The Necklace, the second outing for author Claire McMillan, is a dual-period novel focusing on the wealthy and eccentric Quincy family. The story begins with Nell, a lawyer who has been largely raised away from the Quincys. A death brings them all together at the family’s ancestral home, and in a shocking twist, Nell is named the executor of the will. She also receives a fabulous sapphire necklace with a tragic past.
In the 1920s, May, a bright socialite, has been enjoying a flirtation with Ambrose Quincy for months. But he is a dreamer and philosopher—the call of world travel lures him away and when he returns with a beautiful necklace for May, he discovers that she has married his twin brother, Ethan. A love triangle is born—with devastating consequences.
The Necklace will most likely appeal to readers of modern fiction more than historical fiction. Nell is an interesting character that readers can root for against her unconventional but viperous family. Whereas May and her love for two brothers is reminiscent of the movie Legends of the Fall; the author does not quite grasp the detail needed for a seasoned historical fiction writer. Indeed, it is almost as if the reader is watching a big-screen film about the 1920s. But if an easy read for the summer months is the goal, readers should enjoy unwrapping the mystery of The Necklace.