The Museum of Things Left Behind by Seni Glaister
Published by Harper Collins
21st May 2015
FIND YOURSELF IN VALLEROSA, A PLACE LOST IN TIME
Vallerosa is every tourist’s dream – a tiny, picturesque country surrounded by lush valleys and verdant mountains; a place sheltered from modern life and the rampant march of capitalism. But in isolation, the locals have grown cranky, unfulfilled and disaffected. In the Presidential Palace hostile Americans, wise to the country’s financial potential, are circling like sharks …
Can the town be fixed? Can the local bar owners be reconciled? Can an unlikely visitor be the agent of change and rejuvenation this broken idyll is crying out for?
Full of wisdom, humour and light, The Museum of Things Left Behind is a heart-warming fable for our times that asks us to consider what we have lost and what we have gained in modern life. A book about bureaucracy, religion and the people that really get things done, it is above all else a hymn to the inconstancy of time and the pivotal importance of a good cup of tea.
This is the fourth book in our Curtis Brown Book Group reading list, and it's author is the CEO of The Book People, she clearly knows how to sell books, but does she know anything about writing them? I have to admit, that from the start I wasn't hooked by this book, but twitter comments about how others in the group were enjoying it persuaded me to continue, and actually now I've finished reading it, I'm glad that I did persist with it.
Vallerosa is an Italian village that is stuck somewhere in the middle of the last century. There are ancient feuds within the villagers that show no sign of healing, and the powers that be no longer know where to turn. It is the arrival of whom the President believes to be the Duke of Edinburgh that finally gets the village to look at its actions and reactions with the eyes of an outsider and to try to make good all that is wrong.
I don't want to spoil the plot here, especially with the arrival of the member of the Royal family, but there were some genuinely funny laugh-out-loud moments with this book. It's also a feel good read where by the end, things are pulled together, and a happy ever after emotion is present. I did love the way that Seni Glaister portrayed the fictional world of Vallerosa - reading this on a warm day, you could almost imagine yourself there.
Should you come across this in the bookshop or library, pick it up and give it a go. You might be surprised, like I was, and find youself quite enjoying reading about this quirky place!
Miss Chapter x