The Museum of Things Left Behind
by Seni Glaister
get it here
FIND YOURSELF IN VALLEROSA, A PLACE LOST IN TIME
Vallerosa is every tourist’s dream – a tiny, picturesque country surrounded by lush valleys and verdant mountains; a place sheltered from modern life and the rampant march of capitalism. But in isolation, the locals have grown cranky, unfulfilled and disaffected. Until one day an unlikely visitor arrives. Will she be the agent of change and rejuvenation this broken idyll is crying out for?
Full of wisdom, humour and light, The Museum of Things Left Behind is a heart-warming fable for our times that asks us to consider what we have lost and what we have gained in modern life. A book about bureaucracy, religion and the people that really get things done, it is above all else a hymn to the inconstancy of time and the pivotal importance of a good cup of tea.
The Museum of Things Left Behind was a book I went in with an open mind. It was one of the books for my Lowest Rated TBR Challenge for the month of November, and aware of the low rating it has, I tried to not have any judgments of it beforehand.
The story surrounds a country called Vallerosa, a place that was shielded from war and from most of everyone’s eyes. It thrived on tea, the belief of every man following in their father’s footsteps and endless education until they were ‘ready’ to step foot into the working field. A small country where their views and ideas are much more different than today’s society and they take their tea very seriously.
It began awfully slow, forming a (very) clear picture of the country and didn’t follow any specific character which I wasn’t used to. Either way, I was desperate to read this for my challenge and continued on, realising that it was a story that followed the citizens of Vallerosa and a very special guest. At first I was a little skeptical of this as I’ve not read many books that was like this but I realised that I loved it very much.
Who would’ve thought that a tiny place like Vallerosa could’ve been so interesting? President Sergio who followed in Sergio Senior’s footsteps, desiring to honour his father; the competitive spirit of the patron of Il Gallo Giallo and Il Toro Rosso who competes to be bar that attracts the most customers and the way the government ruled the country never failed to amuse me. Although the main part of the story was how the visitor, Lizzie Holmesworth, changed the people of Vallerosa, it was always the competition between the two bars that made me love the story.
I admire Glaister’s ability to look at things from a different perspective as she wrote the way the government of Vallerosa reflected on ideas. She brings to light how instead of nurses who were the ones who took care of the patients, it was the patients’ families who cooked, fed and cared for them, emphasising that they were the ones who were family and it was the family who would show the love and care needed for their own. This was only one of the differences between the way the Vallerosan mindset was different, many more could be found in this book and it was definitely and eye opener.
However, as much as I loved it, I do have some problems with this book. I felt as if it being a bit mean to the American consultants who came to Vallerosa in search for prospects for export. Although they did undervalue Vallerosa and they were taking advantage, threatening and blackmailing the president, it was hinted at that. Perhaps I was looking way too deep into it and it was just pure coincidence. I also found that the title was not entirely suitable as it was only brought up close to 200 pages into the book.
I definitely enjoyed this book far more than I thought I would and would recommend this to those who are interested in having a different view on things of many aspects, from education, misplacing things to even crops and plantation.