For two years, I have been lucky enough to be part of ‘The Tasting Notes Book Club’, hosted by the wonderful The Book Taster. A wonderful ‘virtual’ book club that is made up of so many amazing bookworms who all share a love of books, the chance to talk about books and hear from the authors who write the books. It has led me to make some wonderful bookish friends and opened my eyes to so many books that I may not have read usually, while also introducing me to some fantastic small businesses, too.
And that first time two years ago, we read ‘All the Lonely People‘ (did you just sing that title? If you did not, I know you are fibbing) by Mike Gayle and, to bring us to the 2nd birthday celebrations, we have read ‘The Museum of Ordinary People’ – and it was another very special book.
This was a story that I felt really resonated with me; as someone who loves history, loves museums and loves stories – especially those stories that are important to people – this book was perfect. Jess’ mum has just died, and she has the job of clearing the house of all those things that had been important to her mum, and that hold so many memories for her.
When she realises that she really cannot throw out that old collection of encyclopaedias that her mum had bought her, she finds out that there is a ‘museum’ that will take them and look after them for her. Little does she know that this decision will lead to her changing her life, taking on something that she has always dreamed of doing, and discovering that maybe things have not always been as they seemed – not only for herself, but for those that she encounters along the way.
Mike Gayle really brings these characters to life on the page, and you feel like you are really getting to know them, their story and what makes them tick. And he can really evoke emotions in his readers – there may have been some tears as I read this novel.
The epilogue to this book was also excellent, I do not want to spoil what it is, but I thought it was such a beautiful touch to bring the book to a close.
So, now that I have hopefully convinced you that you should read this book, I am off to think about what possessions I have that would deserve a place in ‘The Museum of Ordinary People’…