Have you ever gone vintage shopping and wondered about the history of the precious things you find? That’s the main idea behind Precious Things by Kelly Doust.
The story is centred in the present day around Maggie who loves her job at an auction house. She gets to spend her days finding precious things. The only problem is she is finding it difficult to keep up with her job and her family life at the same time.
When she finds a gorgeous hand-made beaded piece she winds up playing detective to try and trace the origins of her latest acquisition for a lady, Francesca, who is certain that it holds the key to finding the truth about her birth parents.
Maggie manages to trace the origins of the piece from its origins in Normandy, France, where it was made by Aimee to wear as a collar for her wedding dress. The collar becomes a head-piece when it finds its way to Lexi the trapeze artist in Paris, 1926. Zephyr the dancer takes ownership of it in Shanghai, 1926 only to have it stolen from her and taken to the family of artist, Christian Hunt where it falls into the hands of his ill-treated muse, Isabella. The final destination of the piece is with Ulrika the supermodel who wears it as an adornment on her dress in Istanbul, 1974.
While the majority of the novel focuses on Maggie, her family and work life, and her quest to find out the mystery surrounding Francesca’s heritage, each of the owners of the piece have their own chapters to tell their stories. I really love a good time slip novel and this one had such a wide range of times and places included.
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.
Title: Precious Things
Author: Kelly Doust
ISBN: 1460750977 (ISBN13: 9781460750971)
Published: April 1st 2016 by HarperCollins – AU
Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction, Time Slip
Source: Review copy from publisher
My Rating: 5/5 stars