15 April 2016

Review: Precious Things by Kelly Doust


* Copy courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers Australia *

Precious Things by Australian author Kelly Doust follows a handmade beaded collar through history to the present, touching on the women who owned it and wore it in the past.

Maggie is an auctioneer in London and she comes across the collar in a box of neglected lace and fabric and is immediately drawn to it. 

Interspersed between Maggie's narrative of busy family life in present day London, are individual vignettes from the previous owners of the collar, from 1890s France to the present day. Despite being written by the same author, each of the characters had their own distinct voice and setting, and as a reader I appreciated the skill required to accomplish this.

I loved the little sketches breaking up some of the content within the chapters, but I was soooo glad there was a timeline at the back, detailing the women who had owned and worn the collar/coronet so I could refer to it at the end.

When it comes to presentation, Precious Things was the most thoughtful and beautiful advanced review copy I've ever received. You can see in the photo below that it came wrapped with lace and ribbon, several postcards with quotes and a precious thing, a candle holder. Given author Kelly Doust has worked in the publishing industry herself, this should come as no surprise but it still made an impression I won't forget.

The cover design for Precious Things is wonderful, however my only gripe is that the collar on the cover doesn't match the description of the collar/coronet in the novel and I so desperately wish that it did. The collar in the novel had a recurring fleur de lis pattern, and I just don't see that in the lace collar on the cover.

If you're a fan of Kate Morton, historical fiction, vintage items and dual timelines, then Precious Things is for you.

My rating = ****

Carpe Librum!


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