In Loose Diamonds, an engaging collection of essays and observations, Amy Ephron, the acclaimed, award-winning author of the One Sunday Morning and A Cup of Tea, paints a rich, vivid, and comic portrait of modern living from a modern woman's perspective. Fans of the writings of Amy Sedaris and Joan Didion's Slouching Toward Bethlehem will enjoy Ephron's funny, incisive take on the intricate weave of a woman's world.
Four years ago, Amy Ephron came home to find all her jewelry was missing - taken by a burglar who'd made off with 14 million in stolen goods across Los Angeles. Gone were the gold stud earrings her mother had given to her when she'd had her ears pierced; the marcasite-and-crystal bracelet she'd worn like armor in her early twenties; the pearls from an ex-fiance. Ephron came to realize the true value of her possessions lay not in their financial worth but in the memories she associated with each piece.
With her extraordinary eye for period detail, biting wit, and subtle social commentary, Loose Diamonds is a work of priceless recollections of the funny, the sad, and the remarkable in her life. From "The Bird Man," a famous architect who taught her to believe in magic in the '60s, an afternoon in the '70s spent as a reporter with Squeaky Fromme, to long nights in the L.A. of the '80s drinking Cristal, her life-long love affair with Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City, to the struggles of post-modern dating and family life, Ephron beautifully explores the power of love and loss and celebrates the value of memories. As she muses about marriage, divorce, infidelity, or the ability to say "next?" Ephron infects us with her buoyant optimism and dead-pan humor.
"Ephron offers a deeply honest and compelling look at the events that made her the woman she is today." - The Daily Beast
"The quirky collection of stories goes back to her Los Angeles childhood and goes up through her marriage, divorce and re-marriage. Her honest approach to her good and not-so-good relationships might be just the thing for anyone feeling sorry for themselves." - Harper's Bazaar
"Ephron is a master at evoking a strong sense of time and place.... Her captivating new book is a deliciously honest account of [her] life experiences, wonderful vignettes that, to borrow her own words, are akin to 'sparkling stones that I imagine come wrapped in a velvet cloth.' - The Jewish Journal
"I must admit, I read the whole book in a single day. The pages turn themselves and Ephron has quite a palate of experiences to relate. ....The interesting thing about Ephron's stories is their unassuming honesty. She allows the reader to take away what they will, without spelling out life lessons and overly poignant observations." - HelloGiggles.com
"These bagatelles offer glittering diversion but little of lasting worth." - Kirkus
"The book's tone is entertainingly breezy, but lacks depth. The seeming randomness and paucity of material makes the slim volume feel like a dry run for a longer work." - Publishers Weekly
"[A] nosegay of life essays whose pronouns are mostly 'I' and 'we,' but are also by implication 'you' - as in, 'here's my experience of this or that life-changing moment; what's yours?'" - The News Tribune
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Rated of 5
Lyn M. (charlotte, NC)
A Light Read
I enjoyed Amy Ephron's book, Loose Diamonds, for what it was: A light, entertaining diversion. It was humorous and had some heartwarming moments, but was not ground breaking in any way and not something I would convince someone to go out and purchase. I would certainly tell them to read it if someone lent it to them.
Rated of 5
Angelique H. (York, PA)
(Some of ) The writing sparkles - if only the subject matter did too.
How do you take in a book whose author claims she was tutored by a famous architect as a child; was paid to interview Squeaky Fromme at 19; is capable of telekinesis? The elitist references to a life full of caviar and Cristal and the name dropping are jarring juxtaposed with her observations that our pieces of jewelry are part of our identity - which is as true for a woman wearing $20 silver cross as the author's antique diamond and emerald ring (which she "earned" for 39 hours of labor). The subject matter was fantastical but not in a way that invited the reader to imagine a F. Scott Fitgerald lifestyle; rather it inspired this reader to Google the author for verisimilitude. The writing sparkled in some places while in others it sparked and flared out. Perhaps because it's a gallery proof - the overall effect was of impressions bubbling up sweet and almost satisfying like chocolate fudge just before the "ball" stage.
Rated of 5
Janice H. (Savage, Minnesota)
Interesting and Entertaining
I was drawn to the book by its title - Loose Diamonds ... and other things I've lost (and found) along the way. I read this book as soon as I received it and enjoyed learning more about our author with every new story in her book. She has some weird yet interesting stores to tell including meeting Squeaky Frome of the Charles Manson cult, entertaining her neighbor, the Birdman as a young girl, and socializing with the rich lady down the street. I especially enjoyed her story, 'Staying" about whether to divorce or not.
I found her stories interesting, entertaining, and quite delightful and some of them down right hilarious. Any modern family with a stepdad or a stepmom and step siblings will relate to her down to earth stories of disaster waiting to happen.
I really enjoyed the book and I think you will too.
Rated of 5
Merle M. (Boulder, CO)
Too light for me. Luckily it was short. I was disappointed. It reminds me why I do not subscribe to People Magazine and rarely find it interesting, even when captive in waiting rooms.
Rated of 5
Elise G. (Margate City, NJ)
Flat and contrived
Despite their abbreviated length, good short stories have interesting characters and engaging story lines --- these did not! The characters were flat and the stories contrived, as if the author got hold of a tidbit of information (perhaps from a Google search?) and wrote a story around it. Couldn't get into this one at all...
Rated of 5
Chet W. (Madison, WI)
Loose Diamonds by Amy Ephron
Interesting and yet somewhat compelling at times, Loose Diamonds gives the reader a glimpse into the past and present of a woman that relishes the idea of always having the good life and a good laugh along the way; even when some of life's events warrants tears, Amy found a way to laugh about it, and make the best of the situation. Losing, finding and embracing memories of her remarkable life. She celebrates the values of memories; she takes us from the ballroom to the boardroom, shopping the racks at Saks (in which is one of her life long passions). The book is humorous, Amy assures us through her book that life is a game of cards sometime we're dealt the aces other times the duces and every so often we're dealt a joker. An enjoyable journey.
Novelist and screenwriter, Amy Ephron is the author of A Cup of Tea, White Rose, Cool Shades, Bruised Fruit, and Biodegradable Soap. She lives in Los Angeles with her three children.
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