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Loose Diamonds Hardcover – September 6, 2011

3.6 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Must read ... goes back to her Los Angeles childhood and goes through her marriage, divorce, and remarriage.” (Morgan Murrell, Harper's Bazaar)

“In Loose Diamonds, Ephron offers a deeply honest and compelling look at the events that made her the woman she is today.” (The Daily Beast)

“A little gem... she is an expert at introspection as entertainment...the collection masters brevity and range.” (Claire Howorth, The Daily)

“A fun and engaging read... the pages turn themselves...Not only do the essays stand up on their own, the overarching themes unravel (Julia Gazdag, Hello Giggles)

“Readers will enjoy her poignant accessibility... this is a great women’s-interest title, appealing to lovers of Ephron’s historical fiction and to fans of humorous essays alike.” (Annie Bostrom, Booklist)

“All of these fascinating experiences and relationships described in Loose Diamonds add to the richness of this loosely woven set of essays. Ms. Ephron’s thoughts on marriage, divorce as well as her ‘Tips for Women getting a Divorce’ are written with wit and panache.” (Laura Shultz, New York Journal of Books)

“A frothy, lighthearted, often witty collection of essays about marriage, motherhood and the power of a good piece of jewelry.” (Shelf Awareness)

“The tales are variously charming, funny, poignant, and even hair-raising, as when [Ephron] finds herself spending an afternoon with Manson family alumna Squeaky Fromme.” (Jewish Journal of Los Angeles)

“Well-written, empathetic, and a joy.” (BookLoons Reviews)

“Actively intelligent and utterly descriptive, Amy Ephron always makes you feel as if you’re right there with her feeling what she’s feeling and seeing what she’s seeing… Loose Diamonds is a sincerely-written book…that you shouldn’t miss.” (BookRoom Reviews)

From the Back Cover

“I’ve never bought loose diamonds but the idea of them appeals to me, sparkling stones that I imagine come wrapped in a velvet cloth . . . ”

With her wonderful sense of humor, marvelously candid voice, and astonishing perception, Amy Ephron weaves together the most insightful, profound, and just plain funny stories of her life to form a tapestry of a woman’s experiences from childhood through young adulthood, marriage, divorce (and remarriage), and everything in between. Writing with great honesty and exacting prose, Ephron gives us an evocative, engaging, and often piercing look at modern life.

Along the way, we meet colorful and unforgettable characters such as the Birdman, who invited Ephron when she was a young girl into his Spanish-style home that he’d magically turned into an exotic aviary. And there’s Honey, the Cristal-loving Southern beauty, who struggles in her affairs with men and who orders “champagne by the case.” Ephron also recounts the afternoon she spent with the infamous Squeaky Fromme, and describes what happened after one of the mothers at her son’s school rear-ended her car. Did it have anything to do with Ephron’s soon-to-be ex-husband? And through it all is Ephron’s mother, whose perspectives on everything—from shoes to egg cups—pervade this book, and whose alcoholism was a constant challenge, forcing Ephron out on her own at an early age. Finally, Ephron professes her lifelong love affair with Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City, a touchstone and a companion in a world that always moves too fast and is sometimes upside down. It is an ode to a simpler time of elegance and style, and an incisive look at today’s times.

Throughout Loose Diamonds, Amy Ephron celebrates these memories and her friendships, as well as her romances and marriages, and the things that make life livable (such as her Filofax, which she would be lost without). She writes unflinchingly about the fragility and tenuousness of life, how fortune can turn on a dime and circumstances aren’t always in our control. She explores the enduring effects of parental wisdom, the complications and rewards that marriage can bring, and the intricate ups and downs of friendships—all with a quick wit and a delicate eye.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 166 pages
  • Publisher: WilliamMr; First edition (September 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061958743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061958748
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,267,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Patricia R. Andersen VINE VOICE on August 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Amy Ephron has written a few best sellersUna rosa blanca andBruised Fruit as well as pieces for various magazines. This book is a collection of essays from various points in M's Ephron's life. I admire her extremely candid nature as well as her humor.
Some of these essays are light fare - the "I Love Saks" in particular. I can't say I really "get it" because I've never been in a Saks in my life but it sounds rather grand. Some are quite a bit darker, specifically "Nicknames". M's Ephron tries to make light of the situation, but her fear of "Bobby Skakel" 30 years later shows the trauma that was inflicted upon her.
M's Ephron has lived an adventurous life - she interviews Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme when Ephron was all of 19. She met the architect Stiles Clements when she was a child and she got to visit his birds. She was in the labor room with one of Elizabeth Taylor's daughter-in-laws. And she writes about this as if this is a normal life, not bragging or boasting, just stating what has happened to her and how she felt about it.
I found this book a very good read. I couldn't put it down until I had finished it and than I still read some essays over again. I recommend this book highly to anyone who wants to read honest, real experiences from an extremely talented writer. Buy this book!*
*(no M's Ephron does not give me a kickback
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Okay - I love well-written and thoughtful personal essays, and this book is no exception, but I can't recommend this book to my peers at this price. And let me stress the "to my peers" part. You see, I have had no prior exposure to Amy Ephron, but from her credentials, I suspect that a lot of potential readers will have already known her from past writings, and will therefore know what to expect, but I, as a 45 year old male, find it kind of hard to identify with Ms. Ephron's anecdotes.

When this book arrived, I turned to my wife and said, "I know this is completely sexist and politically incorrect, and I swear I'll have an open mind, but so often women writer's aren't as funny as they think they are." Good news/bad news: Ms. Ephron doesn't try to write laugh-out-loud comedic essays: they're gentle, and subtle, and at times thoughtful. They're definitely easy to read and well written. So, for a while, I thought I was on to something good, but then she began to make me hate myself for being right. When the stories turned to topics such as shoes, and shopping, and Sak's, and Cristal, and divorce tips, and famous acquaintance name dropping, she kinda lost me. There is not much humor to be mined from living the good life. When the biggest crisis in your memoirs is the theft of your jewelry or your regret at buying a bad pair of boots, well, I got bigger things to worry about myself. She does allude to one dark period in her life where an unnamed scumbag may have committed an assault against her, but she doesn't want to talk about it. If you want to keep it light, fine, then save the dark stuff for another book.

I don't feel like I really got to know her, or gain much insight into her life.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is just what I needed after finishing a long classic novel. It's Amy Ephron's collection of memories of her life. You may know her from her articles in pretigious magazines and her previous books.

Ephron has a delightful sense of humor. She reminds me of a former neighbor who could go in her van to pick up a new chair she had ordered, and come home with a story about the experience that would have the neighborhood in hysterics. Ephron once pulled into a parking space in front of her son's school only to have a Mercedes rear end her - twice. The driver was another mother who had been dating (and dumped by) Ephron's ex-husband. Ephron could only assume she was taking it out on her for divorcing him and setting him loose among the women of the world.

She also writes very movingly about her mother, a woman who kept up appearances even while falling apart. The day Ephron's first child was born is touching even though it turned into a surreal scene in the ICU with Elizabeth Taylor's daughter-in-law screaming in labor across the aisle. The dog (yes, in the ICU) kept barking, the assistant's mobile phone kept ringing, and the mother-to-be sat up and waved merrily in between contractions. It's hilarious.

This short book should cheer up anyone. I read it in one day when we were running errands and I was often in the car waiting for my husband. Lots of fun. I do recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This was my first time reading Amy Ephron's work, and she's gained a fan. I really loved this collection of essays.

The first one is titled "Estate Jewelry, Antiques, Loose Diamonds." Ephron notes that she likes jewelry with history. This immediately struck a chord with me.

I had a friend in high school whose father owned an antique, coin and jewelry store. I remember the joy of going there after school and peering over the unique ring settings, the diamond watches, bejeweled lapel pins, and much more. I'd let my imagination run wild, wondering what wealthy lady might have owned them, and what their history was.

Ephron writes about the trauma of coming home one night to find that her home had been burglarized, and her cherished jewelry was gone. Gone were the gold-stud earrings her mother had given her, the marcasite-and-crystal bracelet that had been a gift from a friend, Victorian opal earrings, and more.
Even if she could have replaced them all, she knows the memories attached to each piece were irreplaceable.

In `Egg Cups" I laughed at her remembrances of her grandmother, who "played canasta all day, wore a `housedress' and believed that Campbell's cream of tomato soup was a miracle invention. (I couldn't live without it either.)

Another essay that particularly touched me was "Musical Chairs." It makes a very strong statement on the mores of today. While waiting in the carpool lane to pick up her six-year old son, her car is rammed by her husband's lover. Seems the mistress was angry with Amy, because she'd been dumped by Ephron's husband. Go figure.

When Amy and her husband finally separate, he shows up at their son's soccer practice, with a red-haired girlfriend. Ephron has to learn how to deal with such awkward moments.
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