Ambitiously conceived, rich with historical detail and nonstop drama, The Diamond is a towering work of imagination all the more fascinating for being based in fact.
"[A] regal, multi-faceted feat of historical fiction" (Kirkus Reviews)
"The story is deftly told." (Booklist)
Julie Baumgold manages to make an inanimate object (the "Regent" diamond) very much a character of its own in this fascinating story. The diamond, not unlike a devastating femme fatale, is provocative and compelling, demanding all from those who come under her spell. Lust, crime, and tragedy follow her discovery. And when all else falls away, she remains, indomitable.
The author has a poet's gift for exquisite turns of phrase which bring the sensuality of the story to life. Sometimes her description is so realistic as to be revolting, such as her scenes from the French Revolution. At other times, her writing is redolent of the olfactory delights and physical pleasures of a sybarite. Simon Vance's narration makes it all the more delectable.
With its elements of history, romance, drama, and tragedy, "The Diamond" is a thoroughly engaging listen on so many levels. I recommend it, and look forward to reading more from Ms Baumgold.
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