The character we meet initially, Mary, was in my opinion the main character in the book, a copywriter living in 1940s America. The work she does influences the future of all the other characters and I was really intrigued by how it seems the diamond industry related to engagement rings has used advertising to influence people's views.
There are lots of other characters in this book, with each chapter switching in and out of their stories.
I particularly enjoyed the part of the book set in Paris, loving the description of the City as the character reminisced on her back story; and was at times shocked by how extreme her reaction to her current situation was.
It wasn't right until the end of the book that each of the characters' stories came together and I loved how all of a sudden you could see connections between the characters which you would never have considered previously.
It did take me a little bit of time to get into the story initially, but once I got to know all the characters this was a really interesting book. Plenty of different and very interesting stories to delve into, and I even found it challenging my view of 'the engagement ring'. All in all a really interesting read.
The back page blurb:
1947: Mary Frances Gerety, a young copywriter in an eminent advertising agency, has to convince the world of two things - that marriage means a diamond ring on every woman's finger, and that she is as good at her job as any man. And then, in one moment of brilliant inspiration, Mary Frances writes down four words which will achieve both her aims . . .
Moving from a Harvard swim-meet in 1927 to the three-martini lunches of 1940s advertising, from the back streets of 1980s Boston to an exquisite Parisian music shop in 2003, The Engagements is a novel about love, marriage, commitment and betrayal; it is as sharp, as fiery and as beautiful as the stone we have taken to represent our dreams.
Title: The Engagements
Author: J. Courtney Sullivan