Thanks so much to Jenny Platt and Hodder Books for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘The Museum Of Ordinary People’ by Mike Gayle, and for supplying me with an ARC of the book. All views written in this review are done so in an unbiased manner.
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.
But when in the process Jess stumbles across the mysterious Alex, together they become custodians of a strange archive of letters, photographs, curios and collections known as The Museum of Ordinary People.
As they begin to delve into the history of the objects in their care, Alex and Jess not only unravel heartbreaking stories that span generations and continents, but also unearth long buried secrets that lie much closer to home.
Inspired by a box of mementos found abandoned in a skip following a house clearance, The Museum of Ordinary People is a thought-provoking and poignant story of memory, grief, loss and the things we leave behind.
I’m just going to dive straight in and say that this is probably one of my most favourite books that I have read so far this year – I absolutely adored it.
From the get go readers are introduced to a character that is complexly brilliant. We meet Jess at the first stages of grief, where everything is so raw and the house is being cleared of personal belongings. But, instead of ensuring she holds back items for herself of her late mothers, she worries about the space to put them in her boyfriends apartment. Sorry, I know space can be an issue at the best of times (or in this case, the worst), however space should be the least of her worries and instead of her boyfriend, Guy, ensuring his apartment is pristine, he should try and accommodate his girlfriends needs as well. Or is that just me? Perhaps I was thinking all of that because I took an instant dislike to Guy and his self obsessed personality. Who knows.
As the storyline progressed, we got to see more of Jess’ personality shine, and a collection of new characters with their own troubles, were brought in. Take Alex for example – the polar opposite of Guy and despite the turmoil that he had went through, he still managed to stand on his own two feet and help others. I liked Alex, and I felt like there was more to him than what we saw and I enjoyed that uncertainty of his personality and his actions.
Despite the book being centred around a museum, an unspoken secret gave a good fight to become the centre of attention. I was flabbergasted to be totally honest. I didn’t know who I felt sorry for the most in the situation, yet I could also see it from the side of a mother, what with being one myself. I know this sounds like I’m speaking nonsense, however those who have read the book will understand where I am coming from. However, if you haven’t read the book yet, I highly suggest you nab one as soon as you can.
So yes, as I said at the very beginning, ‘The Museum Of Ordinary People’ is one of my favourite books of 2022 already. I loved the unique storytelling and plot, and I thought the characters were so well developed, each standing tall with their own personalities and individual stories. Mike Gayle has such an addictive way with words, lacing emotion through the simplest of sentences to create something that ends up being one of a kind, memorable, and very well written. I couldn’t have asked for more from a book – this one ticked every single box on a list in my head that I didn’t realise I had even created!
If you’re looking for a book that speaks to you on a multitude of levels, resonates with your subconscious and has you holding onto the book as though its a precious gem, then ‘The Museum Of Ordinary People’ is for you. Absolutely brilliant.
Buy now from Amazon.