesn’t only pertain to romantic ones. Gloss is able to weave a story filled with interesting characters, varying ages and personalities. I loved how close Nell became with the Mansion Hill Artists’ Colony, which holds a artist-in-residency program.
  • This is my first time reading one of Susan Gloss’s works, and let me tell you, I loved the numerous storylines. Besides Nell’s own loss of her pregnancies, there’s so much more behind the lives of the 3 artists (like one who sleeps with anyone, and one whose girlfriend died in a car accident, etc.)
  • A whole lot of drama, and emotion! Once Nell lands in a job as an Art Director, she truly has no idea what she’s doing nor does she know the artists, who will be arriving at the Mansion. So, I loved the realistic portrayal of the book, and all the required Sunday dinners.
  • Brave, tough, and inspirational characters. After an unfortunate night, the artists (coming from all different backgrounds) look to their past, and attempt to seek happiness in the present/future. My heroine, Nell Parker faces her circumstances head-on!
  • Generally, time traveling (when novels include scenes from the past) can confuse a reader, and is sometimes unnecessary (if the same effect can be achieved through dialogue). However, Gloss does this wonderfully! So, plenty of time traveling (aka flashbacks), and slow-paced events.
  • There’s even art pieces listed at the beginning of each chapter. If you’re into art, definitely try looking up some!

img_0046

Concerns

  • While I loved all the character development, a bit more action wouldn’t hurt. Often, when one character is meeting another, the reader will already know about both, but will have to sit through their dialogue as one character develops a wrong impression of the other.
  • Some events were predictable. But, I would still love to know more about their futures! (Gloss could create a short story?)
  • A few of the descriptions were dragged on. As a reader, I often read fast-paced books, so I am very picky about writing that doesn’t hold significance to the central plot.

img_0046

Final Thoughts

This book is recommended to art lovers, slow-paced readers, and those who love a wholesome, and heart-warming book. I absolutely loved the combination of characters, and the unique plot! All in all, it is a story of grief, loss, a sense of family, support, creativity, and hope.

Rating

Key: ★ = a full star (1), ☆ = half star (0.5)

Unique Plot: ★★★★☆

Emotional Response: ★★★★

Writing Style/Prose: ★★★★

Descriptions: ★★★★

Average: ★★★★ (approximately 4.1 stars)

img_0046

About Susan Gloss

susan gloss ap photo by nick wilkesSusan Gloss is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Wisconsin Law School. When she’s not writing fiction, Susan can be found working as an attorney, blogging at GlossingOverIt.com, or hunting for vintage treasures for her Etsy shop, Cleverly Curated. She lives with her family in Madison, Wisconsin.

Find out more about Susan at her website, and connect with her on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Tour Schedule

Instagram Features
Tuesday, February 5th: Instagram: @oddandbookish
Wednesday, February 6th: Instagram: @books.coffee.cats
Thursday, February 7th: Instagram: @createexploreread
Friday, February 8th: Instagram: @books.tea.quotes
Saturday, February 9th: Instagram: @megabunnyreads
Sunday, February 10th: Instagram: @strandedinbooks
Monday, February 11th: Instagram: @somekindofalibrary
Review Stops
Tuesday, February 5th: Thoughts From a Highly Caffeinated Mind
Wednesday, February 6th: Dreams, Etc.
Thursday, February 7th: A Bookish Way of Life
Friday, February 8th: A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall
Friday, February 8th: InkyMoments
Tuesday, February 12th: Broken Teepee
Wednesday, February 13th: Instagram: @mrsmurphyreads
Thursday, February 14th: Jessicamap Reviews
Monday, February 18th: Instagram: @giuliland
Tuesday, February 19th: Doing Dewey
Wednesday, February 20th: Instagram: @lifebetweenwords

img_0046

Giveaway

I’ve received 2 copies of the ARC, so I decided to give one away. I hope you enjoy this novel as much as I have! 

The moment you’ve all been waiting for: click the link below, and enter.

ARC of The Curiosities Giveaway

Good luck, and may the odds be in your favor!

img_9159

Do you prefer a slow-paced or fast-paced book?

Choose one, and give a recommendation

(it can be the first one that comes to your mind)

below in the comments.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Blog Tour: The Curiosities by Susan Gloss | a work of art, dreams, and grief + Giveaway!

  1. I am in love with this cover and that alone makes me want this book, but these characters sound so fantastic, I really have to add this to my list!

    Thank you for being on the tour!

    Sara @ TLC Book Tours

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s