The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan

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Her writing is smart and transparent giving the feeling that she labors to find just the right descriptive detail to transport the reader into the time and place of her characters’ world.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

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 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.

This ebook edition includes a Reading Group Guide. 

 

About J. Courtney Sullivan

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J. Courtney Sullivan's work has appeared in The New York Times, New York, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Allure, Men's Vogue, the New York Observer, Tango, and in the essay anthology The Secret Currency of Love. She is a graduate of Smith College, lives in Brooklyn, and works in the editorial department of The New York Times. Commencement is her first novel.
 
Published January 1, 2014 by Vintage. 529 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Engagements
All: 4 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 2

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Elizabeth Day on Jul 20 2013

The Engagements is a book that never quite takes off in the way that you want it to...The chapters involving James, a paramedic down on his luck, are filled with masses of on-the-job detail which, while indicative of impressive research, slow the narrative pace.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Elizabeth Day on Jul 20 2013

The chapters involving James, a paramedic down on his luck, are filled with masses of on-the-job detail which, while indicative of impressive research, slow the narrative pace.

Read Full Review of The Engagements | See more reviews from Guardian

Kirkus

Excellent
on May 13 2013

A modern update of The Spoils of Poynton; elegant, assured, often moving and with a gentle moral lesson to boot.

Read Full Review of The Engagements | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Carol Brill on Jun 09 2013

Her writing is smart and transparent giving the feeling that she labors to find just the right descriptive detail to transport the reader into the time and place of her characters’ world.

Read Full Review of The Engagements | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

Reader Rating for The Engagements
73%

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