Jess has always loved taking chances, but after a terrible accident, she's ready for a quieter life. No more unsuitable boyfriends or unsafe adventures. More time with Tim, her dependable boyfriend who seldom surprises her.
More time with family, like her ailing grandmother, Nancy, who wants Jess to bring home the lost vintage necklace that has been in their family for generations. The delicate moonstone pendant features a fluttering butterfly, and some say it has a history of leading its wearer to her soul mate. Jess isn't sure about that, but the necklace belongs to the Taylor women, and she's determined to bring it home.
All Jess has to do is bid on it at a local auction. But when a rival bidder outplays her and sweeps the necklace off the table, Jess finds herself face-to-face with a charming stranger who has his own reasons for wanting the necklace. He might be willing to part with it, if Jess will have dinner with him...
Desperate to bring back the necklace before her grandmother's health gets worse, Jess has no choice, even if her boyfriend objects. She has to bring the necklace home, no matter what it does to her own happily ever after...
I've been branching out a bit this summer, trying new authors and books that typically wouldn't have been at the top of my queue in the past, such as this British rom-com by Louisa Leaman. I have to say, I'm so glad I gave it a chance.
At the center of The Lost and Found Necklace is an art nouveau necklace, it's journey through the years, and the profound impact it has had on multiple generations of women (and a few men) in Jess's family. The story is a bit mystery, a bit family saga, a bit romance, and a journey of self-discovery which I thoroughly enjoyed. I liked how the author interwove the threads of the stories of Jess's ancestors with the current family relationships and how the lessons of the past impacted the decisions facing Jess in present day.
All of the characters are so well depicted; I felt as if I knew each of them, understanding their motivations, accepting their flaws. The story is well-paced, filled with humor, poignant emotion, forgiveness, understanding, self-acceptance, and an overall hopeful vibe. I enjoyed the evolution of the relationship between Jess and her sister (yes, I may have cheered at the end), was surprised by the revelations from their estranged father, and knew which man my heart wanted Jess to choose while still wanting love and happiness for the man left behind. There are no bad guys here, just right ones and wrong ones for the woman in question. Kudos to the author for keeping me guessing as to which was which right up until the end.
If you're looking for a sweet, charming, and realistic story that will take you from England to Wales to old Hollywood (not time travel - stories of past generations unveiled), introduce you to engaging characters, reinforce your belief in the "magic" of soulmates, and deliver a hopeful, happy ending, add The Lost and Found Necklace to your summer reading list. It has my enthusiastic recommendation.