The BookBrowse Review

Published January 22, 2020

ISSN: 1930-0018

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Book Jacket

Cartier's Hope
A Novel
by M. J. Rose
28 Jan 2020
334 pages
Publisher: Atria Books
ISBN-13: 9781501173639
Genre: Historical Fiction
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From M.J. Rose, New York Times bestselling author of Tiffany Blues, "a lush, romantic historical mystery" (Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale), comes a gorgeously wrought novel of ambition and betrayal set in the Gilded Age.

New York, 1910: A city of extravagant balls in Fifth Avenue mansions and poor immigrants crammed into crumbling Lower East Side tenements. A city where the suffrage movement is growing stronger every day, but most women reporters are still delegated to the fashion and lifestyle pages. But Vera Garland is set on making her mark in a man's world of serious journalism.

Shortly after the world-famous Hope Diamond is acquired for a record sum, Vera begins investigating rumors about schemes by its new owner, jeweler Pierre Cartier, to manipulate its value. Vera is determined to find the truth behind the notorious diamond and its legendary curses—even better when the expose puts her in the same orbit as a magazine publisher whose blackmailing schemes led to the death of her beloved father.

Appealing to a young Russian jeweler for help, Vera is unprepared when she begins falling in love with him…and even more unprepared when she gets caught up in his deceptions and finds herself at risk of losing all she has worked so hard to achieve.

Set against the backdrop of New York's glitter and grit, of ruthless men and the atrocities they commit in the pursuit of power, this enthralling historical novel explores our very human needs for love, retribution—and to pursue one's destiny, regardless of the cost.

"Rose's newest title is complex and compelling, with many threads of history, plot, and character that weave together into a bold, satisfying tapestry." - Kirkus (starred review)

"Rose's elegant narrative and timely dialog express her characters' humanity and inhumanities, while her research and attention to every detail occasionally make it difficult to separate facts from fiction. A must-read for lovers of atmospheric historical fiction." - Library Journal (starred review)

"The narrative cleverly explores highlights of early 20-century history and heaps on plenty of intrigue. Rose irresistibly combines elements of mystery, romance, and historical events in this memorable novel." - Publishers Weekly

"From the very first page, Cartier's Hope plunges the reader into the fascinating world of New York jewelers, journalists, and high society at the dawn of the Gilded Age. With her signature elegance and attention to detail, M.J. Rose weaves a twisting tale of greed, revenge, and masked identities that put love and lives at risk. A fast-paced historical novel that shines with as much intrigue and mystery as the Hope Diamond itself." - NYT bestseller Kristina McMorris, Sold on a Monday

"MJ Rose's latest encapsulates everything I love about historical fiction: a heroine whose journey is as timely today as it is in the 1910s, a glamorous setting that perfectly melds fact and fiction into an unputdownable tale, and at the sparkling center of it all: New York City. A true gem by an author at the top of her game." - Fiona Davis, nationally bestselling author of The Chelsea Girls

"M.J. Rose soars with Cartier's Hope, a heady tale of romance, intrigue and empowerment. The contrasting poverty and wealth of turn of the century New York make for a vivid backdrop for the story of Vera, a journalist determined to go beyond the confines imposed on women in her field and learn the truth about the Hope Diamond while confronting her own dark past. Readers will root for journalist Vera on her page-turning quest for the truths that are both intimate and universal. Brava!" - Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris

Write your own review

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
All-around "gem" of a read - Elizabeth Of Silver's Reviews
The story of the Hope Diamond, women journalists, hidden identities, locked bookcases, and family secrets greet the reader of Cartier’s Hope.

Vera was the daughter of a wealthy businessman, but she needed to hide this fact so she could work at being a journalist for the stories women were assigned, and according to her mother to not disgrace the family’s name because she didn’t comply with social norms of being a married woman and a wealthy woman who didn't work.

Vera was always looking for a story. The Hope Diamond would be a perfect one. What intrigued Vera was when she heard its background and its supposed curse.

Even more interesting than the Hope Diamond and what peaked her curiosity was when she found locked bookcases in her father's library and had no idea why her father would have locked books inside.

Mystery about the bookcase and the intrigue about the Hope Diamond kept Vera's journalistic mind going. Vera had been in a slump and didn't want to write any more, but after she found out why her father had books hidden behind books, the Hope Diamond story took second place but was going to help her with her father's secret. This made her realize it was time to get back to her life's work and find out why and who was behind her father's story and how to use the Hope Diamond to aid with the search for answers.

Ms. Rose made the reader aware of the challenges female journalists faced and what they had to put up with in the male-dominated profession. The female journalists had to put up with the worst stories, lower pay than their male counterparts, sexual favors if they wanted their name on a story, and not being treated the same or looked at for being as good as a male journalist.

M. J. Rose has a writing style that pulls you in along with her marvelous details and research.

Historical fiction fans will enjoy CARTIER'S HOPE as well as mystery fans and those readers who enjoy strong female characters.

And...there can't be an absence of some romance with all those gorgeous jewels, right?

ENJOY when you read CARTIER’S HOPE. It is an all-around "gem" of a read. 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Celia P. (Melbourne, FL)
The Curse of the Hope Diamond?
This story takes place in the Gilded Age. Women could not vote and were treated as second class citizens in the journalistic world. To make a name for herself, Vera Garland intended to expose the story of the Curse of the Hope Diamond as false. On the way there, love and betrayal take precedence.
I thought the story line unique. Not as much historical fiction as I would have liked. Still good.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Barbara G. (Dallas, GA)
Cartier's Hope
This all encompassing novel covers the topics of family, suicide, death, blackmail, homosexuality, abortion, uncover reporters, aliases, love, theft, fraud, women's rights, police brutality, high society, underprivileged, and superstitions.
Although I truly enjoyed this novel, it just had too much going on. It is well written and contains some historical aspects as well as being, at times, a romance novel.
I enjoyed receiving this ARC in return for a fair review.

Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Mary B. (Laguna Woods, CA)
Cartier's Hope
A wealthy socialite in 1911 New York who wants to be a journalist at a time when women were not even allowed to vote. Interesting historical details She investigates the tales of bad luck with the Hope diamond that Pierre Cartier is selling.

Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Lisa W. (Deerfield beach, FL)
Love the Guilded Age
I found this book to be an enjoyable read. I love historical fiction but would describe Cartier's Hope as "Chick Lit" or perhaps a great beach read. I felt the writing style was quite simplistic and did not challenge me at all. This being said, I can see why many people gave it great reviews. The time period is fascinating and there were many interesting themes that are still relevant today. I would not recommend this as a book club read but perhaps as an interesting page turner.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Margaret R.
Cartier's Hope
Good historical fiction teaches at a gut level and Cartier's Hope does not disappoint. As we follow our main character, a woman with two identities, one inherited the other invented, through the streets, townhouses and tenements of New York City in the early 20th century, our senses and emotions are bombarded with visceral detail. For example, you experience the growing anxiety, then outright terror, of women marching in protest, followed by a group, then a gang, of men taunting them initially with words then with physical brutality.
That said, there is a disappointing glut of stale language, as well, and early in the book my eyes were rolling with sentences like, "...I try to pretend I am not really crying. That what looks like tears are simply snowflakes melting on my cheeks."
There is also a Wikipedia-like narrative when M. J. Rose gives the reader necessary plot information, such as the history of the Hope Diamond. Her fine ability to create realistic dialog fails her when she needs to give us facts.
Overall, this book is a good read and would appeal to many audiences. The mystery, gender issues, emotional appeal, and historical re-creation make it ripe for book club discussions.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Judy B. (Santa Fe, NM)
A Good Story
I found this book excellent reading. I have always enjoyed the history behind the Hope Diamond and Mr. Cartier and wondered about the truth behind the diamond's history being a jeweler's daughter! Is it really possible to have bad luck just owning a particular "rock"?? The story in this book is about that possibility! The characters are well portrayed and interesting: a young "modern" woman and her family-mother, father, and sister. The young Russian jeweler working for Mr. Cartier! It was a good, well written story!

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Yana G. (Poway, CA)
More than just a story about a diamond
What a fascinating story! Cartier's Hope by M.J. Rose is an intricate novel is set in NYC 1910. A magnificent dive into the Hope Diamond, women's empowerment and a surprise romance. It is filled with mystery and love, intrigue and suspense, and, finally, acceptance and hope. Is the Hope Diamond real or a fake? No one is sure.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Shirley P. (Colorado Springs, CO)
In Spite of the Cover...
...I enjoyed this book very much. I am a big fan of M.J. Rose's books, and was thrilled to get an advance copy of "Cartier's Hope".
This book differs somewhat from her previous books which usually featured magical/mystical themes like witches/uber-sensitive perfumers, and the like - all of which I liked very much.
This novel features a more prosaic central character of Vera Garland, a member of New York's high society, and Vera's alter ego, Vee Swann, a newspaper reporter in the early 1900's, Vee reports on the underbelly of New York, in the footsteps of Nellie Bly. Vee becomes interested in the alleged curses associated with the infamous Hope diamond recently acquired by the jeweler Pierre Cartier which she has been lucky enough to view as Vera, and is intrigued by the stories told by Mr. Cartier.
This book is well written, as are all M.J. Rose's books, and includes interesting historical facts to add gravitas to the story. To add even more texture, there is a romance factor which complicates Vera/Vee's task in uncovering the truth about the Hope.
About that lurid cover...better suited to a "bodice ripper" than this competent historical novel.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Barbara B. (Bradenton, FL)
Cartier's Hope
M. J. Rose once again, has written an attention keeping historical mystery. Set in Gilded Age New York with the infamous Hope diamond and it's legends and curses forming an intriguing story. There is also mystery and romance with a journalist heroine. Best of all is the shocking twist ending that you don't see coming. This is a must read for all M. J. Rose fans.

more reviews...

M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother's favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice... Books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.

Rose is a New York Times, Wall St. Journal and USAToday bestseller as well as an international best seller. She has published more than nineteen novels and 3 books on marketing. She has been published in more than 30 countries and sold over 1.5 million books. The Fox TV show Past Lives was based on Rose's novel, The Reincarnationist.

Rose is a founding member of International Thriller Writers, founder of the first marketing company for authors, AuthorBuzz, and the co-founder, with Liz Berry of

In 1998, her first novel Lip Service was the first e-book and the first self-published novel chosen by the LiteraryGuild/Doubleday Book Club as well as the first e-book to go on to be published by a mainstream New York publishing house.

Rose has been profiled in Time magazine, Forbes, The New York Times, Business 2.0, Working Woman, Newsweek, and New York Magazine. She has appeared on The Today Show, Fox News, The Jim Lehrer NewsHour, and features on her have appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and abroad, including USAToday, Stern, L'Official, Poets and Writers, and Publishers Weekly.

Rose graduated from Syracuse University and spent the '80s in advertising. She was the Creative Director of Rosenfeld Sirowitz and Lawson and she has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

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