Cobb-Sonya, Family dynamics, Fiction

#944 The Objects of her Affection by Sonya Cobb

The Objects of her Affection by Sonya CobbThe Objects of her Affection by Sonya Cobb

Sophie has found a house that she wants. It’s a fixer-upper, but she’s not really working anymore and her husband only makes so much money. She tells herself that she will pick up more free-lance work. Somehow, she manages to wrangle a mortgage on the house. It’s an ARM mortgage, whatever that is. If only Sophie would have looked up what that actually is, she would have saved herself a whole lot of trouble.

Her husband works at a museum as one of its curators. He’s really into ceramics. While he spends his time tracking down rare collections and pieces, Sophie is trying to figure out how to pay the mortgage once she actually figures out what an ARM mortgage is. One day, while visiting her husband at work, she happens to take a small mirror off a tray of items in her husband’s office. She takes the mirror to a local antique dealer and gets enough money to help buy food and pay the mortgage for a while. When money gets low again, she takes another item. She develops a working relationship with the antique dealer, but it turns out that he’s not such a nice guy after all.

Pressure gets put on Sophie to procure more items that are rarer than the last items. The FBI also gets involved. While Sophie end up in hot water?

What I liked

I do like the art history in this book. It’s not a lot of well-known art history, but it’s still art history. I also like that Sophie’s a bit of a techie.

There is certainly money to be made in the illegal trafficking of art work. That’s why some paintings have been stolen multiple times. You better bet your butt that there are collectors who do not care one bit how such and such painting came to their collection. In fact, they might even encourage the theft of some works of artwork.

For smaller things, I think this approach might work, but for something well-known, let’s say a Van Gogh, you can’t hire somebody to steal it and then collect it, reasonably. First of all, the theft itself would be practically impossible. Second, you would have to hold onto the painting for forever. There’s no holding it for a few years and then selling it for even more money. The painting is just too well-known. The FBI and whoever would be all over you before you could shout, “My ear!” Now, if there’s a secret network of people who like to collect stolen artwork and pay each other millions of dollars for it, then maybe, you could get away with stealing a Van Gogh and selling it.

What I didn’t like

Sophie is some sort of web developer. A lot of the terminology is correct, but I have a hard time believing that someone could just sit down for a little while and be up to speed on all the latest web programming. Look, I can do some web programming–it’s not as easy as learning some HTML code. It’s a lot more involved than that. So, say, for example, if you were a web programmer who learned how to build websites based solely on HTML and then you didn’t program for a while, but then you decided to get back into it, it would be really difficult. For the basics alone you have to know HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery, but better throw AJAX in there as well. That’s basic stuff. Now throw in PHP, ColdFusion, Java,–I could go on. So much web design is dynamic now, meaning your web pages fetch things from databases and build things dynamically on the page. It’s not simply programming everything in one file that will be on the page.

All of this is just to say that I feel the gravity of the profession of web development isn’t reflected accurately in this book.

Oh, and another thing, sure you may be  web developer, but can you also design databases? Maybe, but also maybe not. Just because you have worked with web development that uses technology that fetches stuff from a database, doesn’t necessarily mean you have the know-how to set up an entirely new database and determine all the ins and outs of how it should work.


Maybe, Sophie could design an app where illegal art collectors connect.

Weigh In

If you work in a certain profession, how do you generally feel about books that speak of your profession?

Would you steal something from a museum?

#944 The Objects of her Affection by Sonya Cobb was originally published on One-elevenbooks


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