The Life of Objects by Susanna Moore

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Susanna Moore employs a spare, stoic tone as Beatrice relates her experiences. The Life of Objects lacks the frenetic, first-person wallowing in triumph, sentiment, or despair dominating many war narratives.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

In 1938, seventeen-year-old Beatrice, an Irish Protestant lace maker, finds herself at the center of a fairy tale when she is whisked away from her dreary life to join the Berlin household of Felix and Dorothea Metzenburg. Art collectors, and friends to the most fascinating men and women in Europe, the Metzenburgs introduce Beatrice to a world in which she finds more to desire than she ever imagined.

But Germany has launched its campaign of aggression across Europe, and, before long, the conflict reaches the Metzenburgs’ threshold. Retreating with Beatrice to their country estate, Felix and Dorothea do their best to preserve the traditions of the old world. But the realities of hunger and illness, as well as the even graver threats of Nazi terror, the deportation and murder of Jews, and the hordes of refugees fleeing the advancing Red Army begin to threaten their existence. When the Metzenburgs are forced to join a growing population of men and women in hiding, Beatrice, increasingly attached to the family and its unlikely wartime community, bears heartrending witness to the atrocities of the age and to the human capacity for strength in the face of irrevocable loss.

In searing physical and emotional detail, The Life of Objects illuminates Beatrice’s journey from childhood to womanhood, from naïveté to wisdom, as a continent collapses into darkness around her. It is Susanna Moore’s most powerful and haunting novel yet.

This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide. 

 

About Susanna Moore

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Susanna Moore is the author of the novels The Big Girls, One Last Look, In the Cut, Sleeping Beauties, The Whiteness of Bones, and My Old Sweetheart, and two books of nonfiction, Light Years: A Girlhood in Hawai'i and I Myself Have Seen It: The Myth of Hawai'i. She lives in New York City.
 
Published September 18, 2012 by Vintage. 258 pages
Genres: History, War, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Life of Objects
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

NPR

Excellent
Reviewed by Maureen Corrigan on Sep 19 2012

If the Brothers Grimm had tackled the rise and fall of the Third Reich, they might well have produced a tale that reads like The Life of Objects.

Read Full Review of The Life of Objects | See more reviews from NPR

NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by John L. Murphy, Ph.D. on Sep 18 2012

Susanna Moore employs a spare, stoic tone as Beatrice relates her experiences. The Life of Objects lacks the frenetic, first-person wallowing in triumph, sentiment, or despair dominating many war narratives.

Read Full Review of The Life of Objects | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

Reader Rating for The Life of Objects
67%

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