Cartier’s Hope: A Novel
New York, 1910. Pierre Cartier has acquired the Hope Diamond, along with its infamous bad luck, and Vera Garland is intrigued by its myths. As the daughter of one of New York’s prominent families, Vera not only struggles with the weight of expectations and newly discovered family secrets, but also how to right the injustices that face the city’s forgotten: the immigrants, the poor, and most of all, the children. When she unearths a blackmail scheme, Vera once again becomes Vee Swann, intrepid reporter. Moving effortlessly from extravagant parties, vying for a spot in the coveted society pages, to the early Suffragette marches, Vera works to expose a villain and unravel the truth Cartier might be hiding, all while struggling to understand the reasons for her father’s death. Help, and love, is found along the way from unexpected sources.
In true reporter fashion, Vera is our narrator, and her voice is factual and to the point. Perhaps because of this, I found it hard at times to settle into the story and the setting, as much is told of the past before focusing on the present. Characters swirl in and out, and after a glimpse the diamond fades to the background to allow the rest of the plot to present itself. However, the risk and intrigue do catch back up towards the end for an exciting finale, and I especially enjoyed the highlights from our first, struggling sisters in feminism. Vera is determined and relatable, and the Hope Diamond’s rich history is well-researched and fascinating.