“I find this book exhilarating—truly exciting, new, everything good—the people, the clothes, the food: every word.” —Joan Didion
Susanna Moore will be reading from her new novel. Please join us.
In 1938, seventeen-year-old Beatrice, an Irish Protestant lace maker,
finds herself at the center of a fairy tale when she is whisked away
from her dreary life to join the Berlin household of Felix and Dorothea
Metzenburg. Art collectors, and friends to the most fascinating men and
women in Europe, the Metzenburgs introduce Beatrice to a world in
which she finds more to desire than she ever imagined.
But Germany has launched its campaign of aggression across Europe,
and, before long, the conflict reaches the Metzenburgs’ threshold.
Retreating with Beatrice to their country estate, Felix and Dorothea do
their best to preserve the traditions of the old world. But the
realities of hunger and illness, as well as the even graver threats of
Nazi terror, the deportation and murder of Jews, and the hordes of
refugees fleeing the advancing Red Army begin to threaten their
existence. When the Metzenburgs are forced to join a growing population
of men and women in hiding, Beatrice, increasingly attached to the
family and its unlikely wartime community, bears heartrending witness
to the atrocities of the age and to the human capacity for strength in
the face of irrevocable loss.
In searing physical and emotional detail, The Life of Objects illuminates
Beatrice’s journey from childhood to womanhood, from naïveté to
wisdom, as a continent collapses into darkness around her.
Susanna Moore is the author of the novels The Big Girls, One Last Look, In the Cut, Sleeping Beauties, The Whiteness of Bones, and My Old Sweetheart, as well as two books of nonfiction, Light Years: A Girlhood in Hawai’i and I Myself Have Seen It: The Myth of Hawai’i. She teaches writing at Princeton University's Lewis Center for the Arts.