In this “glittering, Gatsby-esque” (Publishers Weekly) novel, two generations of Quincy women—a bewitching Jazz Age beauty and a young lawyer—are 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: an ornate necklace from India that Nell finds stashed in a Crown Royal whiskey bag in the back of a dresser. As predatory relatives circle and art experts begin to question 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.
More than just a piece of jewelry, the necklace links Nell to a long-buried family secret involving Ambrose Quincy, who 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 discovered that May had married his brother Ethan, the “good” Quincy, devoted to their father. As a gesture of friendship, Ambrose gave May the necklace anyway.
Crisp as a gin martini, fresh as a twist of lime, The Necklace is the charming and intoxicating story “written with wit, compassion, and a meticulous attention to period and cultural detail” (Kirkus Reviews) of long-simmering family resentments and a young woman who inherits a secret much more valuable than a legendary necklace.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Claire McMillan's intergenerational comedy of manners is the kind of sparkling, utterly satisfying saga that only comes along once in a blue moon. One part epic romance and one part domestic drama, The Necklace is a witty, gorgeously crafted novel that lays bare the competing power of passion and duty—and the beautiful irrationality of true love.
In 2009, Cornelia "Nell" Quincy Merrihew's great-aunt Loulou, who raised Nell's mother, has passed away, and Nell finds herself in the company of an eccentric gaggle of Quincys, old-money Ohioans that her mother mostly avoided. She's been made executor of Loulou's will, and Loulou has left her a necklace of questionable provenance that she soon learns is very special indeed. Nell must fend off the Quincys, who have other plans for it. Nell, a successful lawyer, plays defense with her overbearing family, who see her as an outsider, but she finds an ally in Loulou's estate lawyer, the handsome Louis Morrell. A glittering, Gatsby-esque second narrative set in the 1920s explores the love triangle between Nell's grandmother, May, and two brothers, Ethan and Ambrose Quincy. When Ambrose returns from two years abroad bearing a stunning necklace bought in India as a gift for May, she's already married Ethan, but her love for Ambrose has never dimmed. McMillan (The Gilded Age) expertly weaves the narratives together in an emotionally resonant, captivating tale of love, loss, and family secrets that culminates in a satisfying finale.