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The Museum of Ordinary People (2022)

af Mike Gayle

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1298211,545 (3.69)1
Fiction. African American Fiction. Literature. HTML:In this "brilliantly original" and warmhearted novel, an old set of encyclopedias leads a young woman to a curious museum and one profoundly moving lesson: that every life is an extraordinary life (New York Times bestselling author Claire Mackintosh).
Still reeling from the sudden death of her mother, Jess is about to do the hardest thing she's ever done: empty her childhood home so that it can be sold. As she sorts through a lifetime of memories, everything comes to a halt when she comes across something she just can't part with: an old set of encyclopedias. To the world, the books are outdated and ready to be recycled. To Jess, they represent love and the future that her mother always wanted her to have.
In the process of finding the books a new home, Jess discovers an unusual archive of letters, photographs, and curious housed in a warehouse and known as the Museum of Ordinary People. Irresistibly drawn, she becomes the museum's unofficial custodian, along with the warehouse's mysterious owner. As they delve into the history of objects in their care, they not only unravel heart-stirring stories that span generations and continents, but also unearth long-buried secrets that lie closer to home.
Inspired by an abandoned box of mementos, The Museum of Ordinary People is a poignant novel about memory and loss, the things we leave behind, and the future we create for ourselves.

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» See also 1 mention

Viser 1-5 af 6 (næste | vis alle)
An average story of grief, the value of one's history (and the dangers of revealing some of it), a young woman coming into her own instead of going with the flow. Nothing earth-shattering and some chick lit vibes. ( )
  bookappeal | Dec 31, 2023 |
After her mum’s death, Jess has to clear out her mum’s house, and declines any help from her friends. It’s an emotional week, giving away the accumulation of decades. Without much space to take things back to the home she shares with her live-in boyfriend, she has to get rid of nearly everything. What she can’t do it part with an old set of beloved encyclopedias. Taking them back with her, they sit in bags, clearly in the way. She tries giving them away, but nobody wants them. Finally a friend tells her about a museum that takes things that have no other home. And so begins Jess’s long journey, perhaps to the fulfillment of her life’s dream . . . if dreams can come true. This very well written tale is one of perseverance and struggle, of love and friendship, of recovering from loss, and of dreaming dreams. The characters are quite real as they go about their everyday lives. The unexpected connections in the story, the twists and turns that force the characters into a direction they would not have chosen, are well told and intriguing. The thought-provoking story is an uplifting one, and makes me wish I could visit such a museum. It’s such a marvelous idea, as is this novel. Recommended for ordinary readers who want to read an extraordinary book. ( )
  Maydacat | Jul 8, 2023 |
Having been supported by her single mother to go to University, Jess is devasted when her Mum dies suddenly. Her life is drifting and, when she clears her Mum's house, she finds it hard to let go. She is told about the Museum of Ordinary People, a place where treasured memories can be kept so she goes to investigate. Fired up to make the Museum a success Jess had to reevaluate where her life is going and finds out more about her past.
There is nothing like a Mike Gayle book to read in Summer. He is a genius at writing feel-good, emotive tales about normal(ish) people that make the reader think. This is no exception. We all have things that we keep for purely sentimental reasons, things that remind us of people we have lost, and this book takes that idea and runs with it. I loved every page and the final epilogue had me in tears - it was that good. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Aug 15, 2022 |
I love Mike Gayle's books so The Museum of Ordinary People was always going to be high on my reading list, but I'm not sure I could have resisted the lure of the title anyway.

Jess has just lost her beloved mother and when she's clearing out her house she realises that some items are hugely important to her for sentimental reasons. They don't quite fit into her boyfriend's pristine home and so when she finds out about The Museum of Ordinary People she thinks it might be the answer to what to do with her precious items.

I absolutely loved the idea of the museum and it's much more my kind of place to visit than somewhere with artefacts on show. This is a museum of people's belongings, ones that once meant so much but have now been rescued from the scrap heap, the skip or the dump. I was completely enthralled by the items and the stories behind them. Perhaps there was nobody to pass them onto, or the owner simply no longer had the space for them, but either way they are memories, pieces of the past, and Jess is there to save them.

I really liked the characters, not only Jess but particularly Alex, who she meets when she first comes across the museum and who is a man with a mystery at his heart, along with so many other great characters who come together to make this a really gorgeous story.

This is a perfect read for a sentimental soul like me. I pick up items and remember the story behind them and that's exactly what Jess wants for her museum pieces: for the stories behind them not to be lost. Along the way, she undergoes a series of momentous changes in her life and I really enjoyed following her as she came out the other side. The epilogue was perfect and I did shed a little tear or two at the end (sentimental - I did say!).

If a real Museum of Ordinary People existed I would love to visit it. For now I will content myself with having adored this wonderful tale of love, loss, and treasured mementoes. Mike Gayle never disappoints and has once again delivered a beautifully crafted, thoughtful and thoroughly heart-warming story. ( )
  nicx27 | Jul 16, 2022 |
Although I'd never heard of Mike Gayle, the title of this book caught my eye. A few pages in, and I was already wondering, what else has he written and why haven't I read anything by him till now!

I was hugely disappointed that it was written in the present-tense narrative, which is my literary pet hate, but notwithstanding, my enjoyment of the book was immense. Gayle is just brilliant. He's written a delightfully heart-warming story that hooks you from the start. And subtly topical: what happens to 'stuff' that has history, a meaning and emotion attached to it? Items, which appear ordinary and unspecial, that are found or can't be kept by their owners for whatever reason but that shouldn't be condemned to a hole in the ground to the detriment of our damaged environment? With luck, it'll find a home in the Museum of Ordinary People.

Beautifully composed with engaging characters, it's also quite thought-provoking. You find yourself wondering what, of all your possessions, would you like to have exhibited in such a wonderful place once you've popped your clogs!

Superb, and there's absolutely no question I'll be seeking out more by this author. ( )
1 stem Librogirl | Apr 18, 2022 |
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Fiction. African American Fiction. Literature. HTML:In this "brilliantly original" and warmhearted novel, an old set of encyclopedias leads a young woman to a curious museum and one profoundly moving lesson: that every life is an extraordinary life (New York Times bestselling author Claire Mackintosh).
Still reeling from the sudden death of her mother, Jess is about to do the hardest thing she's ever done: empty her childhood home so that it can be sold. As she sorts through a lifetime of memories, everything comes to a halt when she comes across something she just can't part with: an old set of encyclopedias. To the world, the books are outdated and ready to be recycled. To Jess, they represent love and the future that her mother always wanted her to have.
In the process of finding the books a new home, Jess discovers an unusual archive of letters, photographs, and curious housed in a warehouse and known as the Museum of Ordinary People. Irresistibly drawn, she becomes the museum's unofficial custodian, along with the warehouse's mysterious owner. As they delve into the history of objects in their care, they not only unravel heart-stirring stories that span generations and continents, but also unearth long-buried secrets that lie closer to home.
Inspired by an abandoned box of mementos, The Museum of Ordinary People is a poignant novel about memory and loss, the things we leave behind, and the future we create for ourselves.

.

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