The Objects of Her Affection

Ideas of want and need provide the foundation for The Objects of Her Affection, an engrossing debut novel by Sonya Cobb. The Porters are a young, seemingly idyllic Philadelphia family. Beneath the surface, however, Sophie Porter and her husband, Brian, want different things. Brian, a workaholic curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is focused on his career, constantly traveling. Sophie, feeling neglected and at a professional standstill as a web developer, thinks being approved for a hefty mortgage on a 150-year-old fixer-upper house will empower her life and give the couple's two children the childhood she herself never had.

Brian sees all the problems with the house, while Sophie sees a perfect future. When their adjustable-rate mortgage suddenly skyrockets and the Porters can't pay the bills, Sophie panics, yet she keeps her financial anxieties a secret. While visiting Brian at the museum one day, she discovers a trove of small, poorly stored, valuable works of art. Sophie "accidentally" makes off with a decorative Renaissance mirror. Fearful of having to return it and thinking it might pay off some debt, she sells it to an art dealer who befriends Sophie while pulling her into a life of crime.

"She only wanted what was best for her family," Cobb writes about her deeply flawed, risk-taking protagonist with whom some readers will empathize. The thought-provoking, suspenseful plot will also hold crossover appeal for fans of thrillers as well as those intrigued by the lives of ordinary people misguided by their decisions and desires. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

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