Rare Objects  by Kathleen Tessaro

Maeve Fanning is a first-generation Irish immigrant living with her mother in Depression Era Boston.  This historical novel is about Mae, as she calls herself later in the novel, finding her way into young adulthood.  Mae has several missteps along the path.  The author, Kathleen Tessaro, describes the extra stumbling blocks Mae must navigate.  Mae must contend  with poverty, tenement living in the north End, love and its associated risks, mental health challenges, and decisions about her values and reality versus the pull of pretense.  After a brief and tumultuous stay in NYC, Mae returns to live with her mother in the North End.  She lands a job in a unique antiques shop owned by an elusive British archaeologist and a professor.  The shop caters to wealthy clients looking to add to their arts collections.  Mae interacts with members of one of the wealthier families in Boston at the time.  The interactions are life changing for both Mae and the wealthy family.  Just as with The Perfume Collector, I had to pay attention while reading this novel otherwise I would have missed key pieces of character building which would have made me lose interest in the book.  Be prepared to stay engaged when you begin reading this book!