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The Museum of Ordinary People - a young woman dealing with grief finds meaning at an unusual museum.

Jess Baxter recently lost her mother. While cleaning out her childhood home, the pain is unbearable. She elects to do this all by herself feeling as if this is her final chance to say goodbye. Jess lives with her boyfriend Guy in London and they are unable to keep the majority of the house's contents, so she decides to save only a few keepsakes including an encyclopedia set which is now outdated but very special to her as it was given to her by her mother. But Guy doesn't want the old books cluttering his home. Jess's best friend Luce tells her about the Museum of Ordinary People, a quirky, unusual place housed in a company warehouse which stores treasures that may not be valuable but were donated as they were too precious for loved ones to have thrown them out. It seems like the perfect place to drop off her encyclopedia. Jess, who had unfulfilled dreams of working as a museum curator, meets Alex, the owner of a clearing house business that is also home to the "museum". He recently inherited the company. But Alex, a man with troubles of his own, has no idea why he inherited the business as he did not know the owner, Thomas Barclay. Jess convinces Alex to let her manage the museum and she is determined to generate interest from the community before Alex sells the building. Working on this project starts to bring Jess back to life.


Mike Gayle is a wonderful storyteller, and The Museum of Ordinary People will grab you by the heartstrings. As someone who is a saver and a collector of memories, this book spoke to me. To Guy, the museum looked like a pile of junk but to Jess, she saw the importance of preserving the past and understood how people couldn't bear to throw certain items away. As in All the Lonely People, which I adored, Gayle puts together people who form unlikely bonds and end up helping one another. Many of us are dealing with our own loss and grief so it is likely that this book will bring you to tears. But it is an uplifting book that will also make you smile.


Rated 4.25 out of 5 stars.

Contemporary Fiction.

U.S. Publication Date: May 30, 2023.


Please "like" this post if The Museum of Ordinary People sounds like a book you might like to read. I'd love to know. Scroll below the photo and click on the red outlined heart on the lower right-hand side of the page. Comments can also be left below.




1 Comment


Phyllis Pisanelli
Phyllis Pisanelli
Jun 01, 2023

Sounds great! We recently put off a move because I couldn't face leaving my memories.

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