Review: ‘Cartier’s Hope’ transports readers back in time

“Cartier’s Hope: a Novel,” Atria, by M.J. Rose

A strong woman pursuing her dream of a career and finding love fights against expectations in 1910 New York in M.J. Rose’s “Cartier’s Hope.”

In a time where women don’t have the right to vote, Vera Garland wants to set her mark in the world of journalism. Due to her gender, she’s given fluff pieces, not news items, to pursue. She creates a new identity and uses this pseudonym to write relevant and thought-provoking pieces that most readers assume were written by a man.

Vera learns the world-famous Hope Diamond has been acquired by jeweler Pierre Cartier, and she soon hears stories about the gem being cursed. She decides to write an expose exploring the truth behind the rumors, and it also gives her the opportunity to approach a man she hates who runs a magazine. She blames this man for the untimely death of her father, and if she can craft pieces for the magazine, it will give her a chance to uncover dirt about him and put him out of business. Vera enlists the help of Cartier’s assistant for information about the Hope Diamond and the jewel industry as a whole. That becomes problematic when she realizes that she’s starting to fall in love with the young jeweler, and his secrets possibly could rival her own.

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Rose transports readers back in time to a world where the pursuit of power supersedes all aspects of what is right. Vera is a woman who is ahead of her time in her efforts to obtain equal rights and respect for all women. The mix of history with compelling characters both real and fictional is the true priceless treasure in this beautifully written novel.

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