I can remember being 8 years old and having my mother insist I put that book down and go outside. I grew up across the street from an independent bookstore, and often spent those tween years lost in stacks so extensive the store received citations from the fire marshal. Eventually, I even worked there on breaks from college. I was proud when my revered high school English teacher gave me a book by Milan Kundera. Reading, especially fiction, was an essential part of my being.
When my studies became focused on the sciences, I lost the time to pursue fiction. Then, I was working. Then, I was a mother. Non-fiction took over. Pregnancy guides, parenting guides. Then infertility happened, along with books on fertility, fertility treatments, coping with infertility.
So, it has been a long time since I’ve chosen a book simply for pleasure. On Valentine’s Day, I was fortunate enough to be granted a trip to the local library — alone. Strangely, I was still drawn to the non-fiction section. I’m not sure if it is my recent birthday, the turmoil in the world or our struggling economy — but I feel a responsibility to know more, be more engaged, to be ready for change.
Yet I came across a book that seemed a bit light at first glance. It was not about global warming, or our dependence on foreign oil. It was not about the recent election or international trade. It was about 13 women and a necklace. A diamond necklace. A necklace with 118 stones totaling over 15 carats.
Strangely, I read this story about these Southern California women and their diamond necklace — and I felt empowered.