The Necklace
This intoxicating novel set in the rarified world of money and society alternates between two generations of the Quincy family: the wealthy robber baron brothers who vied over a bewitching Jazz Age beauty and the young woman who inherits a spectacular and mysterious Indian necklace and its secrets.Always the black sheep, Nell Quincy is summoned to the family farm outside Cleveland after the death of her great aunt. During a chilly meeting over cocktails, the family reads the will that makes Nell the executor of the estate and leaves her one item: a fantastically valuable, beautiful necklace from India. While the rest of the family jewels have been stored in a bank vault, Nell finds this priceless, forgotten heirloom in a Crown Royal whiskey bag stashed in the back of a dresser. As predatory Quincy's circle, Nell and art experts begin to question the necklace’s shadowy provenance, Nell turns to the only person she thinks she can trust—the attractive and ambitious estate lawyer who definitely is not part of the old money crowd.Ambrose Quincy brought the necklace home from India in the 1920s as a dramatic gift for May, the woman he intended to marry. However, upon his return he discovers that May has married his brother Ethan, the “good” Quincy, devoted to helping their father with the family coal empire. As a gesture of friendship, Ambrose gives May the necklace anyway—reigniting their passion and beginning a tense love triangle. When Ethan confronts the two lovers, the encounter ends tragically, entombing a secret in the past that Nell must uncover if she is ever to claim her true Quincy birthright.Alternating between the past and present, The Necklace is the elegant and compelling story of a star-crossed romance, long-simmering family resentments, and a young woman whose inheritance is much more than a legendary necklace.

The Necklace Details

TitleThe Necklace
Author
FormatHardcover
ReleaseJul 4th, 2017
PublisherTouchstone
ISBN1501165046
ISBN-139781501165047
Number of pages320 pages
Rating
GenreHistorical, Fiction, Adult Fiction

The Necklace Review

  • Cindy Burnett
    May 28, 2017
    The Necklace is one of the best books that I have read this year. Everything about the book is fantastic: the plot, the characters, the setting, the cover, and McMillan’s writing. As the story begins in 2009, Nell Quincy Merrihew is summoned to the family farm outside of Cleveland, Ohio because her great aunt Loulou has died. Family dynamics have left Nell feeling like she is an outsider her entire life. When Loulou’s will is read, Nell discovers she has been left an enigmatic Indian necklace th The Necklace is one of the best books that I have read this year. Everything about the book is fantastic: the plot, the characters, the setting, the cover, and McMillan’s writing. As the story begins in 2009, Nell Quincy Merrihew is summoned to the family farm outside of Cleveland, Ohio because her great aunt Loulou has died. Family dynamics have left Nell feeling like she is an outsider her entire life. When Loulou’s will is read, Nell discovers she has been left an enigmatic Indian necklace that starts Nell down a path to discover the secrets of her family’s past. Meanwhile, her greedy and scheming relatives begin plotting to take the necklace from Nell and to keep her from unearthing family secrets long buried.The Necklace is told in a dual timeline format (the story takes place in 2009 and the mid-1920’s) which I generally enjoy though I frequently find that I like one timeframe better than the other. Thankfully, that was not the case here; both stories are very entertaining and appealing. I love the Jazz Era and was captivated by the story told in that time period. McMillan’s attention to detail and clever storytelling brought that era to life. The present day story was equally appealing, and Nell’s character is intelligent and comes into her own as the book progresses. I also loved that McMillan kept me guessing as family secrets were revealed and details emerged that completed the long-buried family history. I frequently was not sure where the story was headed and loved that I was surprised.I highly, highly recommend this book and plan to recommend it to everyone I know. Thanks to Touchstone for the chance to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • TL
    May 4, 2017
    I received this via Goodreads Giveaways in a exchange for an honest review. All my opinions are my own:).----A well done take if family, love, and drama.. reminded me of Kate Morton in the way that Miss McMillian's writing is very atmospheric and characters very well drawn and thought out. When I had to put this down for real life after a certain point, I was counting the minutes till I could get back to it.That Quincy family... gah! Poisonous vipers all of em! (One exception). Glamour, prestige I received this via Goodreads Giveaways in a exchange for an honest review. All my opinions are my own:).----A well done take if family, love, and drama.. reminded me of Kate Morton in the way that Miss McMillian's writing is very atmospheric and characters very well drawn and thought out. When I had to put this down for real life after a certain point, I was counting the minutes till I could get back to it.That Quincy family... gah! Poisonous vipers all of em! (One exception). Glamour, prestige, poise on the outside and rotten apples on the inside. The entitlement and nerve of those people.. I was glad when a certain thing was revealed because it knocked them off their high pedestal a bit. Pansy especially I wanted to smack .And Ethan. Ugh, what an asshole on so many levels... and weak too in a sense (view spoiler)[Wanting May just so he could show up Ambrose basically. Bit of a coward too but my own personal so opinion.One thing that has me seeing red was because of him, Ambrose died in that car crash. Because he couldn't stop himself from drinking into a stupor and then losing his temper like a fucking toddler. I hope he felt guilt after what he did.The family's theory of suicide made more sense after that tidbit. (hide spoiler)]You could say maybe the family is cursed with a tragic history, or it is just a family tragedy *points to spoiler * perhaps.. to me, there was an air of inevitability to the whole thing. Not that it was fated mind you, just unavoidable (that made sense in my head).The ending tied everything together nicely and we got a few more answers as well.Would recommend:)(Typed on my phone so will fix any errors later when I'm home)
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  • Touchstone Books
    November 16, 2016
    I mean let's be real, this book is just a goddamn delight. Fun but whip smart, dramatic but believable, a page-turner with characters you either love or love to hate. Done and done.
  • Betty
    June 21, 2017
    This book was a really slow start but it was worth staying with it. The writing isn’t the best, but the story is really good.The chapters alternate between the 1920’s and the present (2009). Brothers Ethan and Ambrose Quincy want the same girl – May. It is 1925 and Ambrose is driven to travel the world while his brother stays home to run the coal mines. While in India Ambrose buys an extravagant necklace for May whom he intended to marry. However, he learns that May has married Ethan. Upon his r This book was a really slow start but it was worth staying with it. The writing isn’t the best, but the story is really good.The chapters alternate between the 1920’s and the present (2009). Brothers Ethan and Ambrose Quincy want the same girl – May. It is 1925 and Ambrose is driven to travel the world while his brother stays home to run the coal mines. While in India Ambrose buys an extravagant necklace for May whom he intended to marry. However, he learns that May has married Ethan. Upon his return, Ambrose still presents the necklace to May. Thus, the love triangle builds in intensity.In the present young attorney Nell, always the outsider in the family, is called to the Quincy homestead upon the death of her great-aunt Lulu, the sister of Ambrose and Ethan. Nell has been designated the executor of Lulu’s will, and has been left a very unusual, and expensive, necklace. Cousins Pansy and Emerson want that necklace. Wanting to keep her inheritance, Nell researches the history of the necklace which leads to long buried family secrets being revealed.I was disappointed with the ending. It seemed very contrived and quickly wrapped up. In my opinion, another couple of chapters to play out the ending would have been more satisfying.
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  • Stuart Smith
    January 5, 2017
    It was fast paced, fun and enthralling. In a time when the headlines are a little too much for me to take and the news of the world is just a little too loud, this book exemplified perfection in escapist fiction. A wonderfully crafted world, with interesting characters in this century and last, and a plot driving hook of the mysterious necklace make this un-put-downable.And it was so smart of McMillan to put all of her research and inspirations at the end of the book. I poured over those subject It was fast paced, fun and enthralling. In a time when the headlines are a little too much for me to take and the news of the world is just a little too loud, this book exemplified perfection in escapist fiction. A wonderfully crafted world, with interesting characters in this century and last, and a plot driving hook of the mysterious necklace make this un-put-downable.And it was so smart of McMillan to put all of her research and inspirations at the end of the book. I poured over those subjects for hours after leaving the novel and marveled at her craftsmanship and innovation in turning all of these fascinating anecdotes and turning them into this golden weave of fiction. It was a perfect blend of Gatsby, The Nest, Kate Morton and Curtis Sittenfeld all rolled into one. I feel like I can hand this book to anyone looking to unwind and say - take this and a glass of Riesling over to the couch and it is sure to cure what ails you.
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  • Morgan Rebecca
    May 18, 2017
    A note: I received an advanced copy of this book through my job as a Barnes&Noble bookseller. Claire McMillan's The Necklace is a solid 3.5 for me. Overall, it's an interesting story with a new take on the ubiquitous familial-drama-because-everyone-is-contesting-the-will trope, but I found the writing to be lacking and the plot to be somewhat predictable. McMillan gives us two stories for the price of one, shifting focus from the Quincys of the 1920s and the Quincys of today, tying each toge A note: I received an advanced copy of this book through my job as a Barnes&Noble bookseller. Claire McMillan's The Necklace is a solid 3.5 for me. Overall, it's an interesting story with a new take on the ubiquitous familial-drama-because-everyone-is-contesting-the-will trope, but I found the writing to be lacking and the plot to be somewhat predictable. McMillan gives us two stories for the price of one, shifting focus from the Quincys of the 1920s and the Quincys of today, tying each together with the eponymous necklace. She draws fun parallels between each Quincy story that allow her to fill in gaps that at first you think she forgot about altogether, and she writes each story so that they run on comparable timelines with coordinating plots, which is pretty cool. However, she clearly devoted more time to the Quincys of the 1920s than she did the modern Quincys: where the story for the 1920s Quincys flows beautifully and is irresistible, though occasionally sprinkled with dialogue that seems like it's probably not entirely authentic for how people in the 1920s actually spoke, the story for their contemporaries falls flat often; it doesn't know if it wants to be a romance or a familial drama, and most of the story is lost in McMillan's attempt to show off her word power (she frequently uses obscure synonyms -- like "moue" for pout -- unnecessarily) and legal intelligence (there is so much legalese in the contemporary story that I had to stop frequently to look words and ideas up just to be able to follow along), which ultimately seriously hinders the flow of the plot and makes large chunks of various chapters difficult to digest. I wouldn't even be so annoyed by the heavy use of legalese (as at least some is imperative, unavoidable even) if after a long discussion brimming with legal terms, some character would pop in a sum everything up, but alas; I received no such reprieve. And, though the rifts between the family members feel realistic, the budding romance feels forced and like it develops too easily and is occasionally burdened with euphemisms that just don't make any sense ("slipped him home," anyone? Fingers crossed this gets nixed in the final edit). I can say this for The Necklace, though: the ending is very satisfying. The book, on the whole, is nothing groundbreaking -- it'll probably find itself on on B&N's "Biggest Books of the Summer List" and may even earn a spot on the Bestsellers list -- but McMillan does a solid job with the ending. It's got a few bumps, but I think you should give it a go if you're on the fence. (Totally random side note: the chapter titles were killing me. Dates at the beginning of each chapter would have made a lot more sense, and I think it would have made the stories a lot more cohesive.)
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  • Cheryl Bradley
    May 15, 2017
    When her great-aunt Loulou passes away and names Nell Quincy executor of the estate, she is flummoxed. Nell and her mother had always been outcasts in Loulou's eyes. The will also leaves a necklace to Nell, a brilliant and expensive piece Nell later finds crammed into a whiskey bag in a drawer. The provenance of the necklace is unknown, and Nell's cousins and uncle begrudge the her the legacy.Nell finds an old journal and is drawn into the adventures of Ambrose Quincy in the 1920s. Ambrose broug When her great-aunt Loulou passes away and names Nell Quincy executor of the estate, she is flummoxed. Nell and her mother had always been outcasts in Loulou's eyes. The will also leaves a necklace to Nell, a brilliant and expensive piece Nell later finds crammed into a whiskey bag in a drawer. The provenance of the necklace is unknown, and Nell's cousins and uncle begrudge the her the legacy.Nell finds an old journal and is drawn into the adventures of Ambrose Quincy in the 1920s. Ambrose brought the necklace home from his travels in India to his sister-in-law May. May, Ambrose's ex-girlfriend, married his brother Ethan while Ambrose was travelling. Upon his return home and gifting the necklace to May, a torrid love affair ensues with terrible consequences.This book is really a 3.5 star read. The writing is compelling enough, but the storyline is revealed ages before any of the drama plays out on the page. The telling alternates between Ambrose's life in the 1920s and Nell's life in the present. I liked the characters but felt more could have been concealed until it played out in writing.
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  • Megan
    May 5, 2017
    I'm a big old sucker for stories with unexpected inheritances. Bonus points for the Ohio love. It's written well. The characters are charming and terrible and flawed and wonderfully human, and even though I wanted to shake and slap and hug in equal measure, that's part of what makes a book like this so delightful. People are not perfect, and the moment when you recognize your own foibles on the page is both humbling and rewarding. That's a good writer at work, telling a true story (even if it's I'm a big old sucker for stories with unexpected inheritances. Bonus points for the Ohio love. It's written well. The characters are charming and terrible and flawed and wonderfully human, and even though I wanted to shake and slap and hug in equal measure, that's part of what makes a book like this so delightful. People are not perfect, and the moment when you recognize your own foibles on the page is both humbling and rewarding. That's a good writer at work, telling a true story (even if it's fiction). But my favorite thing about this book is the research. McMillan blends the history of '20s Cleveland, of privilege, travel, and "lost" Indian jewels so beautifully with the complex history of this fictional, dysfunctional family. I loved reading about Millionaire's Row, old money in shambles, and living out some party and travel fantasies. Funny as hell, with snappy dialogue and an excellent protagonist in Nell.
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  • Cindy
    May 5, 2017
    It's Jazz-Era 1920s and Ambrose Quincy leaves May, the woman he loves, to take an extended trip to India. Upon his return, bringing May an exotic necklace, he is stunned to find that she's married to his brother. As she wears her gift their passion for each other is never far from view, and her reason for marrying is slowly revealed. The Necklace moves back and forth between the 1920s and the 21st century where Nell Quincy, estranged from her extended family, has been summoned to the run-down fa It's Jazz-Era 1920s and Ambrose Quincy leaves May, the woman he loves, to take an extended trip to India. Upon his return, bringing May an exotic necklace, he is stunned to find that she's married to his brother. As she wears her gift their passion for each other is never far from view, and her reason for marrying is slowly revealed. The Necklace moves back and forth between the 1920s and the 21st century where Nell Quincy, estranged from her extended family, has been summoned to the run-down family mansion to act as executor to her great aunt's estate. Simmering family resentments boil over when it's revealed that a heretofore unknown and, as it turns out valuable, necklace has been left to Nell. Her efforts to determine the provenance of the necklace uncover unwelcome family secrets and, in the process, Nell discovers her own strong path forward.
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  • Kalyn
    May 7, 2017
    I enjoyed both the past and present storylines in this family drama centered on a bequeathed necklace.Nell, an outsider in her well-to-do family, has just inherited a necklace that has whispers of a curse, but also secrets that have been hidden since the '20s. She is smart, canny, and I wish I could buy her a drink. Her family is about what you would expect, know they must need to provide a roadblock here and there. The history never seems to be too heavy... No bogging down of the text. Instead, I enjoyed both the past and present storylines in this family drama centered on a bequeathed necklace.Nell, an outsider in her well-to-do family, has just inherited a necklace that has whispers of a curse, but also secrets that have been hidden since the '20s. She is smart, canny, and I wish I could buy her a drink. Her family is about what you would expect, know they must need to provide a roadblock here and there. The history never seems to be too heavy... No bogging down of the text. Instead, it lingers in the woodwork and the fashion, carrying over into the aged remains of the modern day. I would recommend this to fans of The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Jazz Age historicals, family drama, or bitter romances.I received an arc of this book from the publisher.
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  • PennsyLady (Bev)
    June 15, 2017
    The Necklace"Two generations of Quincy women—a bewitching Jazz Age beauty and a young lawyer—bound by a spectacular and mysterious Indian necklace." (publisher's note)There are two alternating timelines, 1925 (May Quincy) and 2009 (Nell Quincy).Ambrose Quincy returns from abroad bearing a valuable Indian necklace as a dramatic statement of his intention to finally wed May.Her letters had become infrequent and he returned to find she had married his brother Ethan.The necklace was still given and The Necklace"Two generations of Quincy women—a bewitching Jazz Age beauty and a young lawyer—bound by a spectacular and mysterious Indian necklace." (publisher's note)There are two alternating timelines, 1925 (May Quincy) and 2009 (Nell Quincy).Ambrose Quincy returns from abroad bearing a valuable Indian necklace as a dramatic statement of his intention to finally wed May.Her letters had become infrequent and he returned to find she had married his brother Ethan.The necklace was still given and a love triangle established.In 2009, Nell Quincy is summoned home upon the death of her great aunt Loulou.She inherits one item, a valuable necklace that she must locate.Our story weaves about aspects of the necklace, both past and present and we are privy to the intense family drama in both generations.With respect to my usual readings, I found The Necklaceunique and enjoyable.4 ★A Book Browse selection
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  • Ziming
    May 21, 2017
    ARC. Part Forgotten Room, part Great Gatsby, The Necklace is a fast-paced and enchanting drive through the memories and drama of one Quincy family. I've always loved stories of elegant families, old feuds, and the romance of bygone days, and this book was a perfect weekend read. That said, I thought the main character, Cornelia, seemed a bit flat. I kept wanting to know more about her and what made her the way she is. Her initial lack of confidence didn't seem to fit her good relationship with h ARC. Part Forgotten Room, part Great Gatsby, The Necklace is a fast-paced and enchanting drive through the memories and drama of one Quincy family. I've always loved stories of elegant families, old feuds, and the romance of bygone days, and this book was a perfect weekend read. That said, I thought the main character, Cornelia, seemed a bit flat. I kept wanting to know more about her and what made her the way she is. Her initial lack of confidence didn't seem to fit her good relationship with her parents and her career as a lawyer, and I wondered whether simple, annual visits to distant odd relatives could have had such lasting impressions on her character.Overall, I truly enjoyed this fantastic story.
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  • Melanie
    June 10, 2017
    This is one of the best books I've read this year. I received an advanced reading copy from a First Impressions giveaway. Generally, I don't like reading back and forth chapter by chapter setting changes, but the flow of the story line from the 1920s to the contemporary 21st century flowed easily between chapter and maintained continuity. The connection between the tangled Quincy family history and the origins of the mysterious Moon of Nizam sapphire necklace were plausible and interesting.
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  • Emily
    June 6, 2017
    I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. It was a quick and entertaining read. I loved how the author blended the present day with the Jazz age 1920's, and I was enthralled with Ambrose Quincy's travels. Though, I would have liked the book to contain more regarding Asian and Indian culture in the 1920's. While I loved May, Ethan and Ambrose, I thought the character of Nell Quincy was a bit flat, and I couldn't connect with her as well. The story is well written and both heartbreaking and realist I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. It was a quick and entertaining read. I loved how the author blended the present day with the Jazz age 1920's, and I was enthralled with Ambrose Quincy's travels. Though, I would have liked the book to contain more regarding Asian and Indian culture in the 1920's. While I loved May, Ethan and Ambrose, I thought the character of Nell Quincy was a bit flat, and I couldn't connect with her as well. The story is well written and both heartbreaking and realistic, due to a rich family drama and bittersweet romance. Overall, I would recommend this novel!
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  • The Library Lady
    May 8, 2017
    It makes perfect sense that the author wrote this at least in part in Edith Wharton's house, because the back story is very Whartonish. She even used the name "May" for the female in the back story.Flat characters, absurd or predictable plot twists, the annoying use of the passive present for the narration and an utterly predictable ending. Why is this book garnering so many favorable reviews?
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  • Sarah Wagner
    May 7, 2017
    *I received a copy of this book through a GoodReads Giveaway.*This novel certainly makes for fun reading, set in both the present-day and the 1920s. Nell returns to her old family home after the death of her great-aunt to discover she has inherited a necklace a family member had brought back from India in the 1920s. So begins the quest to uncover family history and determine the origins of a famous gem. A quick, entertaining read.
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  • Ellen
    June 4, 2017
    Nell goes back to Cleveland for the reading of her great aunt's will. The Quincys are not happy that Nell was given a valuable necklace, since she was always seen as an outsider. The story alternates with the story of brothers Ethan and Ambrose, Nell's ancestors, both in love with the same woman, May. It is May that the necklace is purchased for by Ambrose, even though May married his brother Ethan. It was just okay for me, and thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to preview.
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  • Nettie
    June 1, 2017
    A mystery, an adventure, a love story, a travel back in time. It's all here! Join the group for lawn parties, gymkanas, and intrigue. Savor the reading of it as you wait with baited breath to see what happens in the end. Delightful! I enjoyed it very much and thank Goodreads and Touchstone Books.
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  • Judi
    June 30, 2017
    3 Stars - This was an easy summer read. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it. I always enjoy books that go back and forth in time, and that was the reason I decided to read this book. I enjoyed the storyline that took place in the past more than the present one, and that is mainly because there was more action. The present day characters were a little annoying, but believable; it was the characters in the past that made me want to keep reading.I was given this book for my free review.
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  • Kristin
    June 22, 2017
    This novel was a lot briefer (and less Indian) that I expected it to be. A lot happens in both timelines in such a short book and the reflections on family and love aren't as deep as they could be, but it was still a good story and quite engaging. I don't know if I'd say I wanted more though... at this overwhelming time in my reading life, it was a perfect little bite for a nice one-sitting read.The fine print: received ARC from NetGalley.
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  • Kate
    May 14, 2017
    I received this in a Goodreads Giveaway. The subject matter reminded me a little of Beatriz Williams's books. While there was potential, the plot took way too long to develop. I didn't care for any of the characters as there really wasn't much to them. This just didn't work for me.
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  • Kelly Baroletti
    June 24, 2017
    This was a great book!
  • Michelle
    May 11, 2017
    3.5 Stars
  • Kelsey Manning
    January 21, 2017
    This year's The Nest!!! Essential summer reading.
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