This is the second novel I packed with the express purpose of reading it on the plane. Sullivan’s novels could easily be shelved as “chick lit” since they deal with women’s relationships, but they also are deeper than something like Shopaholic, being kind of the perfect middle ground between entertaining beachy read and literary novel. Her previous two novels dealt with four women’s perspectives, and this one follows a similar path. However, Commencement and Maine both dealt with women who knew each other, either by being college friends, or part of the same family. In this one, Sullivan does something slightly different, addressing marriage, relationships and engagements by using women and men from different time periods, backgrounds and social-economic classes. Mixed in with her usual four perspectives, Sullivan uses an actual historical figure to frame these pieces, and explain the obsession with engagements and diamonds.
I just pulled the plug on this one and decided not to finish it. I really didn’t care about anyone from any of the time periods, which was strange, because I really liked Maine and Commencement. I just couldn’t get into this one.