|Look inside at Amazon. You can purchase a copy at|
Indiebound as well.
However, this memoir's title is a bit misleading, in my opinion. The "theory" refers to Stephanie Lacava's lifelong interest in all manner of "things" - objects both natural and human made, as well as historical personages received as objects, that capture her attention and help her cope with her exceedingly sensitive and depression-prone nature. The "theory", I suppose, is that objects can do that for people: help them make sense of - or at least cope with - the world. But that seemed a rather obvious idea to me, and by the time I finished this memoir I had no more refined a sense of how or why that theory is extraordinary than I did when I started it.
Ms. Lacava's prose throughout is straight-forward, and the narrative pace reasonably quick. Yet I turned the last page thinking that I will remember An Extraordinary History of Objects primarily for its lovely illustrations (created by Matthew Nelson, who doesn't even receive a cover credit?), biographical information on eccentric women like Lee Miller and the Marchesa Casati, locations in France, and the physicality of the book itself rather than for any new insights this memoir might have provided about adolescence/coming-of-age or about how objects become "extraordinary".
Bottom Line: We both expected more from this memoir than we received, but each of us felt that perhaps we were too old to be its best audience. Rather, young adults may see themselves in the teen Stephanie, finding hope in her ultimate success. They might also pause to reflect on how the objects they connect to reflect their own inner conditions and conflicts.
And we both applaud Harper for investing in this book's aesthetic qualities, which will appeal to bibliophiles like us.
Mom & Who?
Mom's a retired science librarian/tech writer in New Mexico; I'm a high school English teacher in Washington state. We share a love of our imperfectly tended gardens (OK, mine's oh so much more imperfect than hers), lifelong learning (not a day goes by...), Jacques Pepin, travel, show tunes, our two-legged and four-legged family members, and - of course - books.