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The Curiosities

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  722 ratings  ·  156 reviews
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

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 p
Paperback, 368 pages
Published February 5th 2019 by William Morrow
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Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  722 ratings  ·  156 reviews

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Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Art is like life. It’s fragile, but that doesn’t mean you should never take a risk.”

It always feels serendipitous when a novel lands itself in your hands at just the right moment in life, at a time when you can truly connect and appreciate the journey painted across the pages.

My first experience with Susan Gloss’s work proof positive that there’s solidarity to be found in our shared experiences and vulnerabilities. Putting a voice to the things that haunt us the most can often be healing.

Sonja Yoerg
Grief makes for powerful stories because it is so personal. Even when two people lose the same loved one, their experiences are not the same. Perhaps it is the finality of death that makes it so; we grieve for a future that like all futures, is wholly personal and, because of death, forever lost. How we move forward after losing someone says so much about who we are, and who we might become.

In The Curiosities, Nell's response to her late miscarriage is complex. Her desire for a child consumes h
The Curiosities is a beautifully written story of loss, grieving and moving on. Susan Gloss expertly weaves loss, promiscuity, the opioid crisis, art and vintage antiques into a highly engaging, emotional page turner!
Apr 29, 2019 rated it did not like it
I loved "Vintage" and gave it fours stars when I read it back in 2014 and kept my eye out to see when Susan Gloss would publish another book. Unfortunately, I found this follow-up to "Vintage" to be disappointing. This book doesn't do a good job of linking all of the stories to each other. Artists living together in a "colony" didn't help link things since they were all going through so many things and felt like roommates that passed in the night. It didn't help that one of the POVs we get is fr ...more
Deborah Blanchard
This is an exquisite book about the resilience of the human spirit. Nell takes a job as the director of an artist colony that is left in a trust by Betsy Barrett. There are three artists in residence, Paige, Annie and Odin. This is their story. Each chapter is told in the alternating voices of each character. To me, this worked beautifully. I felt that I knew each character and they captivated me. The characters are superbly developed and true to life. I could feel their grief, pain and hope. Th ...more
Tanja ~ KT Book Reviews
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Five very different and complicated stories are told within the pages of The Curiosities by Susan Gloss. All are contained by the talented, yet somewhat broken and resilient Nell. Its a beautiful snapshot into each life. I would love for every character to have a shining moment as captain in books to come from this author. This is my first read by Susan Gloss so I am not familiar with her previous works, but that is about to change. What a wonderful way to be introduced.

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Kristy Harvey
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A richly layered tale of the intersection of five very different lives, The Curiosities uniquely depicts how each step in the journey leads us where we're ultimately meant to be. Page by page, Gloss proves that the beauty of life-like art-is often revealed to us a little at a time.
Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)
I'm not sure I've ever read a book that takes place in my city. Recognizing my hometown in this novel was probably my favorite thing! From the little idiosyncrasies about Madison (like biking in the winter) to the street names and places, I loved that I got to see this place take center stage. I also loved that the focus of the book is about what makes a life full, about heart-wrenching loss in so many forms, and about making a full life in spite of that loss. Each character is dealing with some ...more
The Lit Bitch
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As many of you know, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to read more books outside my comfort zone. I do read a lot of women’s fiction, but I often pass on books that have anything to do with pregnancy loss or infertility.

Not necessarily because it’s a sensitive subject, but more because I often find that it’s incredibly heavy and when I read, I want something happy. This book caught me a little unaware when it came to its subject matter, but that was mostly my fault.

This cover looks so happy
Apr 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: nook
This is an enjoyable book but nothing really special.
After a failed pregnancy, Nell is hied as the director of a residential Artist’s Colony that was created to foster artistic talent. It’s founder, Betsy Barrett, left her sizable estate for it’s creation. The book follows the lives of Nell, Betsy (when she was alive) and the artists Paige, Odin and Annie. Each has to find their way in the world, surviving the ups and downs that life hands them.

The characters are interesting but not necessaril
Susan Peterson
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Curiosities is a poignant story of love and loss, grief and recovery. Told from several points of view, the author has woven their stories together in such a way that connects us to them. The story takes place at an artist’s retreat, run by a young woman who has suffered great loss, as have the artists in residence. Parts of the story are told in flashbacks, enhancing our understanding of these characters and their struggles. By the end of the book, my heart had expanded with love for the ch ...more
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This novel reached into my chest gripped my heart and held on. A book of growing, grief, forgiveness and love.

Great characters. Page turning story.

This is one of the most beautiful books ive read!
The Bookend Diner
Feb 21, 2019 rated it liked it
"Art is like life. It's fragile, but that doesn't mean you should never take a risk."

Nell Parker has a PHD, a wonderful marriage, a beautiful home and another negative pregnancy test.

After giving birth to a beautiful baby girl who lived for a very short time and four failed IVF treatments, her husband and her decide to take some time off. Nell needs to find something to keep her occupied and she also needs to find a way to make money to pay off the mountain of debt that their IVF treatments h
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
"The Curiosities” is a novel divided into chapters that are told from the point of view of the individual characters living and working in an artist colony in Madison, Wisconsin. Nell Parker, who lives in Madison and has a PhD in art history, is the somewhat reluctant director of the colony, which was created at the behest of Betsy Barrett, the woman that envisioned the colony. After the recent loss of her preterm baby, Nell and her husband, Josh, an attorney, have been floundering while undergo ...more
Linda Zagon
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
fullsizeoutput_3b95.jpegLinda’s Book Obsession Reviews “The Curiosities” by Susan Gloss, William Morrow, February 5, 2019

Susan Gloss, Author of “The Curiosities” has written an intriguing, and entertaining novel. The Genres for this novel are Fiction and Women’s Fiction. The timeline for this story is in the present and goes back to the past when it pertains to the characters or events in the story. The author describes her characters as complex and complicated.

Nell Parker has a PhD in Art Histo
Linda Smith
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I admit it - if a book has quirky characters; it probably will score a homerun with me. Throw in an underdog, a rebel and a mother hen and the game is won! This one is a winner!
Susan Gloss has created characters who are grieving and trying to regain normalcy in their lives again. Some of that grief is so heart tugging.
Nell has experienced devastating loss and decides to try to gain some sense of control over her life by finding a job. She's hired as the Director of an artists colony. The author
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss, 2019
Thanks to the publisher, via Edelweiss, for an e-galley for honest review.

I was really moved by this story. Susan Gloss wrote about grief and finding a new way after loss really well, and I loved the connections between the art pieces and what was happening in each individual's life that drew them to make or connect to that work. The book is split across 5 perspectives, though, and I wanted a little bit more from each of them (though better that then being overwhelmed and disliking any of the vo
Chris Conley
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So good. This book has so man6 different layers. I confess that it handles grief in a way that really appealed to me. I got it!
Kate Olson
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this story just as much as Gloss’ previous novel, Vintage! And as a “born and bred and never left” WI resident, the Madison, WI setting is near and dear to my heart.
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Speechless! That’s what this book left me! This book leads you through a journey of loss, grief and being able to slowly move on. Like a picture in a museum that’s painted with fine art strokes, Susan Gloss paints us a story of 5 ppl who come from unlikely backgrounds yet all end up becoming some unique form of family for Nell. In the end this book will leave you not only speeachless but with a heartfelt love for Nell! I was given this arc for my honest review.
Lori Boyd
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars for this ARC!

This book has so many layers to it! I thought I knew where it was going at the beginning, but I got so much more! Everyone has a story, and these characters told theirs beautifully, and were so real and raw.

Nell, for me is the most relatable. Anyone who has dealt with or is dealing with infertility and loss can relate to the monthly roller coaster of hope, mood swings, and feelings of defeat and failure. Although my outcome was much happier and no where near as intense as
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this novel. The unique characters (and a chance to see characters from the Vintage book). I loved the theme of finding yourself. and the past/present narrative.
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's been way too long of a wait for a new book by Susan Gloss but I am happy to tell you that the wait is over and the new book is fantastic! It has everything needed to make a good novel - great characters, friendship, loss and love plus the added descriptions of paintings and sculptures.

Nell takes a job as the director of an artist's colony. Even though she has a PhD in art history, she hasn't worked in several years while she and her husband go through several rounds of fertility treatments.
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel tells the story of two very strong women.

Elizabeth Barrett, a philanthropist and lover of all things artistic. Elizabeth has recently died, and has left her fortune, and her home and all its art and furnishings, in Trust, to be used to fund an "artists colony" for 12 months of peace and creativity for those selected to participate.

Nell Parker has an advanced degree in art, a husband who teaches law at the University, and is at loose ends, when she sees an item in the Classifieds see
Jessica Strawser
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Driven by an eclectic mix of characters navigating dreams, disappointments, and second chances, THE CURIOSITIES is, at its heart, a celebration of creativity, self, and finding your own way. Thoroughly satisfying, from the first page to the last! (I was fortunate to read an early copy of the author's manuscript prior to publication.) ...more
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Featuring a cast of characters as varied as the art they create, Susan Gloss’s THE JOY COLLECTOR is about chasing dreams, second chances, and the gift of redemption. Enchanting and heartfelt!
Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for the ARC.
Dorothy Schwab
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Nell is holding onto a shoebox filled with art gallery catalog pages and photos of people she doesn’t even know. Standing in front of a house in the Mansion Hill Historic District of Madison, Wisconsin, overlooking Lake Mendota; she’s wondering how she ended up here! Nell and husband, Josh, are struggling mightily with the early delivery and death of their baby daughter, and now the costly journey of IVF, in hopes of another baby, has them deep in debt. As Nell takes the job of director of Mansi ...more
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-edelweiss

The Curiosities follows the life of Nell, a young woman with a Ph.D. in art history, who has recently suffered a miscarriage followed by a series of failed IVF attempts. Nell's husband Josh has overcome his feelings of loss by throwing himself into his work. And he's having great success as a junior faculty member in the University of Wisconsin, Madison Law School. Nell, however, is struggling, not least because she is ashamed to have hidden the significant credit card debt she has accrued for h
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blog-tours
Thanks to William Morrow and TLC Book Tours for the free copy in exchange for my honest review

This was one of those moments where I needed a thriller cleanse. THE CURIOSITIES by Susan Gloss was just what I needed! This was my introduction to Susan Gloss and this will not be the last book I pick up of hers.

This is a very engrossing and emotional novel. I was amazed at how effortlessly Gloss was able to weave together these paralleling stories and characters while also giving them all their moment
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Susan Gloss is the author of the novels VINTAGE and THE CURIOSITIES. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where she majored in English and Spanish, and the University of Wisconsin Law School. She lives with her family in Madison, Wisconsin.

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