Those of you who read the blockbuster, MAINE, a couple of years ago are going to be over the moon with Sullivan’s newest novel. I will go as far as to say it may be even better than the first one. And that’s a big statement.
THE ENGAGEMENTS, by J. Courtney Sullivan provides plenty of bang for your buck. I have become leery of second novels. Too many of them are often rushed because the author has a dead line for the publisher. Not the case with THE ENGAGEMENTS.
I know enough about the diamond business to understand when “DeBeers” is mentioned. I know some of the behind the scenes chatter. I’ve heard much about the diamond mines and some of the less than stellar treatment given to the miners. Untold numbers of workers have died over the years to bring these precious stones to our eager …
THE ENGAGEMENTS is told in several stories. I’ve become fond of this form of literature since Elizabeth Strout made it so famous with her, OLIVE KITTERIDGE. Each story will grab you harder and harder until you realize you are reading a real page-turner. The people, their situations, brilliant.
Did you know that in 1947 a woman named Frances Gerety came up with the slogan that took the world by storm. Her “A diamond is forever” is a phrase that is one of the best known in the advertising world. And it has only gotten stronger over the years. Frances was working for an ad agency that had De Beers as its most cherished and profitable client. Mad Men revisited.
And how does Frances Gerety fit into this equation? A woman who never married, and worked her tail off for less wages than the men? Her story is the story of working women back in the day, and many, still today.
You will surely be able to relate to at least one of these fascinating people. Either the working man who is just getting by. Or maybe the woman who is so upset because of her son’s impending divorce from the perfect wife and mother (her choice that is), and the new choice is actually a mirror-image of herself. Then there’s the woman who refuses to marry, but agrees to help her gay cousin with his own wedding planning. But my favorite is the French woman who leaves her much older husband in Paris and travels to NYC with a much younger man. And the revenge scene is unbelievable.
I found myself liking this novel more and more as I read on. Then I found myself loving it! I do believe it is so cleverly written. And Sullivan’s a master at tying the story together. The ending will not disappoint. You simply must read this one.
This book covers decades. And takes you through the adventurous lives of these colorful characters. You are in for such a treat.
I’m adding a link to an article written by Ron Charles at the Washington Post. Sullivan just recently became engaged. Yes, how timely. And we get to see if she has a diamond.http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2013/06/12/j-courtney-sullivan-leaps-from-the-engagements-to-her-w
My galley came from Knopf at Random House. I am thrilled to have had the opportunity of an early peek.