Back of the book :
I can still recall how the cold pearls felt on my bare neck as Mr Fitzroy secured the clasp, and how heavy they were. I also remember that they were far, far too long for me. But, oh how mesmerising I found those pearls …
Sophia Beaumont-Brown was an IT girl. But now she’s in the papers for all the wrong reasons. Single, sofa-surfing and not speaking to her family, only her Grandmother has any faith left in her. From her hospital bed, Tilly Beaumont sends Sophia letters about her life: dispatches about wartime England, about family and finally, about the most beautiful thing she has ever owned – a necklace of the most incredible pearls. If Sophia’s prepared to listen, she’ll unlock the secret story of generations of incredible women, from the pearl-divers of Japan, to high society in pre-war England, and find that the necklace has changed the lives of all who have worn it. The only problem ? No one knows where it is. Sophia must find out if she’s ready to take on the search for something so perfect it can change a life. Wouldn’t a girl do anything to hold that in her hands … ?
What I think :
Lady Sophia Beaumont-Brown, everyone knows who she is, She’s been in the papers more than she’d care to remember, however, its for all the bad things that she’s done, not the good. She lives in a shared house in Hackney with her bestfriend Hugo, she’s known him since childhood and he’s the only one of her ‘friends’ that has stuck around. Even her parents have washed their hands of her. Lady Matilda Beaumont is Sophia’s grandmother and she was also a well known actress, Tilly as she is known, is the only member of the family that still talks to Sophia and for the last couple of weeks has been sending Sophia letters from her hospital bed. In these letters she writes of her teenage years in wartime England of when she meets her beloved husband screen star Frankie. Sadly Tilly has cancer and its terminal so its very important that Sophia goes to visit Tilly very soon. When Sophia visits she discovers that Tilly was given a pearl necklace by her father for her eighteenth birthday, however the necklace has gone missing and she wants Sophia to find it again so she can see it and hold it again once more before she dies. Where does she start looking ? Is there something that Tilly isn’t telling her ?
We also meet Dominic And Aiko. Dominic lives in Manhattan and is a film maker, we don’t find out how he fits into the story until right at the end, and Aiko, she is a business woman with a huge electronics company in America. Her story is slightly different as it was her humble beginnings that make the pearl necklace come about, as it was her family, as pearl divers in Japan, that actually find the pearls in the first place.
This is such a brilliant book, and it has such a wonderful cast of characters. I also liked the way that the story was made up of different chapters for the different characters and the way that it weaves back and forth from past to present.
I really felt for Sophia as her father, Philip is a truly awful man and her mother, Alice just lets him get away with it. Hearing about early Tillys life is lovely, you can just imagine yourself there by her side.
I loved Aiko’s story, it is so interesting to find out about the pearl divers in Japan in the 1920’s, I didn’t actually realise that it was only the women that dive not the men and that they did on a single breath.
So, yes I really enjoyed reading this book, I couldn’t put it down. I have been such a fan of Katie’s books and have read them all. I thought that there was quite a large gap between the last book and this one, but this book is so good it was worth the wait. I also thought it was quite different from her other books, but that is no bad thing its just goes to prove how versatile Katie’s writing is. The ending of this book is lovely and I must admit I did shed a tear or two.
I give this book 10/10 (5 Stars)
Published by Orion on 14/07/16.
A huge Thank you to Netgalley for the digital copy of the book to read and review.