I read The Necklace: Thirteen Women and The Experiment That Transformed Their Lives after seeing Amy’s enthusiastic review, and, like she did, I found the story of a group of women who shared a diamond necklace fascinating.
The idea of a group of women in their 50s pooling their money to buy a diamond necklace is pretty interesting in itself. Separately they might not have spent that much money on jewelry, but when they had to pitch in $1,200 each they went for it. And, when they only had the necklace one month a year, they wore it all the time, and it started to change the way they looked at possessions, how they related to other people, and how they thought about what they could do to make an impact. Best of all, the necklace turned them into a group of friends as they met every month to trade off the necklace and started using the necklace to do fundraisers and charity events. For a lot of the women, that seemed to be the best part of the deal.
I especially enjoyed the insight I got into different ways that women deal with the decade of being in their fifties. It’s an interesting thing to see how our concept of age changes over time–both culturally and as individuals. In your fifties, it seems to me at least theoretically, your children are older but you’re still young enough to do all sorts of things, so it’s a very interesting decade. I like the idea of being able to embark on an entirely different career or take up a whole new hobby. I quite enjoyed reading about how each woman thought about her age (not always overtly expressed in the book, but you can understand it through what they say and do in many cases), was interested that nearly all of them had definite views about plastic surgery, and how the necklace reinforced or even totally changed each woman’s self-concept. One woman lost a ton of weight, several boosted their love lives, became more daring, or interacted differently with their community. In many ways, I think the necklace idea worked because the women were in a phase of life that has a little more leeway than other decades.
To be honest, the writing was pretty dreadful throughout this book. However, the story was so compelling and the women were so interesting that I thought the story made up for the awful telling and I’d still recommend it!
Would you drop $1,000 to go in on some fabulous piece of jewelry or some other luxury item to share? If so, what item would you go for?
I would probably do it to gain the group of friends who got together for dinner parties once a month and out of interest to see what would happen. I mean, who knows what sort of adventures would result if I broke my “no diamonds before 5pm” rule? 🙂
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.