The Engagements

Available

Description

From the "New York Times" best-selling author of "Commencement "and "Maine" comes a gorgeous, sprawling novel about marriage--about those who marry in a white heat of passion, those who marry for partnership and comfort, and those who live together, love each other, and have absolutely no intention of ruining it all with a wedding.
Evelyn has been married to her husband for forty years--forty years since he slipped off her first wedding ring and put his own in its place. Delphine has seen both sides of love--the ecstatic, glorious highs of seduction, and the bitter, spiteful fury that descends when it's over. James, a paramedic who works the night shift, knows his wife's family thinks she could have done better; while Kate, partnered with Dan for a decade, has seen every kind of wedding--beach weddings, backyard weddings, castle weddings--and has vowed never, ever, to have one of her own.
As these lives and marriages unfold in surprising ways, we meet Frances Gerety, a young advertising copywriter in 1947. Frances is working on the De Beers campaign and she needs a signature line, so, one night before bed, she scribbles a phrase on a scrap of paper: "A Diamond Is Forever." And that line changes everything.
A rich, layered, exhilarating novel spanning nearly a hundred years, "The Engagements" captures four wholly unique marriages, while tracing the story of diamonds in America, and the way--for better or for worse--these glittering stones have come to symbolize our deepest hopes for everlasting love.

Product Details

Price
$17.99
Publisher
Large Print Press
Publish Date
June 01, 2014
Pages
703
Dimensions
5.9 X 1.5 X 8.5 inches | 1.45 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9781594137198
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

J. Courtney Sullivan is the author of the New York Times best-selling novels Commencement and Maine. Maine was named a Best Book of the Year by Time magazine and a Washington Post Notable Book for 2011. Her writing has also appeared in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, Glamour, Allure, Real Simple," " and New York magazine, among others. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Reviews

In praise of "Maine"
"You don't want the novel to end in July. You want to stay with the Kellehers straight through to the end of August, until the sand cools, the sailboats disappear from their moorings, and every last secret has been pried up." --Lily King, "The New York Times Book Review
""I have never stayed at this cottage in Maine, or any cottage in Maine, but no matter: I now feel I know what it's like being in a family that comes to the same place summer after summer, unpacking their familiar longings, slights, shorthand conversation, and ways of being together. J. Courtney Sullivan's "Maine" is evocative, funny, close-quartered, and highly appealing." -Meg Wolitzer, author of "The Uncoupling
"
"An ideal summer read. . . . Gives us . . . characters we can care about, despite their sometimes too-familiar flaws." --"USA Today "
"Attentive to class distinctions and hierarchies, as well as historic pressures and family dynamics, Sullivan presents women who may be stubborn and difficult, but she does so with such compassion and humor that we, too, end up rooting for them. Even if "Maine "weren't set on a beach, it would be a perfect beach book." --"Chicago Tribune"
"Sullivan's smarts shed light on topics all families deal with, but her tasteful approach on the tough ones (particularly modern-day religious issues) shine through. The cast of quirky characters will have you laughing out loud and aching for their regrets in the same chapter, pining for more pages when it comes to an end." --MarieClaire.com
""Maine"'s brisk storytelling, and the unfurling of its central mystery . . . sweep readers along with gratifying sink-into-your-deck-chair ease." --"Entertainment Weekly
""Curl up with this wry, absorbing novel and eavesdrop on a summer's worth of secrets, feuds, and misunderstandings." --"Parade "magazine
"Ms. Sullivan's follow-up to her best-selling novel, "Commencement ." . . follows adult children wh
Advance praise for "The Engagements:
""Is a diamond really forever? So Sullivan ("Maine," 2011, etc.) asks in her third novel . . . Frances Gerety, a real person whom Sullivan enlists at the outset of her tale, had a daunting task way back in 1947: She had to cook up an advertising tagline for De Beers that would convince Americans to purchase diamond engagement rings, hitherto 'considered just absolutely money down the drain.' Sullivan's story takes off from there, diamonds forming a leitmotif in ingeniously connected stories that span generations. As B. Traven advised in his grand tale of gold, precious objects can cause people to do very bad things; so they do here . . . Does money ever buy any of them happiness? Not really, but it does score a few carats. A modern update of "The Spoils of Poynton"; elegant, assured, often moving and with a gentle moral lesson to boot." --"Kirkus" (starred review)
"Inspired by the real-life story of Frances Gerety, a 1940s copywriter who penned the 'A Diamond is Forever' tagline for DeBeers, Sullivan riffs on the fragile state of marriage through a clever series of loosely connected vignettes. At the heart of each episode lies that sparkly symbol of romantic commitments . . . given a sharp and crystalline coherence by virtue of Sullivan's sometimes bold, sometimes nuanced improvisation on the resonance of the diamond engagement ring." --Carol Haggas, "Booklist"
In praise of "Maine"
"You don't want the novel to end in July. You want to stay with the Kellehers straight through to the end of August, until the sand cools, the sailboats disappear from their moorings, and every last secret has been pried up." --Lily King, "The New York Times Book Review
""I have never stayed at this cottage in Maine, or any cottage in Maine, but no matter: I now feel I know what it's like being in a family that comes to the same place summer after summer, unpacking their familiar longings, slights, shorthand conv
Advance praise for "The Engagements:
"
""The Engagements" . . . opens in 1947 with ad-agency copywriter Frances Gerety . . . Struggling to find a last-minute tagline for De Beers, she scribbles down 'A Diamond Is Forever' and promptly falls asleep. For Frances, a lifelong bachelorette, it's just marketing -- her boss points out that the phrase isn't even grammatically correct. But Engagements' other characters show how much her tossed-off idea came to define diamonds as the ultimate symbol of love and commitment . . . [Sullivan is] a born storyteller. Like its mineral muse, "Engagements" shines."
--Leah Greenblatt, "Entertainment Weekly
"
""The Engagements" is a rollicking, entertaining read and a thought-provoking one too. Several of the characters' voices have stayed in my head, and even days after putting it down I am left with a sturdy, hopeful sense of the fundamental goodwill of people and the abiding power of love . . . [I] am certain it will be one of this summer's big hits."
--Lindsey Mead, "Huffington Post"
" "
"The best-selling author of "Commencement "and "Maine "has written her most ambitious novel yet."
--"Entertainment Weekly"
"[C]aptivating . . . examines the many facets of marriage, focusing on four couples -- and on Frances Gerety, the real-life 1940s ad writer who came up with the phrase 'A diamond is forever.'"
--Laurie Hertzel, "Minneapolis Star Tribune
"
"Satisfying . . . At each stage of the game, the engagement ring has a different meaning."
--Janet Maslin, "The New York Times"
" "
"Delving into the allure of 'for better or worse, ' Sullivan's novel starts with Frances, an unmarried copywriter who coins the 'A Diamond Is Forever' slogan, then follows four couples to the altar. Frank, but fun."
--"Good Housekeeping "Summer Beach Roundup
"The author of "Maine" and "Commencement" returns with a sprawling tale about marriage, its meaning, its importance and whether or not aa
Advance praise for "The Engagements:
"
""The Engagements" . . . opens in 1947 with ad-agency copywriter Frances Gerety . . . Struggling to find a last-minute tagline for De Beers, she scribbles down 'A Diamond Is Forever' and promptly falls asleep. For Frances, a lifelong bachelorette, it's just marketing -- her boss points out that the phrase isn't even grammatically correct. But Engagements' other characters show how much her tossed-off idea came to define diamonds as the ultimate symbol of love and commitment . . . [Sullivan is] a born storyteller. Like its mineral muse, "Engagements" shines."
--Leah Greenblatt, "Entertainment Weekly
"
"A perceptive portrait . . . In Sullivan's easy, unadorned style, "The Engagements" is a delightful marriage of cultural research and literary entertainment . . . Sullivan handles all the details elegantly, and the situations are surprisingly distinct . . . For all her sharp wit and insight into the agony of failed relationships, Sullivan's no cynic. The novel's final wedding transcends the craziness and the extravagance and the bickering. Against all odds, it represents something genuinely eternal about the love between two people."
--Ron Charles, "The Washington Post"
""The Engagements" is a rollicking, entertaining read and a thought-provoking one too. Several of the characters' voices have stayed in my head, and even days after putting it down I am left with a sturdy, hopeful sense of the fundamental goodwill of people and the abiding power of love . . . [I] am certain it will be one of this summer's big hits."
--Lindsey Mead, "Huffington Post"
" "
"The best-selling author of "Commencement "and "Maine "has written her most ambitious novel yet."
--"Entertainment Weekly
"
"Winning . . . [A] decades-spanning tale of four very different couples and the determinedly single career girl who dreamed up 'a diamond is forever, ' the slogan that helped make engagement rings de rigueur. There'
Praise for "The Engagements: "
""The Engagements" . . . opens in 1947 with ad-agency copywriter Frances Gerety . . . Struggling to find a last-minute tagline for De Beers, she scribbles down 'A Diamond Is Forever' and promptly falls asleep. For Frances, a lifelong bachelorette, it's just marketing -- her boss points out that the phrase isn't even grammatically correct. But Engagements' other characters show how much her tossed-off idea came to define diamonds as the ultimate symbol of love and commitment . . . [Sullivan is] a born storyteller. Like its mineral muse, "Engagements" shines."
--Leah Greenblatt, "Entertainment Weekly
"
"A perceptive portrait . . . In Sullivan's easy, unadorned style, "The Engagements" is a delightful marriage of cultural research and literary entertainment . . . Sullivan handles all the details elegantly, and the situations are surprisingly distinct . . . For all her sharp wit and insight into the agony of failed relationships, Sullivan's no cynic. The novel's final wedding transcends the craziness and the extravagance and the bickering. Against all odds, it represents something genuinely eternal about the love between two people."
--Ron Charles, "The Washington Post"
""The Engagements" is a rollicking, entertaining read and a thought-provoking one too. Several of the characters' voices have stayed in my head, and even days after putting it down I am left with a sturdy, hopeful sense of the fundamental goodwill of people and the abiding power of love . . . [I] am certain it will be one of this summer's big hits."
--Lindsey Mead, "Huffington Post"
" "
"The best-selling author of "Commencement "and "Maine "has written her most ambitious novel yet."
--"Entertainment Weekly
""Sullivan takes the cake when it comes to tying the knot . . . brilliantly captures how the vicissitudes of life--grief, infidelity, pressure--echo throughout a marriage." --Elizabeth Taylor, Editor's Choice, "Chicago Tribu