The Necklace: Book summary and reviews of The Necklace by Claire McMillan

The Necklace

by Claire McMillan

The Necklace by Claire McMillan X
The Necklace by Claire McMillan
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2017
    320 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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About this book

Book Summary

For readers of The Nest, Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, and The Rules of Civility, a sparkling summer read about the wealthy but dysfunctional Quincy family, and two Quincy women past and present - one a bewitching Jazz Age beauty, the other a young lawyer - bound by a spectacular and mysterious Indian necklace.

Always the black sheep of the tight-knit Quincy clan, Nell is cautious when she's summoned to the elegantly shabby family manor after her great aunt Loulou's death. A cold reception from the family grows chillier when they learn Loulou has left Nell a fantastically valuable heirloom: a stunningly ornate necklace from India. More than just a piece of jewelry, the necklace links Nell to a long-buried family secret. As predatory relatives begin circling and art experts begin questioning the necklace's provenance, Nell turns to the only person she thinks she can trust - the attractive and ambitious estate lawyer who definitely is not part of the old money crowd.

Ambrose Quincy brought the necklace home from India in the 1920s as a dramatic gift for May, the woman he intended to marry. Upon his return he discovers May has married his brother Ethan, the "good" Quincy, devoted to their father. As a gesture of friendship, Ambrose gives May the necklace anyway - reigniting their passion and beginning a tense love triangle.

From a robber baron's Midwestern manor to a maharaja's palace, from a 1920s lawn party to a modern-day speakeasy, The Necklace is the intelligent, intoxicating story of long-simmering family resentments and a young woman who inherits a secret much more valuable than a legendary necklace.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"With an expansive cast of vivid characters, McMillan weaves a complex and compelling narrative that balances intensity and levity. Written with wit, compassion, and a meticulous attention to period and cultural detail." - Kirkus

"In McMillan's (Gilded Age) charming new novel, the historical narrative shines (Ambrose is a winning character) and the modern setting crackles with wit, as Nell outmaneuvers her kin with ease and maybe finds true love herself. Kate Morton fans will enjoy." - Library Journal

"Claire McMillan's The Necklace has everything I love in story: a rich family drama, an enthralling mystery, exotic settings and gorgeous historical detail. McMillan writes in assured and often witty prose, and her characters came to life on the very first page. An enchanting, intoxicating book." - Cristina Alger, author of The Darlings and This Was Not the Plan

"At the center of this passionate novel of inheritance and betrayal lies the titular necklace - with mysterious origins, a tragic past, and an uncertain future. Deftly spanning the globe and a century, McMillan's sharp writing explores whether it is possible to undo our wrongs across generations - or if we are doomed to repeat ourselves." - Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, New York Times bestselling author of Bittersweet and June

"The Necklace is a delicious, delicious adventure." - Ramona Ausubel, author of Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty and No One is Here Except All of Us

The information about The Necklace shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

Shirley P. (Colorado Springs, CO)

I am a sucker...
...for a good story. "The Necklace" provides just that - a well written entertaining book that tells it's story from present day back to the 1920's. The necklace refers to an Indian piece of valuable jewelry given as an inheritance to present day estranged member of the Quincy family, Nell. Nell happens to be an attorney, who is well able to defend her gift from her great aunt Lou. And defend it, she must, from other family members as it becomes clear how valuable and unique the necklace is as a past possession of an Indian Maharani. How the necklace came to be a part of the Quincy family's wealth is a good part of the story set in the 1920's. What it means to Nell and her eventual acceptance of the gift is the present day story. Both parts enthrall equally. I really enjoyed this book and recommend it unequivocally.

Melanie B. (Desoto, TX)

Exceptional Book!
This is one of the best books I've read this year. The interwoven telling of the Moon of Nizam necklace and the Quincy family's secret history result in an intriguing, romantic and suspenseful mystery. I highly recommend this book.

Cabin girl

The Necklace
The Necklace was a great book. I read it in a couple of days. The writing style was very interesting. Going from 2009 to 1925 in every other chapter, makes you want to read more. You are able to figure out some of the answers to your questions as you go back in time, but you will want to keep reading to put all the family puzzle pieces together. The Indian necklace adds so much to the story. Where did Ambrose get it and why was it given to Nell? You will love reading this book.

Judith S. (Binghamton, NY)

A Lovely Read
"The Necklace" is a beautifully written novel that is elegant, witty and charming. Claire McMillan's characters are well constructed, believable and each endearing in their own way. The author skillfully and deftly transports the reader between past and present without missing a beat. A pleasure to read. One feels like a member of current and past families after delving into the book.

Marion W. (Issaquah, WA)

"All that glitters..."!
Hopping back and forth between 1925 and 2009, with various family members (would-be inheritors) vying for a spectacular piece of jewelry, we read of human frailty,competitiveness,
jealousy, intrigue, and (not to be forgotten), lust! This is an entertaining novel with believable characters and twists of plot. All that is needed is a dust jacket full-color depiction of the necklace, with its diamonds, emeralds, and "sapphire as big as a robin's egg." (Sigh.)

Betty Taylor

Unique Story
This book was a really slow start but it was worth staying with it. The writing isn’t the best, but the story is really good.

The chapters alternate between the 1920’s and the present (2009). Brothers Ethan and Ambrose Quincy want the same girl – May. It is 1925 and Ambrose is driven to travel the world while his brother stays home to run the coal mines. While in India Ambrose buys an extravagant necklace for May whom he intended to marry. However, he learns that May has married Ethan. Upon his return, Ambrose still presents the necklace to May. Thus, the love triangle builds in intensity.

In the present young attorney Nell, always the outsider in the family, is called to the Quincy homestead upon the death of her great-aunt Lulu, the sister of Ambrose and Ethan. Nell has been designated the executor of Lulu’s will, and has been left a very unusual, and expensive, necklace. Cousins Pansy and Emerson want that necklace. Wanting to keep her inheritance, Nell researches the history of the necklace which leads to long buried family secrets being revealed.

I was disappointed with the ending. It seemed very contrived and quickly wrapped up. In my opinion, another couple of chapters to play out the ending would have been more satisfying.

...16 more reader reviews

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More Information

Claire McMillan is the author of Gilded and The Necklace. She practiced law until 2003 and then received her MFA in creative writing from Bennington College. She grew up in Pasadena, California and now lives on her husband's family farm outside of Cleveland, Ohio with their two children.

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