From the New York Times best-selling author of Commencement and Maine comes a gorgeous, sprawling novel about marriage - about those who marry in a white heat of passion, those who marry for partnership and comfort, and those who live together, love each other, and have absolutely no intention of ruining it all with a wedding.
Evelyn has been married to her husband for 40 years - 40 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 100 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.
©2013 J. Courtney Sullivan (P)2013 Random House Audio
Maybe it was the fact that this was an auditory mode of reading the story, but I found it difficult to keep the stories straight while driving. I listened to this book on a long road trip, and I sometimes had difficulty transitioning between all 4 stories and remembering what had occurred in a particular story line earlier in the book. In the end, though, it wrapped up nicely. Maybe I could follow it better in cinema as I could attach a character's face to their story.
Disparate stories of seemingly unconnected lives are slowly revealed over the course of this meaty novel. The characters and situations span many decades and a couple of continents but the highly skilled reader makes it easy to enjoy and retain them all. It didn't really matter to me how it all tied up in the end; the pleasure is in the journey and I enjoyed it all the way through.
The history of establishing the DER ( diamond engagement ring) .
The development and impact of the DER and marriage in general
The desperation of the EMT to get his partner a diamond when she really DID NOT WANT IT.
the stories were interesting and not just a lot of sappy romance. Nice long listen. wasn't crazy about narrator.
the diversity and build up of the intertwining stories. I was interested enough to not only listen while at work but at other times too.
I use the audiobooks to pass time at a mundane job. I stand for 8 to 10 hours, this helped pass the time and was interesting.
I felt it was a bit hard to follow on the audio version it may be easier with defined chapters you can read into. I also didn't like that the author could not pronounce Dorchester ( a boston neighborhood) and that her Boston accent was not Boston at all and more like the Kennedy accent and Maine accent mixed together. It was strange and annoying a bit. I'm from Boston and don't have the accent but know it well from my mother, family, friends, neighbors, etc.
This book could easily have been 1/2 as long and nothing would have been lost in translation. I kept waiting for all the verbiage to MEAN something....and most of the time it never did. It's a long time to listen to a book just to have a "meh" reaction at the end. I purchased this based on a strong recommendation from People Magazine, but I can't understand why.
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