The Curiosities: A Novel (Paperback)
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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 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, leaving her to manage the mansion and the eccentric personalities of the artists who live there on her own.
Soon one of the artists, a young metal sculptor named Odin, is keeping the other residents awake with his late-night welding projects. Nell is pretty sure that Annie, a dreadlocked granny known for her avant garde performance pieces, is dealing drugs out of the basement "studio." Meanwhile Paige, 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.
About the Author
Susan Gloss is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Wisconsin Law School. When she's not writing fiction, Susan can be found working as an attorney, blogging at GlossingOverIt.com, or hunting for vintage treasures for her Etsy shop, Cleverly Curated. She lives with her family in Madison, Wisconsin.
“Featuring a cast of characters as varied as the art they create, Susan Gloss’s The Curiosities is about chasing dreams, second chances, and the gift of redemption. Enchanting and heartfelt!”
— Karma Brown, Bestselling author of In This Moment
“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. The Curiosities is an absolute must read!”
— Kristy Woodson Harvey, national bestselling author of Slightly South of Simple
“Driven by an eclectric mix 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”
— Jessica Strawser, author of Not That I Could Tell
“The Curiosities is a stained glass window of a novel: lovely, glowing and precise. Set in a community of artists who are outwardly coming together and inwardly coming apart, Susan Gloss’s writing brims with insight into grief and joy, love and regret.”
— Greer Macallister, bestselling author of The Magician’s Lie and Girl in Disguise