“Cartier’s Hope” is set in NYC against the lush backdrop of the ultra wealthy, circa 1910 before women had the right to vote, when they were expected to be content to stay home as wives and mothers. Vera Garland is from one of NY’s upper crust families. As an unmarried 33 year old who is considered to be avant garde, even bohemian, she is constantly at odds with her mother who takes very seriously her role as a leading society matron. Vera was very close to her father and uncle who died within a week of each other and she is still mourning her loss.
Not content to live under society’s restraints, Vera has a separate identity as Vee Swann, an investigative reporter. As her alter-ego Vee champions the less fortunate, the abused, and the downtrodden and exposes society’s ills. She has gone undercover, putting her life at risk, to effect change by exposing corruption, substandard tenement housing, child labor, and other criminal practices.
When Pierre Cartier buys the infamous Hope Diamond and offers it for sale to his elite clientele, complete with all the stories and legends that surround it, including its “curse”, Vera is excited and intrigued, especially about the myths and mystique surrounding the 44 carat blue diamond. She sees it as a way to kickstart her career and help her in her plot for revenge against an unscrupulous magazine owner. But neither Vera nor Vee counted on meeting the charming Jacob Asher, nor was either prepared for how that meeting could change the course of her life.
Author M.J. Rose has offered up a lush and exotic slice of elite life in the early 20th century juxtaposed with that of the gritty existence of those living in seedy, substandard tenement housing. Underlying it all is the strength and resilience of the human spirit, which is hope. Hope is what keeps us all going from one day to the next. It feeds our souls and our desire for something better and is the underlying theme throughout this fascinating historical novel that is fact-based fiction. And a mighty good yarn it is.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to review this book.
Publication Date: 28 Jan 2020
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
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