Wednesday 27 February 2019

Audio: The Curiosities - Susan Gloss

Narrated by: Karen White
Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 02-05-19
Publisher: HarperAudio
Thank you Harper for this review copy

My Thoughts
I think the cover is pretty, but it does not really show the book as it is. There is sadness, loss and other issues to be dealt with. The cover is more like I felt about the book at the end, hopeful.

Nell is having trouble in her marriage. They want a baby and she is spending so much money on IVF. So she gets a job at an artists colony. Nell is dealing with loss and trying to cope her own way. Some of  the things in her story really shook me at my core.

Then there are the artists. Annie, who was famous in the 70s for her part as a feminist. And who is trying something new, but everyone always remembers the past.

Paige, who is brilliant, but can not settle on a style. She wants it all and she wants to feel. I can't say I was a fan of Paige, but then Paige is not someone who lets anyone close and even through this yo felt that.

Odin, who works with metal, he too is dealing with loss. Odin was so sweet, I liked him.

But there is also Betsy, the woman who made this possible and who passed away. Her life was fascinating. She collected art from all over the world and all forms. She was a true collector and art lover. She should have her own book.

So yes there is a lot of loss and people trying to cope their own way. How art is created. And frankly how you deal with a house with artists all doing their own thing.

I liked it, but it was darker that I expected.

I had trouble finding the right speed for her voice. And you know I like it fast. But she did male and female voices well and brought a sort of gravitas to it all.

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.

Nell dives into the new role and discovers that while finding artists to fill the three residency slots is easy, managing their eccentric personalities is not. There's Odin, a young metal sculptor, who keeps the other residents awake with his late-night welding projects. And Annie, a dreadlocked granny known for her gritty photography, whom Nell is almost certain is dealing pot out of the basement studio. Lastly, Lois, 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. 


  1. I can see why you're drawn to that cover. This sounds really good, especially on audio.

  2. Thanks for your thoughts, so did the cover bother you that it wasn't true to the novel?

    1. Not really since I never even saw the cover ;)

  3. Sometimes I like an emotional story.

  4. Hmm does sound dark but I think it would be worth listening to and I like that you had hope at the end. IVF must be such a difficult process.

  5. I do like the cover, but it does seem too simple after reading your review and the summary

  6. Yeah, I would not have expected a dark or sad story from the colorful cover. But at least it is related to art.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

  7. this kind of sounds like a tear jerker? I'd never have guessed from the cover, but I can see how art is included

    1. Well, I did not cry, but Nell's part hit me hard at times

  8. For me when listening to audiobooks, the speed is dependent on the narrator. I never like to do it faster than 1.5, although I think 1.25 is perfect for most narrators I listen to.

    1. I can not do slower than 1.5, it makes me go insane. Nope just nope. But with podcasts I can do like 1.2



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