The Engagements by J. Courtney SullivanA People Magazine Top 10 Best Book of the Year
The bestselling author of Maine returns with an exhilarating novel about Frances Gerety, the real pioneering ad woman who coined the famous slogan “A Diamond is Forever,” and four unique marriages that will test how true—or not—those words might be.
Evelyn has been married to her husband for forty years, but their son’s messy divorce has put them at rare odds; James, a beleaguered paramedic, has spent most of his marriage haunted by his wife’s family’s expectations; Delphine has thrown caution to the wind and left a peaceful French life for an exciting but rocky romance in America; and Kate, partnered with Dan for a decade, has seen every kind of wedding and has vowed never, ever, to have one of her own. As the stories connect to each other and to Frances’s legacy in surprising ways, The Engagements explores the complicated ins and outs of relationships, then, now, and forever.
REVIEW: COMMENCEMENT BY J. COURTNEY SULLIVAN
The Engagements by J Courtney Sullivan – review
Thank you! Is a diamond really forever? So Sullivan Maine , , etc. Traven advised in his grand tale of gold, precious objects can cause people to do very bad things; so they do here, enacted by a principal character who, though a bit of a sad sack, does what he can to resist temptation until it overwhelms him. Not really, but it does score a few carats. A modern update of The Spoils of Poynton elegant, assured, often moving and with a gentle moral lesson to boot.
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The Engagements has been chosen as one of People Magazine's Top Ten Books of and a Book of the Year by the Irish Times. It will be published in 18 .
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The Engagements opens in , late at night, as Frances, an advertising copywriter, works on the DeBeers account. A master procrastinator, she's left coming up with a new, catchy slogan until the last minute. Right before she goes to sleep, she comes up with "a diamond is forever.
A t the time J Courtney Sullivan was writing her latest novel, her boyfriend proposed. Such a biographical detail would not normally be relevant but Sullivan's third novel, The Engagements , follows the trajectory of a diamond engagement ring from to Proposing to your girlfriend is intimidating enough, let alone one whose page manuscript displays a consummate fluency in the language of cuts, clarity and carats. In an early chapter, Sullivan describes the fictional ring at length: "It was a unique piece, with two large, round Old European cut diamonds set in what was called a bypass style… There were three small marquise diamonds on either side… The stones sat so high on the band that she was forever snagging them on things, and getting fibres from her sweater or a wisp of hair, stuck beneath a prong. Sullivan, whose first two novels, Commencement and Maine , were New York Times bestsellers, goes on to chart the ring's changing fortunes as the diamond is passed through the generations. The ring is lost, found and stolen, becoming both a symbol of lasting love and of profound betrayal in the hands of four different couples until it finally ends up redesigned as two wedding bands for a gay marriage in the Hudson River Valley in
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