The Museum of Ordinary People by Mike Gayle

Thank you to Jenny Platt at Hodder for the invitation to take part in this blog tour. This review forms my honest opinion.


Still reeling from the sudden death of her mother, Jess is about to do the hardest thing she’s ever done: empty her childhood home so that it can be sold.

But when in the process Jess stumbles across the mysterious Alex, together they become custodians of a strange archive of letters, photographs, curios and collections known as The Museum of Ordinary People.

As they begin to delve into the history of the objects in their care, Alex and Jess not only unravel heartbreaking stories that span generations and continents, but also unearth long buried secrets that lie much closer to home.

Inspired by a box of mementos found abandoned in a skip following a house clearance, The Museum of Ordinary People is a thought-provoking and poignant story of memory, grief, loss and the things we leave behind.


All the Lonely People was the first book by Mike Gayle I had read, and the one I chose to champion when I entered the NB Magazine Bloggers Book Prize in 2021. I was thrilled to be a finalist, but gutted to be pipped at the post….to this day, I maintain that Hubert Bird was robbed!!

And so, with that defeat still haunting my days (or something equally as melodramatic) I was very excited to be asked to take part in this blog tour.

The Museum of Ordinary People tells the story of Jess. A young woman still coming to terms with the death of her mother who has reached a crossroads in her life. The big question looms. What does she want from life. And she doesn’t really know. She just continues to float along, until one day she comes across The Museum of Ordinary People and something in her is sparked.

The story is told from Jess’ POV, splitting the timeline between the here and now and the days, weeks and months after her mother’s death, until events finally converge. We learn about her relationship with Guy, her friendship with Luce and we get a sense of the close bond she shared with her mother.

To read this felt like a breath of fresh air. Original and quirky, but while dealing with big themes, such as grief and loss. Jess’ journey is both touching, but also filled with hope and love. I finished the last page with a smile on my face feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

While Jess may not have had quite the same lasting effect as Hubert, The Museum of Ordinary People is still a very special book. Filled to the brim with heart and hope. And I actually love the idea. Is there actually a market out there for a Museum of Ordinary People? I think there may be!

The Museum of Ordinary People is out now in hardback.

If you’d like to buy a copy, please consider buying a copy for your local indie bookshop. And if you don’t have one you regularly support, it would mean a great deal if you could support the indie bookshop I work for, The Rabbit Hole in North Lincolnshire.

Support The Rabbit Hole via Buy a copy here!!

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