Thursday, February 11, 2016
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015
Kezia, Nathaniel, and Victor are reunited for the extravagant wedding of a college friend. Now at the tail end of their twenties, they arrive completely absorbed in their own lives—Kezia the second-in-command to a madwoman jewelry designer in Manhattan; Nathaniel, the former literary cool kid, selling his wares in Hollywood; and the Eeyore-esque Victor, just fired from a middling search engine. They soon slip back into old roles: Victor loves Kezia. Kezia loves Nathaniel. Nathaniel loves Nathaniel.
In the midst of all this semi-merriment, Victor passes out in the mother of the groom’s bedroom. He wakes to her jovially slapping him across the face. Instead of a scolding, she offers Victor a story she’s never even told her son, about a valuable necklace that disappeared during the Nazi occupation of France.
And so a madcap adventure is set into motion, one that leads Victor, Kezia, and Nathaniel from Miami to New York and L.A. to Paris and across France, until they converge at the estate of Guy de Maupassant, author of the classic short story The Necklace.
At the beginning, I loved the story. As the book went on, I found that I really didn’t care about a lot of the characters. It’s told in multiple perspectives, and I only cared about what two of them had to say. I definitely found myself skimming over the others’ sections. A majority of the characters were spoiled, whiney brats without real stories. I just wanted to know what would happen with Victor’s necklace treasure hunt. What I thought would be a silly treasure hunt turned out to be a boring, failed attempt at breaking and entering. The worst part of the book was how hard the author tried to use as many literary tools as possible. Everything came back to The Necklace, but the lack of depth to the characters ruined any literary value that the book may have had.
Overall, I might sound harsher than I mean to. I did finish the book, which means I enjoyed it enough to keep going. However, it definitely wasn’t my favorite and I probably won’t recommend it to many people.