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Marriage in all its splendor, or not, is a secondary but important theme. Together, the stories revealed of these men and women living their lives, their hopes, their dreams, their triumphs and tragedies, kept me fascinated. The Engagements was the perfect diversion to my usual fare of murder and mayhem. The book opens in with the real life story of Mary "Frances" Gerety, an employee of N. Frances, as she is known, is a self-proclaimed procrastinator, one who does her best work under pressure.

Needing to come up with "a signature line" for the Ayer client Frances racks her brain and in a burst of inspiration coins the greatest advertising slogan of our times, "A Diamond Is Forever". Though not meant to be a history of the diamond market there's just enough here to whet your appetite about the subject. Several good books are mentioned for further study. Forward and back, back and forward each of these promises of love are unwound. It's hard not to tell you about all the characters I loved and cared about but that's the job of the author.

Read the book.

  • The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan.
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I was curious to see what fate would provide for each. The way one of the stories intertwined with another surprised and delighted me. I didn't see it coming, unusual for me.

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The acknowledgments give credit to some excellent resources that I plan to check out, including reference to an interview with Frances Gerety available at The Smithsonian, and full color copies of every De Beers ads residing there too. A thought provoking read, Engagements nudged me once again to examine my concept of what marriage is. View all 6 comments. Review contains spoilers! I agree with many other reviewers: the writing itself was compelling and I will admit that the book is a bit of a page-turner.

Although in the end, the bad far outweighed the good and I ended up NOT liking the book. I found many of the characters loathsome and completely detestable.

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I actually found myself siding with her sister May you know, the one you weren't supposed to like, the married one who evidently watches FOX News. Kate was so self-righteous and smug with her political-correctness that I grew to dislike her more and more as the story progressed. Delphine was just as offensive, if not more so. Leaving poor Henri for that punk PJ? I was hoping Henri wouldn't take her back, but it seems he did.

Boo, Henri!

Creating Engagements

You deserved better--even if it meant being alone! Also, if I want to hear about how idiotic and mindless people like Kate and Delphine read: J. I don't read novels for the purpose of being hit over the head with the author's political opinions. This book had tremendous potential, but IMO fell far short. So disappointing!

View all 7 comments. This was a tough one for me to rate with stars, and I would give this 3. I think the parts were greater than the whole here. Courtney Sullivan is a very good writer, and this book is comprised of seemingly unrelated threads of stories that jump all over the timeline. The one story that ties the theme in a way all together is the story of Frances Gerety. She coined the phrase "A Diamond Is Forever" as a young copywriter in Her story thread follows her and her career and it ap This was a tough one for me to rate with stars, and I would give this 3.

Her story thread follows her and her career and it appears Frances really existed and her story is based on fact. The other threads are individually very interesting, but I found the back and forth rather jarring, and it always took me a bit to reacclimate myself with the different characters each time the story shifted yet again.

The Engagements

The thread that joins these different stories becomes apparent only at the end. I truly enjoyed each story thread, and applaud Sullivan's talent, but wished there was more cohesiveness in my reading experience of this book. I have to admit that when I started this book, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get through it. It starts off somewhat slow, but the story it weaves throughout time and characters is well worth continuing on. The story follows several individuals as well as couples throughout time.

Yes, a woman came up with that slogan in I love that.

The Five-Year Engagement Official Trailer #1 - Judd Apatow, Jason Segel, Emily Blunt Movie (2012) HD

We follow her story throughout the book as she i I have to admit that when I started this book, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get through it. We follow her story throughout the book as she is a pioneer of women who don't marry a man because they're already married to their jobs.


We also meet Evelyn, who in is married to her second husband. She is troubled by their son's crumbling marriage. In , we meet James, who is one of the first paramedics in Boston. He is trying to make ends meet for his family and it's Christmas.

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In , we meet Delphine, a Frenchwoman who followed a much younger lover back to New York. And finally, in , we meet Kate, who is perfectly happy being in a committed relationship with her man. She worries that allowing her daughter to be the flower girl in her gay cousin's wedding will give her the wrong message about the role of a woman. And eventually, we learn about the connections between all of them. What struck me the most was when I learned, at the end of the book, that Mary Frances Gerety was a real woman and she really did come up with the slogan for de Beers.

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  4. The subject of advertising is examined throughout the book, which I found to be fascinating. It made me realize how much advertising really does affect us. Diamond engagement rings were not popular when Gerety coined that phrase. However, because of that advertising, people now feel as though they can't become engaged without a diamond ring.

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    Highly recommend. I didn't love this. While Sullivan is a good writer, this book was not as entertaining or engaging as her two previous novels. People call this novel "ambitious. Sullivan takes five separate stories, flips them all over the last 75 years or so, and then, in the last 40 pages, brings it all together.

    I knew the hodgepodge had to come together in some way and spent a good amount of time read: too much trying to figure out how all the characters fit together--if they even did! She man I didn't love this. She managed to get all the relationship stereotypes in, each one slightly more annoying than the other.

    You have the woman who never wants to get married for all kinds of reasons, the spinster who chose career over love though, it's hard to say if it was choice or circumstance , the marriage to avert going to war, the young widow who falls for her deceased husband's best friend, the cheater, another cheater, another cheater Where was the run of the mill, fall in love and get married for that reason couple?

    I wasn't a fan of the style, wasn't a fan of any of the characters, and found the history while I appreciate her research and ability to incorporate it into the story to be boring.