Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Review: The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan

Title: The Engagements
Author: J. Courtney Sullivan
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Knopf
Publish Date: June 11, 2013
Source: Library

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a fiction fan.
  • You like a little bit of historical fiction.
  • You like stories about relationships.
What's the Story?:

From "Evelyn has been married to her husband for forty years—forty years since he slipped off her first wedding ring and put his own in its place. Delphine has seen both sides of love—the ecstatic, glorious highs of seduction, and the bitter, spiteful fury that descends when it’s over. James, a paramedic who works the night shift, knows his wife’s family thinks she could have done better; while Kate, partnered with Dan for a decade, has seen every kind of wedding—beach weddings, backyard weddings, castle weddings—and has vowed never, ever, to have one of her own.

As these lives and marriages unfold in surprising ways, we meet Frances Gerety, a young advertising copywriter in 1947. Frances is working on the De Beers campaign and she needs a signature line, so, one night before bed, she scribbles a phrase on a scrap of paper: “A Diamond Is Forever.” And that line changes everything.

A rich, layered, exhilarating novel spanning nearly a hundred years, The Engagements captures four wholly unique marriages, while tracing the story of diamonds in America, and the way—for better or for worse—these glittering stones have come to symbolize our deepest hopes for everlasting love."

My Two Cents:

"The Engagements" is a book that takes place over several time periods and follows an ad executive who works for De Beers (the diamond company) for many years. The book also follows several different couples in different time periods, each with very different relationships and relationship ideals. Both historical-fiction and contemporary lovers will find a lot to like about this book.

Although I usually find myself liking the historical-fiction portions of a book that takes place in a couple different time periods, I really liked different things about each time period. The sections about Frances, the ad exec, and the present day story were probably my favorites. Relationships and marriages are very interesting subjects to read about to me. I'm happily married and have a really fantastic relationship with my husband. If you asked me to pinpoint why we work, I probably couldn't do it. I could guess at a couple things but not one specific thing. Relationships are intricate, living, breathing things and I love reading about how other people deal with their relationships. The relationships in this book are all over. Some of them are built on true love, some are built on deception, and some are built on seeing what others are doing and running the opposite way.

The writing in this book is really good. It can be really difficult to create really different and unique personalities in a book but I really think that Sullivan does a great job with that in this book. I've read her first release, Commencement, but I have yet to read Maine, a book which so many of the bloggers that I love and trust have had really good things to say about. After reading this one, I know I need to get my hands on Maine soon!


1 comment:

  1. I've had Maine in my TBR stack for years and have heard great things about Sullivan, but I have yet to pick up her work! Must really get on that, and sounds like The Engagements is a good one to add to the ol' bookshelf. Hopefully I'll get to it faster than I did the other!


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