Jenny Gilbert is what you might call a hoarder, but she’s a neat hoarder. She’s a clean hoarder. And she’s keeping it ALL a big secret.
To everyone who knows her, Jenny is a successful young college counselor. But secretly, she is also a collector, some may even say a hoarder. As a former military brat, she is on a mission to find and reacquire the many relics of her childhood that she was forced to leave behind with each of her family’s moves, and she has rented a secret second apartment to accommodate her growing obsession.
When Jenny reconnects with Nick, a man from her past, a romance begins. But, as she tries to hide an increasingly complicated web of secrets from the man she’s falling in love with, she becomes enmeshed in a messy tangle of omissions, half-truths, and lies. Then, when Hurricane Sandy adjusts its course, aiming itself directly at both of her apartments on the New Jersey shore, Jenny finds herself catapulted into a truly desperate situation.
At its heart, Things is the story of a young woman searching for a sense of rootedness, a sense of home. But, she needs to learn that amassing physical things is not the way to find it, and that what she seeks is not an external thing at all. Her quest is aided, as well as complicated, by Nick’s arrival and the looming threat of the most destructive hurricane in New Jersey’s history.
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Francine Garson is a former law school administrator and independent college advisor. She has also been a waitress, a factory worker, a deli clerk, a camp counselor, and the assistant manager of a bookstore. Her children are grown, and she lives in central New Jersey with her husband, a mellow orange cat, and lots of books.
Francine’s work has appeared in a number of online and print magazines. Her flash fiction has received awards from the National League of American Pen Women and WOW-Women On Writing.