After about a month of radio silence on the book front, I’m back with a review of a novel I was pleasantly surprised by: The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan.

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I didn’t expect to enjoy this novel as much as I did. I’d read another book by Sullivan and found it “meh”…but this one was definitely better and I really got into it!

This is the story of several marriages spread across a century. The one character who is not married is Frances Gerety, a woman who works in advertising and comes up with the famous De Beers line “A diamond is forever.” While it is a fiction novel, some of my favorite parts were the history behind De Beers marketing and the diamond industry. I found it fascinating, and also crazy to realize how much marketing has affected our perception of the engagement ring!

Sullivan weaves these seemingly unrelated stories together, but there is a common thread that ties them together, which I’m sure you will figure out soon enough. It tells of the unlikely ways people fall in love, the stressful years of raising children, the disappointment and dreams dashed by reality, and the steadfastness of a lifelong partner that you can always come home to. Each character’s story is different and unique, and it was interesting to read about marriages and the way they were depending on the time period.

This is a long book but a light read, if that makes sense, so I think it’s perfect for summertime! Pack it up for a week on the beach and you’ll be in good shape. Now I just need to figure out what’s next on my list…

Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Stats: 
528 pages
Recommended for: Anyone who’s interested in marketing, advertising, America in the last century, relationships or marriage. If you’ve ever wished you could be a fly on the wall in other people’s homes for human interest sake, then this book is ideal.

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