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The Necklace: Thirteen Women and the Experiment That Transformed Their Lives Hardcover – September 9, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (September 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345500717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345500717
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #892,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Inspirational . . . The best way to honor the book’s principles is to share your copy with a friend.”—New York Times

The Necklace is a fascinating journey into thirteen women’s lives. Sweet and touching, it also manages to make you think about what really matters in life.”—Kathie Lee Gifford

“Original and beautifully crafted . . . How this piece of jewelry transformed the lives of the participants is the subject of a highly readable book that is part memoir, part metaphor and all charm.”—Tucson Citizen

“This moving book profiles a remarkable social experiment, where friendships and beliefs are uncovered and found to be just as strong as the stones being passed from neck to neck.”—Redbook

“[A] must-have book . . . The Necklace could as easily have been titled The Sisterhood of the Traveling Diamonds.”—New York Daily News

“A feel-good and thought-provoking book.”—BookPage

“A gem of a story sparkles under The Necklace.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch



From the Trade Paperback edition.

About the Author

Cheryl Jarvis is a journalist and essayist and the author of The Marriage Sabbatical: The Journey That Brings You Home. She has written for 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.

More About the Author

Cheryl Jarvis is a journalist and essayist and the author of The Marriage Sabbatical: The Journey That Brings You Home. She has written for 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.

Customer Reviews

Great story of friendship and how one can make things happen, even when you think it is impossible.
Deborah Hardy
It is a great, true story about 13 women, a beautiful necklace and the friendship that grows from their experiment in sharing and cooperation.
T. Nielsen
I could hardly stand to read it and only finished because I was reading it for discussion at a book club.
red

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Mint910 VINE VOICE on September 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The Necklace: thirteen women and the experiment that transformed their lives is the true story of a group of women that joined together to purchase and share a beautiful and expensive diamond necklace. For the most part they all realized it was about more then a necklace. It was about a group friendship, sharing experiences and helping one another. The necklace rotated from month to month between the women with exceptions for special events as well.

This was not always an easy experience, the women went through arguments and disagreements about the necklace and how it should be used in several cases. But the necklace really did bring these women together and in the process helped their community.

I really enjoyed this book. I can't help compare it to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants book series in the fact that a group of women/girls share an object that brings them closer together. I also liked the idea that women that were almost polar opposites could come together and set aside differences to be part of the group.

For the most part I like how the book worked, featuring one women for each chapter, mini biographies of their lives and how they interacted with the group. I just wish each chapter was written more from each of their points of view more so than quotes sprinkled into a narration about them. I think it would have been more powerful it it all came right from their mouths. I do realize to link all the women together and keep the story moving their had to be a higher narration though.

I really liked Priscilla Van Gundy, who only joined because her husband asked that the women allow her to join when they bought the necklace from him.
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54 of 56 people found the following review helpful By zibilee VINE VOICE on September 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The story told in The Necklace is both humbling and uplifting. After seeing a very expensive diamond necklace in the window of a local jewelery shop, Jonnell McLain convinces 12 other women to split the cost and share the ownership if it with her. What happens to the group of women and the community that surrounds them is as unexpected as it is interesting. The women are an unlikely bunch ranging from a shopaholic to a motorcycle riding, gun toting girl Friday, a farmer, and an interior designer. At first,the women have little in common other than the ownership of the necklace. Though from very different backgrounds and social classes, they begin to hold meetings once a month. The first meetings are designed to outline sharing guidelines and inconsequentialities such as the name for the necklace, but soon they become planning sessions for fund raisers and a place for the women to muster support for each other. When the community gets wind of the experiment, the diamonds take on a life of their own, and become not only a local conversation piece but a way for the women to share the glamour of the jewels with those who would never normally experience them. From barristas to homeless women, coworkers to brides, the diamonds become a symbol of sharing and goodwill from woman to woman, a sumptuous experience that reaches well beyond the original investors. As expected, sometimes tensions run high in the group and there are misunderstandings, but the women are able to see beyond those experiences and keep the experiment alive. Using the necklace, the women are able to champion social causes and aid many charities, including domestic violence centers, drug rehabilitation programs and specific assistance to the homeless.Read more ›
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By K.Wagner VINE VOICE on September 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is not a literary work of art. It is a work of art all the same. Thirteen women whose lives were changed because of what began as a simple leap of faith and what might seem to be a frivolity.

Each woman has a chapter that describes who she was, and who she has become due to her commitment to be more. A commitment that began with the necklace and moved forward because of a strength it ingited within them. An unspoken agreement that came as part a parcel of the investment in a piece of fine jewelry.

As I read through each chapter I was filled more and more with admiration and hope born of this sisterhood. I felt my own part in it simply as a woman who has reached maturity and a certain contentment and wisdom . These women took what they had of that, shared it, and then they soared.

The women who owned Jewelia became more than friends, They became a force. A force for rising above, and for doing good. A force for taking small positive steps and making a big difference. This is a book that women of all ages need to read, share and read again.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Bledsoe on March 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
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 lengthened 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 shape 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 girlfriends mean everything to me.
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