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My Charmed Life: Rocky Romances, Precious Family Connections and Searching For a Band of Gold Paperback – July 3, 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This memoir is filled with honesty, clarity and wit. Bernstein's writing is the most beautiful gem of all."—Abby Sher, author of Amen, Amen, Amen

“This tender, funny, beautifully written memoir cleverly connects relationships both familial and romantic to the special gifts that found their way into Beth Bernstein’s jewelry box and heart. As a nice Jewish girl with a severe jewelry jones myself, I empathized with every word of My Charmed Life—and envied Beth’s collection and recollections. Safe to say this book is a gem.”—Wendy Shanker, author of Are You My Guru?

"My Charmed Life is the Love, Loss and What I Wore for jewelry. This witty, romantic romp chronicles all the relationships in the author's life through the gems she was given from age five to fifty. Every page is frank, funny, and completely relatable. A debut as dazzling as the vintage necklaces, bracelets and earrings Beth so vividly describes.”—Susan Shapiro, author of Five Men Who Broke My Heart

“Clever, funny and at times heartbreaking, My Charmed Life sparkles. Bernstein writes from the soul with insight and no holds barred honesty.”—Valerie Frankel, author of Four of a Kind

“Beth Bernstein understands the complicated value of shiny, sparkly things. This book is about all they represent: our histories, loves and losses.”—Giulia Melucci, author of I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti  

About the Author

Beth Bernstein has written about dating, relationships and family for women’s and lifestyle magazines, and has worked in the jewelry industry for twenty years. She runs her own consulting company, where she works with leading jewelry designers and retailers.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: NAL (July 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451236939
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451236937
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,270,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I just got a copy of this book and read it cover to cover. It's a beautiful story woven through the writer's own relationship with jewelry and the pieces she owns. I've never thought of jewelry as being symbolic of major life events, but this book has given me a new appreciation for the pieces in my own jewelry box. I highly recommend this for those looking for a great summer read.
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Format: Paperback
I adored "My Charmed Life" and I agree with Susan Shapiro's review--this is very much like "Love, Loss and What I Wore" which is another one of my favorite books. Come to think of it, "My Charmed Life" would also make a great theatrical production. You've got everything here--an insider's view on the world of jewelry, an incredibly moving story about losing one's mother, and all that love and romance. And humor! This is one of those books that you'll want to buy up a dozen copies to give as gifts to your good friends. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
As a young girl Beth Bernstein was fascinated with jewelry. Taking that fascination into her adult years, she cherishes special pieces of jewelry that signifies certain times in her life. In "My Charmed Life: A Memoir," Ms. Bernstein opens up and shares with readers her relationship with her mother and her quest to find Mr. Right. She weaves in her expertise on jewelry and the story behind certain pieces she holds dear. After her mother dies, she goes from one relationship to another hoping that she may finally receive that special ring, and in doing so the reader is treated to her interesting dating experiences.

Having a front row seat into her life...well mostly her dating life, I traveled with her as she visited far and beautiful places in the name of love, only to be let down. I had a good laugh at her experience with the dating service; which Ms. Bernstein penned with good humor.

On the cover of this book it stated "Precious Family Connections" which I got from what she shared about her relationship with her parents, but there was very little interaction with her two brothers and her best friend, A.J. who she only started confiding in towards the end of the book. I never really grasped the best friend relationship except for the odd one-liners between them. I also didn't come across how her mother passed away, but yet Ms. Bernstein was pretty in depth about her father. Her grandmother was great; she always kept it real with her granddaughter.

I suspect Ms. Bernstein held back on a lot of her emotional feelings behind each relationship, as she seemed to put a wall up between her and her lovers by not expressing how she truly felt. But with that said, the book held my attention and I enjoyed it.

Locksie
ARC Book Club Inc.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My Charmed Life is one of those wonderful books that you can curl up with, laugh, cry, and just completely escape with. It made me think of my mother and grandmother and our shared experiences - although I have to admit, my jewelry isn't quite as nice. Being born around the same time as the author, it brought back wonderful memories - and the humor is right on the mark! I caught myself laughing out loud in more than a few spots. I loved the book so much that I bought a copy for a young friend just starting college. I hope the stories of love, warmth, sharing, as well as independence will serve as an inspiration to her, just as it did me.
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Format: Paperback
I wish I could give this book 10 super shining stars! I could not put it down and read it from start to finish in one day! Having lost my own mother at the age of 34, two days after her 50th birthday, I felt as if I was reading about my own life in the opening pages and then throughout the remainder of the book. As the oldest child, only girl, with two younger brothers, I too, remember receiving my mother's jewelry in a Ziplock bag. Rings were/are our family thing. I have since inherited my maternal grandmother's jewelry and my daughter shares in our love of rings and glittery things. Thank you Beth for sharing!
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Format: Paperback
Let me start by saying that this is not my usual style of book to read. I tend to go for murder mysteries or classics, but after reading this, was glad I had not discounted it. It's a light, easy read and you can just go with it, the chapters flowing easily from one to another. As a woman who loves jewelry I really enjoyed that the stories are based around pieces of jewelry. They aren't always flashy or expensive pieces- it's much more about the sentiment and memory of the person connected with the piece and how Beth tells her story with them as a link. And you're sure to connect with at least one of the stories that Beth tells- either in a sad, reflective way or a humorous, reminiscent way. Yes, it's a bit girly but it's also the kind of book that will resonate with you and you'll want to pass it along for someone else to enjoy- as I did.
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Format: Paperback
You will never look at the contents of your jewelry box the same way again!

In this honest memoir, jewelry expert/writer/consultant/aficionado Beth Bernstein uses her vast jewelry collection to weave the tale of her life. From vintage heirlooms passed down from her grandmother and mother (the later who passed away far too early), to coming-of-age childhood items and later glittering gifts from numerous boyfriends, each piece has a poignant tale to tell. You will root for Beth as she looks for love, empathize with her hurdles, and cheer for her triumphs.

The best part? You will find yourself reliving all the stories behind each piece of your own jewelry. And, especially if you have a daughter, you'll start thinking about what these future heirlooms will mean for the next generations.
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