The Necklace by Cheryl Jarvis
Thirteen Women and the Experiment That Transformed Their Lives

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The true story of thirteen women who took a risk on an expensive diamond necklace and, in the process, changed not only themselves but a community.

Four years ago, in Ventura, California, Jonell McLain saw a diamond necklace in a local jewelry store display window. The necklace aroused desire first, then a provocative question: Why are personal luxuries so plentiful yet accessible to so few? What if we shared what we desired? Several weeks, dozens of phone calls, and a leap of faith later, Jonell bought the necklace with twelve other women, with the goal of sharing it.

Part charm, part metaphor, part mirror, the necklace weaves in and out of each woman’s life, reflecting her past, defining her present, making promises for her future. Lending sparkle in surprising and unexpected ways, the necklace comes to mean something dramatically different to each of the thirteen women.
With vastly dissimilar histories and lives, the women show us how they transcended their individual personalities and politics to join together in an uncommon journey. What started as a quirky social experiment became something far richer and deeper, as the women transformed a symbol of exclusivity into a symbol of inclusiveness. They discovered that sharing the necklace among themselves was only the beginning; The more they shared with others, the more profound this experience–and experiment–became.

Original, resonant, and beautifully told, this book is an inspiring story about a necklace that became greater than the sum of its links, and about thirteen ordinary women who understood the power of possibility, who touched the lives of a community, and who together created one extraordinary experience.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Cheryl Jarvis

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Cheryl Jarvis is a journalist and essayist and the author of The Marriage Sabbatical: The Journey That Brings You Home. Her byline has appeared in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, and Reader's Digest. A former television producer and magazine and newspaper editor, she has taught writing at the University of Southern California and at Washington University and Webster University in St. Louis.
Published August 24, 2008 by Ballantine Books. 241 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Parenting & Relationships, Self Help. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Although the book is trumpeted as an anti-materialist lesson in the value of collaboration, the author mostly misses what was truly remarkable about the collective: the fact that its founding members looked beyond their usual social circles when recruiting partners, uniting people who seemingly h...

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The New York Times

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The women of Jewelia, as they began to speak of themselves, sorority-style, learned to share their hopes and dreams as well as the necklace.

Sep 05 2008 | Read Full Review of The Necklace: Thirteen Women ...

The New York Times

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Jarvis writes in the simple, virtual Young Adult format of self-help, “The Necklace” gives each woman a stereotypical handle: “The Loner,” “The Traditionalist,” “The Leader,” “The Visionary” and so on.

Sep 05 2008 | Read Full Review of The Necklace: Thirteen Women ...

Deseret News

Seeing Jewelia's positive influence in their own lives, the women began sharing with people outside of the group, bringing joy to friends and strangers alike.

Sep 14 2008 | Read Full Review of The Necklace: Thirteen Women ...

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