By Kim Neville
** Publication Date 16 March 2021 **
Objects hold memories and feelings. At least that is what Ev experiences. Just like some people can see sounds, Ev can pick up an object and feel whatever the previous owner felt. For Ev these objects are “stained” with memories. There are good stains and bad stains, but all affect her. With the good stains, Ev tries to sell these objects. She has success, because though others don’t feel the full impact of the stain, they still are drawn to them. With the badly stained objects, Ev tries to get rid of them. Because they can make people angry or violent.
Then Ev meets Harriet. Harriet is an older lady who has amassed quite a collection of stained objects. Unlike Ev, though, Harriet is not adversely affected by the stained objects. She feels them, but it doesn’t make her physically ill. Harriet decides that she needs to teach Ev how to live with this unusual sense that she has.
Harriet wants to turn her collection into a museum of emotions. A place where people can gather to feel and sense the happiness that other people’s objects can bring. Ev’s friend Owen gets involved helping Harriet sort and bring the objects to the museum building. He also is going to create art from some of the objects. However, Harriet’s collection is not always clean. Some of these objects are dirty and will cause pain.
What an unusual concept! Ev’s and Harriet’s special gift is something to ponder. Neville has handed us a brilliant story about feelings and emotions and the impact they can have. While the gift that these women possess is quite empathic, it can also be destructive. The story shows us the relationships between people and how their personal gifts can bless or ruin them. I really enjoyed the story of the growth of Ev and her evolution. Harriet’s ability to help Ev and create a small family of the three.