Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Necklace

The Necklace: 13 Women and the Experiment that Transformed their Lives by Cheryl Jarvis.

I picked this book up on a whim as I breezed thru the library to pick up my books on hold. I LOVED it. It's the story of 13 women who go in on a $27,000 diamond necklace together, "time sharing" it so to speak, and how this act transforms their lives. It's about friendship, generosity, compassion, philosophy, politics, justice,affluence and social justice. Mostly, it's about what happens when women come together to do something unexpected.

The book is an intro to the women, Jewlia (the necklace, named after Julia Child) and how life is strengthened, nurtured, cultivated and enriched by friendships.

 It also talks about the conflict that ensued when the women had different visions for the necklace. "the friction, however, was key. The conflicts were the very thing that provoked the women to think about who they were and what their lives were about. The controversies pushed them to define their own values more clearly, to take a stand, speak up for what they would and would not support. " Great words for our conflict avoidant culture!

"In the end, a diamond necklace did make a statement, not about wealth and status, but about the needs that cross cultures and link generations, the connections that transcend time and place. There may be no escaping our material culture, but 13 women in Ventura, CA showed that we can reframe it on our terms. The women of Jewlia transformed a symbol of privilege into an experiment in humanity. In so doing, they rewrote the narrative of desire."

As one of my favorite women in the book, Priscella states, "I now know the meaning of the word, inspire. It means 'to breathe .' You have breathed life into me. Thank -you." This book is inspiring, hopeful and fun.

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