From M.J. Rose, New York Times bestselling author of Tiffany Blues, “a lush, romantic historical mystery” (Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale), comes a gorgeously wrought novel of ambition and betrayal set in the Gilded Age.
New York, 1910: A city of extravagant balls in Fifth Avenue mansions and poor immigrants crammed into crumbling Lower East Side tenements. A city where the suffrage movement is growing stronger every day, but most women reporters are still delegated to the fashion and lifestyle pages. But Vera Garland is set on making her mark in a man’s world of serious journalism.
Shortly after the world-famous Hope Diamond is acquired for a record sum, Vera begins investigating rumors about schemes by its new owner, jeweler Pierre Cartier, to manipulate its value. Vera is determined to find the truth behind the notorious diamond and its legendary curses—even better when the expose puts her in the same orbit as a magazine publisher whose blackmailing schemes led to the death of her beloved father.
Appealing to a young Russian jeweler for help, Vera is unprepared when she begins falling in love with him…and even more unprepared when she gets caught up in his deceptions and finds herself at risk of losing all she has worked so hard to achieve.
Set against the backdrop of New York’s glitter and grit, of ruthless men and the atrocities they commit in the pursuit of power, this enthralling historical novel explores our very human needs for love, retribution—and to pursue one’s destiny, regardless of the cost.
Review of Cartier’s Hope
I picked up Cartier’s Hope because I loved the author’s Tiffany Blues. Both feature artists. This time the medium is gems.
While Tiffany Blues described a lot of the art and influences of Louise Comfort Tiffany, Cartier’s Hope fell short of my hopes in that area. Art was replaced with gem lore and history. The history of the Hope Diamond figures largely in the story, so if you are a gem lover, you will find that information fascinating.
Like many of Rose’s novels, this book is about rich people acting rich. The main character, Vera Garland, works trying to right social wrongs and advance the status of women – as a reporter writing under a pseudonym. However, when the job is over, she goes back to her rich life style. Though she does not share the prejudices of her wealthy family and friends, she does share their expensive taste in pretty much everything. I believe the author was attempting to point out the extreme differences between the rich and the poor, but the poor were poorly represented.
As reporter Vee Swann, Vera plots to expose a blackmailer. Doing so will involve Pierre Cartier, so she much also act as Vera Garland. Her plan seemed iffy at best, based on a low odds that it would pan out like she wanted. I kept thinking ‘Really?”
There is a little bit of a romance, but I didn’t embrace it. There were too many secrets between Vera and Jacob. While all secrets came out in the end, I did not feel the connection between the two.
Usually, I love this author’s books. While Cartier’s Hope is a well written novel, it fell short for me. But if you like M.J. Rose and/or gems, you might like this one.
Read Cartier’s Hope for the history of suffrage, women in newspapers, Pierre Cartier, the Hope Diamond.
Through Netgalley, the publisher provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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