While perhaps no one remembers Mary Frances Gerety’s name, we all know that “A diamond is forever”. Frances created the inspired ad line for De Beers in the late Forties – and yet, a woman in the male-dominated world of upscale advertising, she had to fight at every step of her career, without ever seeming to get the acknowledgment she deserved. It is unfortunate that the tale of this extraordinary lady who created the engagement diamond tradition comes interspersed with the loosely related stories of a small host of other characters: they may all have to do with diamonds in some way, but one grows impatient with the meandering and the overwhelming quantity of detail. As a result, The Engagements is a slow, slow read – admirably written in places, but at constant risk of being bogged down by large chunks of what reads like non-fiction. In the end, its interest lies more in the depiction of the various time-periods than in either characters or story.