The Heirloomist: 100 Treasures and the Stories They Tell

Chronicle. Apr. 2024. 256p. ISBN 9781797224404. $27.95. PHOTOG
Novak is a commercial still-life photographer who takes images of the heirlooms that people treasure, to celebrate the stories they tell. In her first book, she profiles 100 cherished items and shares their narratives. Objects range from jewelry and toys to clothing and military helmets. Some of the heirlooms have monetary value, some are worth nothing. Each entry includes a one- or two-page story about the object’s original owner and the object’s importance in the current owner’s life. Some items memorialize children who passed too soon or are reminders of beloved relatives; some celebrate family history, family businesses, or the strength of the owners’ ancestors who paved the way for them; yet others commemorate how people met or acknowledge their bravery in service to their country. Lovely color photographs enhance these stories of prized possessions that connect people to their pasts and milestones and serve as visible reminders of those who are gone. While some stories are celebratory and others are poignant, all are fascinating reading.
VERDICT Anyone who has ever saved an object as a remembrance will relish this varied collection of heirlooms and their stories.
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