Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The Necklace by Cheryl Davis is a story about thirteen women (with the average age around the late forties/early fifties) who all live in Ventura, California and decide to buy a diamond necklace....together. The experiment was testing the possibility of 13 women being able to share ONE diamond necklace. (A different woman had possession of the necklace each month)
The book itself wasn't intellectually challenging. In fact, I found the concept of the book to be interesting but very simply written...almost too simplistic to the point where I think a 5th grader could successfully read this book. However, I was able to take away a couple of different things from this book.
1. We are all going to have a mid-life crisis where we find ourselves stuck in the same habits and rituals. All of these women had breakthroughs with the necklace. Yes, it is a form of materialism, but all of the women turned their experience with the $20,000 necklace away from it's materialistic roots. Some women wore it while sky-diving, teaching, or even passed it on to strangers (eek!). There was the sense of sharing that somehow helped shed light on their current repetitive lifestyles that made them want to change.
2. As we get older, the harder it will be to have a sense of a sisterhood. Another reason these women consented to sharing such a small item with a pricey tag was due to the fact that missed having a sisterhood, or never had one to begin with. I think as we age we realize how important human compassion and connection is. For these women, the monthly meetings were a way to express what they were going through in their lives. Some had husbands yes, but good friends are different. Others were divorced or unmarried, or without kids, so this group was especially important for them.
3. The concept of sharing one expensive item can be done. This isn't the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. These women weren't passing around worn out jeans, they were passing around a valuable item.... one that gleamed and inspired "oohs" and "ahhs". Of course there were disputes, rules, and drawn-out arguments. However, I think the point of the book was to show that a social experiment can succeed. The feuds and friction ARE what made these women take a second look at their life and what meaning they had attached to it. Some women found their voices, others tamed theirs. Some learned to compromise, to bend, and to understand. Essentially the necklace helped these women change for the better. Even though their story was told in the most simplistic of ways by the author, it got the point across.
So if you need an EASY, BREEZY, read--- this is the one. However, I do think it's a book for older generations. Sometimes when you aren't at the same crossroads as the people you read about in books it becomes to distant of a thought or too hard to relate.
Hope everyone is doing well!