Title: The Necklace
Author: Lewis Horwitz
Genre: Romance / Young Adult
It is a common misconception that if you want to write a book, you have to come up with a fantastical plot which involves complex twists and turns, a dashing hero, and a spunky heroine and maybe a villainous character or two. But quite often it’s not about that at all. Writing is simply an external manifestation of your need to tell a story. It doesn’t have to be intricate; it just needs to be real. In this book, Lewis Horowitz does exactly that: he narrates two parallel stories of family, loss, and most of all, the transformative powers of true love.
Writer and columnist Faye Green has a passion for estate sales. She finds joy in discovering the stories behind family heirlooms and other memorabilia that have been kept throughout the years. One day, she finds an unexpected treasure in one of these sales: a beautiful pearl necklace that was given to a woman named Charlotte by her then fiancé, Daniel.
Curiosity leads Faye on a search to find out more about these two lovers, and what she finds is a story of young love that soon blossoms into something more. Despite the initial uncertainties, the doubts and fears–something anyone who’s ever been young and foolishly in love can relate to–what started as a youthful dalliance soon turns into something that is able to withstand the pains of separation and other tests of time.
Daniel and Charlotte’s love story was told in a series of flashback chapters that weaves seamlessly into the narrative of the present. The writing here was fluid and easy to follow. It flows in such a way that readers won’t notice they’re halfway through the book; it is just compulsively readable. However, the actual love story itself could have been developed and fleshed out more. There was room to capitalize on the premise, perhaps insert a meet-cute or two, or maybe take the readers through some of the more important (and romantic) dates rather than just telling us that it happened. As such, the way some of the scenes were written made it a little bit underwhelming even when it was meant to be a watershed moment in the characters’ lives.
Despite the fact that the love story was probably meant to be the more central arc of this book, its true strength lies in the parallel story of Faye and her daughter and how discovering the story behind the necklace has helped them both come to terms with the loss of Faye’s husband three years ago. The scene where Faye’s daughter is finally able to resolve her feelings and can allow herself to be happy will bring genuine pangs of emotion to readers who are a fan of this genre.
This book is a breath of fresh air in a world that has grown more and more cynical about love. It’s a throwback to a time when life was simple, when you hold on to the things that are important, and where you fix things that are broken rather than just throwing them away. This is a book that celebrates love and all its forms in a simple and unabashed way, and now more than ever, it is the kind of story that needs to be told if only to remind us that despite how fast the world is changing, love–for lovers, for friends, or for family–remains to be the fulcrum against which the world turns.
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