An examination of the idea of the diamond engagement ring through four different couples and the idea that a diamond is forever.
A People Magazine Top 10 Best Book of the Year
The bestselling author of Maine returns with an exhilarating novel about Frances Gerety, the real pioneering ad woman who coined the famous slogan “A Diamond is Forever,” and four unique marriages that will test how true—or not—those words might be.
Evelyn has been married to her husband for forty years, but their son’s messy divorce has put them at rare odds; James, a beleaguered paramedic, has spent most of his marriage haunted by his wife’s family’s expectations; Delphine has thrown caution to the wind and left a peaceful French life for an exciting but rocky romance in America; and Kate, partnered with Dan for a decade, has seen every kind of wedding and has vowed never, ever, to have one of her own. As the stories connect to each other and to Frances’s legacy in surprising ways, The Engagements explores the complicated ins and outs of relationships, then, now, and forever.
About the Author
J. Courtney Sullivan is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Commencement, Maine and The Engagements. Maine was named a Best Book of the Year by Time magazine, and a Washington Post Notable Book for 2011. The Engagements was one of People Magazine’s Top Ten Books of 2013 and an Irish Times Best Book of the Year. It will be translated into seventeen languages. Her writing has also appeared in The New York Times Book Review, the Chicago Tribune, New York magazine, Elle, Glamour, Allure, Real Simple, and O: The Oprah Magazine, among many others. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
“Sullivan is a born storyteller. Like its mineral muse, Engagements shines.” —Entertainment Weekly
“The Engagements is a delightful marriage of cultural research and literary entertainment.” —The Washington Post
“Sullivan takes the cake when it comes to tying the knot. . . . A generously populated, multi-generational tale.” —TheChicago Tribune, Editor’s Choice
“Any one of the five stories of The Engagements could have been a novel in itself. Taken together, though, they rather brilliantly represent different facets of marriage…. Captivating.” —The Minneapolis Star Tribune
“This is one smart summer read.” —People
“Well-crafted. . . . Sullivan’s admiration and affection for Gerety, and sensitivity to the challenges she faced, make for entertaining and touching passages.” —USA Today
“The Engagements is a rollicking, entertaining read and a thought-provoking one too.” —The Huffington Post
“A fun look at diamond advertising and the people who do—and do not—buy into the hype.” —Real Simple
“Dazzling. . . . An exhilarating, compulsive read. Sullivan fully inhabits her characters, whether she’s writing about a blue-collar Massachusetts emergency worker or a patrician elderly woman.” —BookPage
“A seamless tapestry . . . Sullivan is a keen observer of people and how they morph over time, either being softened by the years or made more brittle by strife.” —Bookreporter
“Satisfying. . . . At each stage of the game, the engagement ring has a different meaning.” —Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“Sullivan has written an intricate, beautifully timed novel, so delicious in its gradual unfolding that readers will want to reread it immediately to enjoy the fully realized ties.” —Library Journal
“An honest interpretation of the American marriage along with the true story of how the diamond ring has become so deeply integrated into society.” —The Tampa Bay Times
“[Sullivan] threads her story with the glitter of diamonds. . . . A tale that sweeps across varied emotional landscapes.” —Daily News
“An entertaining read of emotional maturity.” —The Guardian (London)
“Sullivan pulls off the difficult task of creating distinctive voices for characters spread across the past sixty years.” —The Wall Street Journal
“A modern update of The Spoils of Poynton; elegant, assured, often moving and with a gentle moral lesson to boot.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“At the heart of each episode lies that sparkly symbol of romantic commitments . . . given a sharp and crystalline coherence by virtue of Sullivan’s sometimes bold, sometimes nuanced improvisation on the resonance of the diamond engagement ring.” —Booklist