In the tradition of gloriously absorbing, lush and moving women's fiction by authors such as Kate Morton, Lucinda Riley and Joanne Harris comes Precious Things.
Normandy, France, 1891: a young woman painstakingly sews an intricate beaded collar to her wedding dress, the night before her marriage to someone she barely knows. Yet Aimee longs for so much more....
Shanghai, 1926: dancing sensation and wild child Zephyr spies what looks like a beaded headpiece lying carelessly discarded on a ballroom floor. She takes it with her to Malaya where she sets her sights on a prize so out of reach that, in striving for it, she will jeopardise everything she holds dear....
Precious Things tells the story of a collar - a wonderful, glittering beaded piece - and its journey through the decades. It's also the story of Maggie, an auctioneer living in modern-day London, who comes across the crumpled, neglected collar in a box of old junk, and sets out on an unexpected mission to discover more about its secret and elusive past.
Maggie has a journey of her own too. Juggling a demanding job, a clingy young child and a rebellious stepdaughter, and with her once-solid marriage foundering under the pressure of a busy life, Maggie has to find out the hard way that you can't always get what you want...but sometimes, you're lucky enough to get precisely what you need.
This is a wonderful, absorbing and moving novel about desire, marriage and family, telling the story about how we so often reach out for the sparkly, shiny things (and people) we desire, only to realise - in the nick of time - that the most precious things are the ones we've had with us all along.
What listeners say about Precious Things
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A lovely read
I really enjoyed this story. I could relate to the main character Maggie and loved listening to the stories of the women who had owned the coronet in the past and how it had affected them.
2 people found this helpful
A spiral love story
I bought this book because it was narrated by Mel Hudson, who is one of my favourite narrator. I like her very expressive, down to earth voice and versatility, she is able to do multiple different voices (although she did struggle slightly with some of the foreign accents here) but it didn't detract from this multi-layered love story. Centred around an embroidered collar, the story follows the collar's adventures through the ages, always being worn by some different woman down through time and becoming intertwined with her love life in one way or another. The story begins with the collar's creation hundreds of years ago to adorn a wedding outfit by a lonely girl shut up in a big French mansion, right up to a four-year-old using it for a dressing up costume in modern day UK. It brings good and bad luck to its many wearers. Sometimes it seems like a curse. So many adventures and emotions, a different chapter for each character and going into their lives in some depth enables the reader to build up some feeling for each character. It was slightly difficult to follow the lives of all the different characters (easy to forget who was who at times, as I didn't listen to it all in one sitting) but at least it didn't jump forward and backward in time (a device which I hate!) it just carried on going steadily down through the ages, enabling me to follow the the story quite nicely. But at right at the end it jumps back to the beginning again so we could see the end of the story of the creator of the collar, which was a very nice and satisfying way to end.