I was utterly surprised to like An Extraordinary Theory of Objects by Stephanie LaCava as much as I did. I initially picked it up because I'm preparing for a trip to France later this year, and I'm more drawn to stories with the country as a setting. This book was especially appealing because it's written by an American woman who spent her teen years living in France, and even though it's non-fiction, I was curious. Not knowing really anymore about the book than this, I dove in.
Although the story is heart-wrenching at times, it's one of the most personal and touching memoirs I've ever read. To me, memoirs are usual full of bragging and excuses; not so here. LaCava is brutally honest about her struggles, and she blames no one in the process.
LaCava is drawn to unusual objects and collects them as a means of coping. Far from being a hoarder, her collection is carefully curated. Just as she collects objects, she is able to lay out this memoir around this objects explaining the entomology of objects prior to every episode within the book. It's a unique and fitting tie from her life to her memoir.