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The Necklace: 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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for The Necklace: Thirteen Women and the Experiment That Transformed Their Lives

  1. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    This would have worked better as a piece in a magazine that I never came across.

  2. 5 out of 5

    David

    Well this was different. A woman talks a dozen friends into chipping in for an expensive diamond bracelet, which they then rotate among themselves, each keeping it for a month at a time. They form a social club and eventually a philanthropic and community service group around it. The book devotes a chapter to each woman's background and her reactions to the project. As one of the other reviewers on Goodreads said, the writing is People magazine-ish, cheerleading for the group and making excuses Well this was different. A woman talks a dozen friends into chipping in for an expensive diamond bracelet, which they then rotate among themselves, each keeping it for a month at a time. They form a social club and eventually a philanthropic and community service group around it. The book devotes a chapter to each woman's background and her reactions to the project. As one of the other reviewers on Goodreads said, the writing is People magazine-ish, cheerleading for the group and making excuses for the periodically nasty group dynamics (near-riot over someone's attempt to draft 30+ page legal agreement about how to share; blowup over whether loaning it to "outsiders" to wear at their weddings would detract from the specialness of club members' daughters getting to borrow it for theirs.......). It was not a great book nor really a riveting story, but some of the individual women's profiles were interesting, and I also enjoyed it from the anthropological standpoint of trying to understand why wearing this bracelet would be so meaningful to people [even some of the people they loan it to for a day rhapsodize about how it changed their lives etc.]. It's a beautiful piece of jewelry, but so what? I tried to think of some object that would have an equivalent effect for me (leather basketball once used by Larry Bird? Bill Rodgers' old running shoes?) but came up empty. Maybe if I liked cars more or something. The writer and her interviewees consider a couple of times whether men could/would do something like this, usually concluding they wouldn't share as well. Might be interesting to find out.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Oh...this book. It was just so cheesy to me. I mean, the premise itself is a little flimsy---13 women sharing a diamond necklace, and wonderful transformations occur. I was suprised to hear their story got all the way to the Today show. It's an interesting idea...but come on, worthy of a national show?! But I held out some hope for it. Basically, each chapter introduces each woman & her experience with the necklace. Since there are 13 women, you get to know one, then you move on the next. Oh...this book. It was just so cheesy to me. I mean, the premise itself is a little flimsy---13 women sharing a diamond necklace, and wonderful transformations occur. I was suprised to hear their story got all the way to the Today show. It's an interesting idea...but come on, worthy of a national show?! But I held out some hope for it. Basically, each chapter introduces each woman & her experience with the necklace. Since there are 13 women, you get to know one, then you move on the next. You barely hear much about the previous women, and when you do, you have to flip back to keep them straight. This is not entirely the author's fault---13 is a lot of women, but her writing still could've connected it better I feel, and lenghthed the book so we really got to know them. But, I guess the book couldn't really be lengthened because there is not much more to the story! It also bothered me how the author wanted to tie everything together in a neat little package. As I said, each chapter told us all about each specific woman. Well, she gave each one a "character type" such as the hopeless dreamer (I don't know if that's really one--the book is back at the library). Well, I think it's a little offensive to both the women AND the audience to try to reduce each woman down to a few key characteristics. Most women could be all of those 13 types at some time in their lives. We as the audience should be allowed to get our own idea of them through more skilled and descriptive writing, not by having it spelled out for us! Then you could tell she tried to shpe her whole chapter of that woman around said description. I needed an author that would've given us the real deal! I am all about women friendships & my friends are important to me. But even when there were women reluctant to join or women fighting, she felt the need to tie it all together with a positive note of rainbows & sunshine & "She was so glad to have joined in the end." And you know, maybe some of the women truly did feel that way and that's fine. But I just felt her writing was so overly sentimental and not very sophisticated. There were better ways to describe some things and situations. It's not even the superficial aspect of it that bothered me (as it did some other reviewers). It just truly seemed pointless to turn into a book. Yes, they do some kind things because of the necklace, make new friends, add spice to their marriage, etc. Great for them! But book-worthy? No, at least not the way it has been written here. Possibly in the hands of a more talented writer.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Hura

    You can read the full review on my blog. In Cheryl Jarvis' book, The Necklace, Jonell McClain convinces 11 other women to band together with her to bid on a $37,000 diamond tennis necklace. (The 13th - and most reluctant - member is the jeweler's wife.) They hold regular meetings, they set up guidelines for sharing the necklace (everyone gets it for a month), they talk about where the necklace has been and what they've done while wearing it - everything from trips to the gynecologist to sky You can read the full review on my blog. In Cheryl Jarvis' book, The Necklace, Jonell McClain convinces 11 other women to band together with her to bid on a $37,000 diamond tennis necklace. (The 13th - and most reluctant - member is the jeweler's wife.) They hold regular meetings, they set up guidelines for sharing the necklace (everyone gets it for a month), they talk about where the necklace has been and what they've done while wearing it - everything from trips to the gynecologist to sky diving. There are rules about when you must have the necklace (if you are going to Paris) and what you must do while you have it (you must make love wearing only the diamonds, which is how one woman convinces her husband to sign off on the project). The women are very different from each other, they have different reasons for getting involved, but they all find it a novel and exciting experience and they take different things away from it. Perhaps it's because I'm not a big fan of jewelry that I cannot imagine a necklace changing my life, or so many women being moved by the power of some diamonds. Patti, a personal shopper and a woman with a huge wardrobe and closets full of accessories, finds that owning the necklace changes her whole perspective on being a consumer, so perhaps it's possible. It was interesting to see the different ways the women connected. I'm not sure that it has anything profound to say about our consumerist culture, but it says a lot about how women form friendships and the value of those friendships. I also found that necklace gave the women something to talk about with other people and a reason for people to take an interest in them. This seemed to make them blossom, far more than you could credit to pretty jewelry.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    A friend asked me if I would be interested in joining her book club & this was the book. After looking it up I was hesitant. I decided to give it a go & was totally surprised that I read it in one day. To find a book & totally find bits & pieces of me in everyone of these woman was amazing. I laughed, cried & also felt their pain & frustration. A must read for all woman. For me even though I didn't get to wear the necklace I can say it transformed me also without the A friend asked me if I would be interested in joining her book club & this was the book. After looking it up I was hesitant. I decided to give it a go & was totally surprised that I read it in one day. To find a book & totally find bits & pieces of me in everyone of these woman was amazing. I laughed, cried & also felt their pain & frustration. A must read for all woman. For me even though I didn't get to wear the necklace I can say it transformed me also without the living experience.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cory

    I must admit that when my Goodreads friends said they found the women in this book shallow, I thought they were just being a bit harsh. Then I read the book and . . . I don't think they were being harsh enough. While I admit that it's a quick read, and that my eyes welled up a few times (although I'm a notoriously easy weller), this book actively annoyed me. These women weren't just shallow, they were self-centered and unpleasant. There was not a single one of them that I would want to know or I must admit that when my Goodreads friends said they found the women in this book shallow, I thought they were just being a bit harsh. Then I read the book and . . . I don't think they were being harsh enough. While I admit that it's a quick read, and that my eyes welled up a few times (although I'm a notoriously easy weller), this book actively annoyed me. These women weren't just shallow, they were self-centered and unpleasant. There was not a single one of them that I would want to know or be involved with in any way. Now, I know that part of this is based on the writing style, which annoyed me. Really? All the women were beautiful and stylish and young-looking and kooky and larger-than-life and THE BEST EVER??? All in all, this struck me as a case of an author and her subjects attaching a lot of meaning where there just wasn't any. These women weren't doing a grand social experiment, they weren't stickin' it to the man, and they weren't upending years of thinking on race, class, and beauty. They just wanted an expensive necklace and they bought it. This didn't deserve a book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Renee Crook

    This book is about 13 women who bought a diamond necklace together so that they could all experience a little bit of luxury in their life. The 14 chapters in the book each visit one of the women that was involved in the experiment, with the final chapter a reflection of how well things worked. The book stated that this was a political experiment, but personally I think that it fits better as a socio-economic experiment. I thought the best part of this book was being able to see how having a This book is about 13 women who bought a diamond necklace together so that they could all experience a little bit of luxury in their life. The 14 chapters in the book each visit one of the women that was involved in the experiment, with the final chapter a reflection of how well things worked. The book stated that this was a political experiment, but personally I think that it fits better as a socio-economic experiment. I thought the best part of this book was being able to see how having a diamond necklace changed the lives of these women; it was a different sort of change or transformation for each woman and it was a great way to show multiple perspectives. One thing that I also found to be fun was that even one of the husbands of the women was changed by the fact that this diamond necklace had found its way into their lives. This book made me think about if I would ever become involved in an experiment (or investment) like this --- my answer is probably not. It sounds like fun, but I just don't know that I am spontaneous enough to do that. I might do it... IF it was with a group of women that I knew personally. I know for sure I would not do this if there were friends of friends in the group. This book definitely made me think about some things and it also made me consider what it means to have true happiness in my life. My mom and I read this book aloud together on a car ride. This book was so entertaining and it was so much fun to read with my mom. As we were reading it out loud we were also able to discuss it with each other. It was also very interesting to hear my own opinion with that of my mom's and to hear the difference in our generational gap. Overall, a very fun and light book that is perfect for any woman of any generation.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This book was a huge disappointment. The experiment sounded pretty interesting, but the book itself ended up as a superficial, boring account of a necklace timeshare. The importance of the necklace is ridiculously overstated and, worse, the most intriguing issues were unexplored (i.e., the juxtaposition of disposable wealth and expressed charitable purposes; the reasons several women left the ultrafabulous group; the group's annoyance with one member for seeking media attention, but their This book was a huge disappointment. The experiment sounded pretty interesting, but the book itself ended up as a superficial, boring account of a necklace timeshare. The importance of the necklace is ridiculously overstated and, worse, the most intriguing issues were unexplored (i.e., the juxtaposition of disposable wealth and expressed charitable purposes; the reasons several women left the ultrafabulous group; the group's annoyance with one member for seeking media attention, but their contradictory excitement about a People Magazine interview). I wish the author had taken a more neutral tone, instead of the annoyingly Teen Beat one she used. Really, I wish I hadn't wasted the time it took to read it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I came upon this book while browsing the library's new releases. I was curious about the story; 13 women go together in the purchase of very expensive diamond necklace. So I am thinking "Ok, this is like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants for the baby boomer generation." I was also thinking that even at a little over $1,000 per person this is still a pompous think to do. Very much like "The Sisterhood..." this book promises that "the necklace weaves in and out of each woman's life, reflecting I came upon this book while browsing the library's new releases. I was curious about the story; 13 women go together in the purchase of very expensive diamond necklace. So I am thinking "Ok, this is like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants for the baby boomer generation." I was also thinking that even at a little over $1,000 per person this is still a pompous think to do. Very much like "The Sisterhood..." this book promises that "the necklace weaves in and out of each woman's life, reflecting her past, defining her present, and making promises for her future." As I read the book it became more about the women, and their lives, and less about the materialistic purchase of an expensive necklace. As each of the women have their turn with the necklace they find that their lives have taken on positive changes. This story is told by the author from each of the women's point of view so that it reads a lot like a novel because you are drawn into the "character's" lives. A quick enjoyable read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    I really enjoyed this book and read it quickly. The idea that 13 women could own and share anything was what caught my attention, but to own and share a $28,000.00 diamond necklace just didn't seem possible! But they do and the story of how that works is amazing especially considering the diversity of the women. Rather than share my thoughts of the book here I'd like to share a couple of quotes that will give you a feel for what the book, the women, and the necklace are all about: The book begins I really enjoyed this book and read it quickly. The idea that 13 women could own and share anything was what caught my attention, but to own and share a $28,000.00 diamond necklace just didn't seem possible! But they do and the story of how that works is amazing especially considering the diversity of the women. Rather than share my thoughts of the book here I'd like to share a couple of quotes that will give you a feel for what the book, the women, and the necklace are all about: The book begins with this quote of Jean Shinoda Bolen (not one of the women). "Here we are, women who have been the beneficiaries of education, resources, reproductive choice, travel opportunities, the Internet, and a longer life expectancy than women have ever had in history. What can and will we do?" Near the end of the book is this quote from the woman who brought the thirteen women together in an adventure and experiment that transformed their lives and many others along the way. "Ownership is overrated. We should elevate sharing. wealth is individual; sharing is collective. We are not what we own. We are what we do, who we help, and the difference we make in the world. At the beginning, the group was so narrow in its concept of sharing. We think that by sharing we give up something, that we get less. But the more we've shared the necklace, the more profound the experience has become. By sharing, we've gotten so much more. If we share, there's enough on the planet for everyone."Sharing really is the way to happiness." I encourage all of my women friends to read this book to see the hundreds of ways these women found to share this necklace among themselves, their families, their friends, co-workers, and total strangers, including a homeless woman and numerous fund-raisers to assist charitable organizations. I pretty certain you'll laugh, smile and be shocked at times! This is a true story.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jennie Dopp

    "Here we are, women who have been the beneficiaries of education, resources, reproductive choice, travel opportunities, the Internet, and a longer life expectancy than women have ever had in history. What can and will we do?" I thought The Necklace was a unique look into the workings of women's groups and friendship. What made the book that much more enjoyable is that it is a true story. Again, maybe it is just where I'm at in life, but this one was a quick read for me. I identified with most of "Here we are, women who have been the beneficiaries of education, resources, reproductive choice, travel opportunities, the Internet, and a longer life expectancy than women have ever had in history. What can and will we do?" I thought The Necklace was a unique look into the workings of women's groups and friendship. What made the book that much more enjoyable is that it is a true story. Again, maybe it is just where I'm at in life, but this one was a quick read for me. I identified with most of the women in the group and loved reading about how their lives were transformed because of one necklace. I'm very lucky to have close friends in my life. I also belong to a world wide women's organization. I truly believe that not only do women need women, but that when women are united under a righteous cause, there is little to nothing that can stop them. I read this story has been picked up for the movie rights. While it isn't The Help, it is certainly a good tale of personal discovery, friendship, community and service.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Hayes

    The Necklace is this year's "Pink Bookring" supporting breast cancer research*. The idea is that you read a book which honors or supports survivors of breast cancer and/or supports breast cancer research. Then you send it on to the next reader, including a pink giftie or two. The previous "Pink Book" was The Sunday Night Book Club, which I enjoyed. But this year's selection did not do it for me. I do not like diamonds; I do not like the idea of diamonds; I do not like the politics of diamonds. The Necklace is this year's "Pink Bookring" supporting breast cancer research*. The idea is that you read a book which honors or supports survivors of breast cancer and/or supports breast cancer research. Then you send it on to the next reader, including a pink giftie or two. The previous "Pink Book" was The Sunday Night Book Club, which I enjoyed. But this year's selection did not do it for me. I do not like diamonds; I do not like the idea of diamonds; I do not like the politics of diamonds. When the book came out I thought that it might be interesting in a voyeuristic kind of way, but I just couldn't finish it. * BookCrossing: 2010 Breast Cancer Awareness Month release challenge

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    Take a $37,000 diamond necklace, one woman with an idea and lots of energy, and a commitment of twelve others--and you have a unique story. Each woman who buys a share of the necklace, called 'Jewelia', (and they didn't pay full price), does it for different reasons and is affected in different ways. The women of Jewelia as a group have a profound influence on the community of Ventura, California, as they use the necklace for fundraisers, to boost self-esteem, share it for weddings and share it Take a $37,000 diamond necklace, one woman with an idea and lots of energy, and a commitment of twelve others--and you have a unique story. Each woman who buys a share of the necklace, called 'Jewelia', (and they didn't pay full price), does it for different reasons and is affected in different ways. The women of Jewelia as a group have a profound influence on the community of Ventura, California, as they use the necklace for fundraisers, to boost self-esteem, share it for weddings and share it for fun. I enjoyed the book and getting to know these women. Having lived in Ventura made it even more fun to read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    I give this book five stars, not because it was exceptional writing, but because it was a thought-provoking book. This is not a book about materialism. It is about relationships, the joy of generosity, and sharing with the intent of making others feel special and loved. I also liked that this book is about older women who find it out it's never too late to change your life or do new things. This would be a great book club discussion, or a nice one to discuss with a friend (or 13!)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mo

    2 1/2 stars This book was lent to me by my good friend MaryLou. Unfortunately, it never really held my interest.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Egbert

    I am too fat and common to wear the necklace that is the focus of this book and so I almost tossed it aside but I am glad I didn't. This is not great literature but it was a fine reminder that, in the words of one of the women of this group, "Women friends are essential to a healthy life". There was one particular story that I needed for my own personal growth and while I don't need it as part of my library, I am glad I read this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Tobias

    very inspiring book!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rachelle

    First of all the book itself is just a simple narrative of the experiences of 13 women. The writing itself is nothing special so my review is just based on the subject matter. Basically it tells of the experiences of 13 woman in Ventura California who decided to all buy into a $37,000 necklace that they would share. It seems that everyone who participated did it for different reasons. Some women did it to advance their political views, to make a statement about materialism and the nature of First of all the book itself is just a simple narrative of the experiences of 13 women. The writing itself is nothing special so my review is just based on the subject matter. Basically it tells of the experiences of 13 woman in Ventura California who decided to all buy into a $37,000 necklace that they would share. It seems that everyone who participated did it for different reasons. Some women did it to advance their political views, to make a statement about materialism and the nature of wealth. Other women did it because they wanted to own that necklace for one month out of the year and still others did it because it sounded like fun and the sisterhood it created was meaningful to them. At first I was pretty turned off. I'm not a jewelry person and I can't imagine spending that much on something to put around your neck. I scoffed at many of the women's experiences... thinking... okay you don't need a necklace to improve your marriage, increase your self-confidence or help you through a divorce. But then the group started being a group and decided that they could use their force for good. They started fundraisers for causes that they believed in and started sharing the necklace with others. They have raised far more money for their causes than the necklace ever cost. They also became a support system for each other and as a sisterhood they did help each other to improve marriages, increase their self-confidence and make it through difficult times in life. So I began thinking that while I have no interest in owning a diamond necklace, I wouldn't mind be part of women's organization that meets regularly to learn and visit, supports each other, and works together to do good in the world. Then it occured to me that I already am part of such an organization... it is called Relief Society. I suddenly felt proud of being a part of the largest women's organization in the world. I realized how fantastic it is that this need for sisterhood and the power of women to do good was realized and organized way back in 1842. Cool cool cool. And Relief Society doesn't require an $1200 investment to become involved. I think in the end I admire these women for doing something.... trying to change something and join forces for good. At the very least it was a book that made me think and that is always good.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    2 1/2 stars

  20. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    "The Necklace" wss a Book Club Selection. If it were not for the Book Club, I wouldn't have elected to read this book and would have really missed out. The premise is to organize a group of women to split the cost of an expensive diamond necklace and set up a system to share it. Author Cheryl Jarvis writes, "The Necklace" can be summed up in a single sentence. "It's the story of 13 women who transformed a symbol of exclusivity into a symbol of inclusivity and, in the process, remapped the "The Necklace" wss a Book Club Selection. If it were not for the Book Club, I wouldn't have elected to read this book and would have really missed out. The premise is to organize a group of women to split the cost of an expensive diamond necklace and set up a system to share it. Author Cheryl Jarvis writes, "The Necklace" can be summed up in a single sentence. "It's the story of 13 women who transformed a symbol of exclusivity into a symbol of inclusivity and, in the process, remapped the journey through the second half of their lives." The thirteen women are described in vignettes. The Book Club's overwhelming favorite story was that of Priscilla Van Gundy. Priscilla's husband, Tom Van Gundy was the jeweler who sold the necklace to the group. The fact that the necklace was named, Jewelia after Julia Child is endearing.Tom found the women surprising. This group was empowered and happy where he had found many of his female customers to be sad and needy. Due to this, Tom dropped the price of the necklace to a price point the group could afford. Part of his deal was to have Priscilla be included in the group. His goal was to make her smile again after going through some difficult times. Tom Van Gundy saw something in the group that Priscilla initially did not. He saw a group of women unlike any other he'd seen in his twenty-seven years of selling to women, talking to women, and understanding women. He saw a collective vitality, an unexpected opportuniity. He saw POSSIBILITY. When the group lovingly helps Priscilla plan, execute and manage a very important event in her life is the point I started liking the book immensely. Ms. Jarvis's writing style reminds me of Mitch Albom. It is interesting to wonder if this group with the diamond necklace would have come about post 2008 and the economic downfall. "The Necklace" inspired a very lively book discussion that was one of our best.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    This is a great story of how 13 women from various walks of life came together to purchase an exquisite diamond necklace, to share amongst themselves. The author interviews several of the women, getting their histories and what they did when it was their turn to have the necklace. An interesting concept that turned out a lot differently than Jonell, the person who originally saw the necklace, thought. I found the read to be quite enjoyable, the concept something that I don't know would work for This is a great story of how 13 women from various walks of life came together to purchase an exquisite diamond necklace, to share amongst themselves. The author interviews several of the women, getting their histories and what they did when it was their turn to have the necklace. An interesting concept that turned out a lot differently than Jonell, the person who originally saw the necklace, thought. I found the read to be quite enjoyable, the concept something that I don't know would work for everyone. The idea of sharing an expensive item with others is something I can relate to, however, the logistics of it (and the affordability). I, personally, would not be able to come up with $1,000 within a month to purchase a diamond necklace with 12 other women. The affluence of the women in the story was, marginally, distracting to me. It's hard to relate when they're talking about these women's homes and while they didn't all just write out a check, they were still able to come up with that money without too many issues.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth☮

    the premise of this book interested me when i saw it at the bookstore a while back. one woman, jonell, finds a beautiful diamond necklace worht over $22k. she happens upon the necklace in an upscale jewelry store while on her lunch break, but she can't stop thinking about it. she knows she can't afford it on her own, so she devises the idea that if several women shared the necklace, everyone could benefit from its divineness. she finds twelve other women to share "jewelia" and so the the premise of this book interested me when i saw it at the bookstore a while back. one woman, jonell, finds a beautiful diamond necklace worht over $22k. she happens upon the necklace in an upscale jewelry store while on her lunch break, but she can't stop thinking about it. she knows she can't afford it on her own, so she devises the idea that if several women shared the necklace, everyone could benefit from its divineness. she finds twelve other women to share "jewelia" and so the transformation of lives begins. the story is told from a third person, but she walks us through the lives of all the woman both before and after the necklace purchase. all of their lives have been touched in some way. the women create a sorority of sorts that many of them have never been a part of in their lives. the first few chapters really focus on the woman that is the focus of that chapter, but the later chapters lose focus and begin telling you about one woman and then stray into another woman's story - that may or may not be related to the first. a quick read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Candy

    After the Traveling Pants idea, my friends & I talked about sharing a piece of jewelry- but never quite followed up on it. So I picked up The Necklace to see how it worked. It's a non-fiction account of 13 California women who jointly purchased & shared a $37,000 diamond necklace, in the process transforming the entire group. By elevating the act of sharing, the women added new depth & meaning to their lives in terms of friendship, charity, kindness & a living expression of the After the Traveling Pants idea, my friends & I talked about sharing a piece of jewelry- but never quite followed up on it. So I picked up The Necklace to see how it worked. It's a non-fiction account of 13 California women who jointly purchased & shared a $37,000 diamond necklace, in the process transforming the entire group. By elevating the act of sharing, the women added new depth & meaning to their lives in terms of friendship, charity, kindness & a living expression of the maxim "it's far better to give than to receive." In fact, an item of personal luxury became something far more inclusive than exclusive! I've seen among my friends & acquaintances similar examples of giving & sisterhood, but the novelty here is the inspiration - a necklace named Jewelia- that made this experiment unique.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    Thirteen baby boomer women in Ventura California pool together their money and purchase a share in an expensive diamond necklace. Each woman takes her turn wearing it four weeks a year. The book gives short bios on each woman, why and how she became involved, and what happened when it was her turn to wear the necklace. The writing was sophomoric at best. If you read People magazine religiously (not that there's anything wrong with that) then Jarvis's writing style will be familiar. Had I based Thirteen baby boomer women in Ventura California pool together their money and purchase a share in an expensive diamond necklace. Each woman takes her turn wearing it four weeks a year. The book gives short bios on each woman, why and how she became involved, and what happened when it was her turn to wear the necklace. The writing was sophomoric at best. If you read People magazine religiously (not that there's anything wrong with that) then Jarvis's writing style will be familiar. Had I based this book on the quality of the writing, it would have rated a big fat zero. I gave the book two stars based on the group's motivation to better the world via their philanthropic projects. Also, the project did bring about a lot of newfound happiness to the women.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    True story of a group of women who pooled their money to purchase a diamond necklace to be shared among the group. It's an intriguing idea, and I liked the angle that these women grew and changed as a result of knowing each other. However, the author's writing style was so off-putting to me that it made the book unreadable. She relies on third-person present voice and spends way too much time on overly-descriptive details or in relating moods and emotions she couldn't possibly know. Do I really True story of a group of women who pooled their money to purchase a diamond necklace to be shared among the group. It's an intriguing idea, and I liked the angle that these women grew and changed as a result of knowing each other. However, the author's writing style was so off-putting to me that it made the book unreadable. She relies on third-person present voice and spends way too much time on overly-descriptive details or in relating moods and emotions she couldn't possibly know. Do I really need to know what color the tablecloths were at their first meeting, or what size one woman's feet were as she climbs on the doctor's exam table? No.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mariah

    This was one of the fastest reads I can recall off the top of my head. In California a group of women went together to purchase a super expensive diamond necklace and then share it. In this book Jarvis essentially writes a short profile of each woman and their experiences with Jewelia (the club's name for the necklace). I am inspired by Jarvis' ability to put these profiles together in a way that not only tells the story, but also builds drama and tension as part of each woman's individual This was one of the fastest reads I can recall off the top of my head. In California a group of women went together to purchase a super expensive diamond necklace and then share it. In this book Jarvis essentially writes a short profile of each woman and their experiences with Jewelia (the club's name for the necklace). I am inspired by Jarvis' ability to put these profiles together in a way that not only tells the story, but also builds drama and tension as part of each woman's individual profile.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kristine

    This is a true story about 13 women pitching in $1,000 each to buy an expensive diamond necklace. Then the women get to have the necklace for a month at a time to wear. The story isn't the sharing of the necklace, but how being a part of this group transformed many of their lives in dramatic ways. While the women had their differences as women will in a group, they came together to help each other as well as to raise money for charities. The friendships they had and the times they shared are a This is a true story about 13 women pitching in $1,000 each to buy an expensive diamond necklace. Then the women get to have the necklace for a month at a time to wear. The story isn't the sharing of the necklace, but how being a part of this group transformed many of their lives in dramatic ways. While the women had their differences as women will in a group, they came together to help each other as well as to raise money for charities. The friendships they had and the times they shared are a wonderful story. I wish I had been a part of a group like this.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alisha

    Thirteen women purchased a 30K dollar diamond necklace together (after negotiating the price until each paid $1200). Two of the things that they LOVED about the necklace I abhor: feeling better about yourself because of material possessions and getting oodles of attention from said material object. It bothered me throughout the book. Their monthly meetings turned beneficial, as they planned charitable activities and philanthropic events. But it's still ironic that an expensive piece of jewelery Thirteen women purchased a 30K dollar diamond necklace together (after negotiating the price until each paid $1200). Two of the things that they LOVED about the necklace I abhor: feeling better about yourself because of material possessions and getting oodles of attention from said material object. It bothered me throughout the book. Their monthly meetings turned beneficial, as they planned charitable activities and philanthropic events. But it's still ironic that an expensive piece of jewelery was their shared experience and love!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Wally

    This is one of those times where I wish there were one-half stars so I could have given it 4 1/2. I was captivated by the concept of what the necklace did to change positively the lives of it's joint owners as well as the community at large. Jarvis put their tales together in a very readable manner. The final chapter really makes the reader appreciate the incredible risk, success, diversity, creativity, etc. of the women who are owners of the necklace. I really love reading about the power of This is one of those times where I wish there were one-half stars so I could have given it 4 1/2. I was captivated by the concept of what the necklace did to change positively the lives of it's joint owners as well as the community at large. Jarvis put their tales together in a very readable manner. The final chapter really makes the reader appreciate the incredible risk, success, diversity, creativity, etc. of the women who are owners of the necklace. I really love reading about the power of women to support create share and this book hit the nail on thehead

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sally Ewan

    This is one of those "how did I find this again?" books....I think I saw it on Amazon and was intrigued by the premise--13 women sharing this necklace and how it all worked out. But it was an interesting story! The women were all very different. I was struck by how all of them really wanted/needed the connection with the other women. I am thankful for the women in my life, in my circle of friends. But I don't think I'd want any part of sharing jewelry with them!

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