Jane Ryder's Reviews > Found Objects

Found Objects by Peter Gelfan
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it was amazing

A favorite quote of mine is from Oscar Wilde: "Be yourself. Everyone else is taken." In Found Objects, Peter Gelfan explores the myriad ways this is easier said than done. Society has expectations, our community or neighborhood has expectations, the people we care about have expectations -- even without all that, we'd still have to figure out what we really want out of life and relationships.

Photographer Aldo Zoria lives happily with his wife Erica and their lover, Marie, and Marie's two children. It's an unorthodox family but a very loving one: the children get extra care and attention, while jealousies and power plays among the adults are rarer than one usually finds in most traditional marriages. Then Marie's estranged husband, Jonah, turns up, and throws it all into chaos.

Gelfan's novel is quietly complex, filled with real people in situations you have to wonder how you'd handle yourself. Aldo, Erica and Marie may be slightly more communicative than most, but in a family dynamic this far from "Father Knows Best" you begin to realize such honesty is the only way they even stand a chance of making it work, and you want them to make it work.

What I loved most was how fair the author was to all his characters. There are no villains, just intelligent, loving people trying to a) puzzle out what they want and b) get it without causing too much destruction on the way. (Though for the record, that didn't stop me from hating Jonah for his monkey-wrenching, however inadvertent.)

Found Objects is original, well-written, smart, and complicated, and I recommend it to anyone interested in exploring the complexities of human relationships.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
January 20, 2013 – Shelved

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