What I’m Reading Wednesday

25 Jun

A Diamond is Forever.

It’s a familiar phrase, but one I never knew the story behind. Thanks to J. Courtney Sullivan’s The Engagements, her imagination has helped me to paint an idea of the woman behind the trademark line.

engageIn the late 1940s, Frances Gerety penned the signature line, A Diamond is Forever, a phrase that has lasted for decades to come. Two weeks before her death in 1999, Advertising Age magazine named the phrase the slogan of the century. And as we all know, the phrase is still very much in use today.

Weaving around Frances’ story as a young advertising copywriter are several stories spanning different generations all centered around one thing: a diamond.

First, we meet Evelyn in 1972. A woman married to her husband for 40 years after her first husband was tragically killed.

Next we meet James in 1987, a paramedic with a family who is trying to make up for poor past financial decisions.

In 2003 Delphine enters the story. The Parisian leaves her marriage behind for a love affair with a famous classical musician.

Kate enters the story in 2012. A modern and independent woman, Kate doesn’t understand why people choose marriage, when she’s perfectly fine with a verbal commitment from her partner and father of their child.

All of these stories center around romance, love, promise and a diamond. Sullivan develops each short story within the novel and subtly drops hints of how they are all linked together.

This novel was released last year and was named People Magazine’s top-10 books of 2013. It just recently made its debut in paperback. Reading it takes commitment as you read further into the character’s stories and navigate through the almost 400 pages. But it’s all worth it. There is sadness and there is tragedy, but there is always love. And some history about the advertising world, which I personally love.

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