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"Love is not a diamond, destined for a single hand." Inspired by French fairy tales of the 17th century, McClelland's novella brings emotional realism to a universal story of love, trust, and jealousy, in a fantasy kingdom where curses are all too real. The narrative revolves around two people in love: Malvinia, a sunny, outgoing woman with a knack for opening hearts; and Modeste, a man of quieter virtues. Their relationship, however, is the story's true protagonist, as its resiliency is tested by the capacity of each to grow and to sacrifice in response to forces neither of them anticipated -- a conflict familiar to anyone who has struggled to be one's true, uncompromised self while at the same time honoring the needs of another in a loving long-term relationship.