Book of the Week: Precious Things by Kelly Doust

Book of the Week: Precious Things by Kelly Doust

precious things-minWhy we love it: Precious Things tells the compelling story of a modern woman while weaving the fascinating and mysterious stories of many women from the past two centuries. What links each of them is a beautiful, precious thing – a bejewelled and mysterious coronet.

Aimee is living in a cloistered environment in a late 19th Century French chateau. With her mother dead in mysterious circumstances, and her aristocrat father, cold and strict, she has only a handsome valet and lowly servant for company. Alone, she waits for her coming marriage but barely knows her future husband – it’s a marriage of convenience for her suitor is rich and her father’s estate impoverished. Alone with her needlework, she painstakingly crafts herself an exquisite collar to wear on her wedding dress and in her despair she embroiders a hidden message in the folds of the piece.

Cut to present day London where collector and vintage lover Maggie has a glamorous job she loves at a high end auction house. She is struggling with a young toddler and the arrival of her husband’s teenage daughter from a previous relationship. As she finds herself drawn to a wealthy and handsome man, into her possession comes an exquisite piece – a collar or coronet – that she treasures. But the piece holds hidden secrets and Maggie must unveil its mysterious past.

As Maggie turns detective to uncover the provenance of the mystery item, the action moves through to the past to an intriguing thread of characters, all connected to this alluring piece. There’s the tragic circus acrobat in Paris, the dancer sisters in 1920s Shanghia and Christian, a successful British artist living in 1950s Italy where he treats his muse Bella with disdain and cruelty.

Ultimately Maggie unpicks the threads and the story is skillfully woven until the present day. Maggie, a thoroughly modern woman who appreciates the value of vintage items and the rich past they can hold, ultimately learns what’s really important in her life. Many will relate to her struggles balancing parenthood and career and her near seduction by ‘precious things’.

Precious Things is a wonderful and unusual story. Both its modern story and each of its historical stories are fascinating and compelling. They each offer insight into the complexities of modern life as well as universal issues for women. The novel explores themes of marriage, motherhood, femininity and the idea of valuing what’s really important versus the allure of the shiny and seductive.

Author Kelly Doust

Author Kelly Doust

This is an impressive debut from Kelly Doust, previously the writer of fashion and craft titles such as The Crafty Minx, The Crafty Kid, Minxy Vintage and The Crafty Minx at Home, as well as the fashion memoir A Life in Frocks. Doust has been scouring flea markets and charity stores for vintage fashion, fabric and homewares from her early teens. Fittingly then, she’s a Brand Ambassador for Vinnies. Doust has written for VogueAustralian Women’s Weekly and Sunday Life and lives in Sydney with her husband and daughter.

Start reading the first chapter of Precious Things, and click here to purchase a copy.

You can even read about the making of the book (including the design of that beautiful cover) in Kelly Doust’s The Secrets of the Coronet, download the FREE ebook here!

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          Publisher details

          Precious Things
          Author
          Kelly Doust
          Publisher
          HarperCollins
          Genre
          Fiction
          Released
          21 March, 2016

          Synopsis

          Why we love it:  Precious Things tells the compelling story of a modern woman while weaving the fascinating and mysterious stories of many women from the past two centuries. What links each of them is a beautiful, precious thing – a bejeweled and mysterious coronet.Aimee is living in a cloistered environment in a late 19th Century French chateau. With her mother dead in mysterious circumstances, and her aristocrat father, cold and strict, she has only a handsome valet and lowly servant for company. Alone, she waits for her coming marriage but barely knows her future husband – it’s a marriage of convenience for her suitor is rich and her father’s estate impoverished. Alone with her needlework, she painstakingly crafts herself an exquisite collar to wear on her wedding dress and in her despair she embroiders a hidden message in the folds of the piece.Cut to present day London where collector and vintage lover Maggie has a glamorous job she loves at a high end auction house. She is struggling with a young toddler and the arrival of her husband’s teenage daughter from a previous relationship. As she finds herself drawn to a wealthy and handsome man, into her possession comes an exquisite piece – a collar or coronet – that she treasures. But the piece holds hidden secrets and Maggie must unveil its mysterious past.As Maggie turns detective to uncover the provenance of the mystery item, the action moves through to the past to an intriguing thread of characters, all connected to this alluring piece. There’s the tragic circus acrobat in Paris, the dancer sisters in 1920s Shanghia and Christian, a successful British artist living in 1950s Italy where he treats his muse Bella with disdain and cruelty.Ultimately Maggie unpicks the threads and the story is skillfully woven until the present day. Maggie, a thoroughly modern woman who appreciates the value of vintage items and the rich past they can hold, ultimately learns what’s really important in her life. Many will relate to her struggles balancing parenthood and career and her near seduction by ‘precious things’.Precious Things is a wonderful and unusual story. Both its modern story and each of its historical stories are fascinating and compelling. They each offer insight into the complexities of modern life as well as universal issues for women. The novel explores themes of marriage, motherhood, femininity and the idea of valuing what’s really important versus the allure of the shiny and seductive.This is an impressive debut from Kelly Doust, previously the writer of fashion and craft titles such as The Crafty Minx, The Crafty Kid, Minxy Vintage and The Crafty Minx at Home, as well as the fashion memoir A Life in Frocks. Doust has been scouring flea markets and charity stores for vintage fashion, fabric and homewares from her early teens. Fittingly then, she’s a Brand Ambassador for Vinnies. Doust has written for VogueAustralian Women’s Weekly and Sunday Life and lives in Sydney with her husband and daughter. Start reading the first chapter of Precious Things, and you can even learn more about the making of the book (including the design of that beautiful cover) in Kelly Doust's The Secrets of the Coronet, download the FREE ebook here!
          Kelly Doust
          About the author

          Kelly Doust

          Author of crafty titles The Crafty Minx, The Crafty Kid, Minxy Vintage and The Crafty Minx at Home, as well as the fashion memoir A Life in Frocks, Kelly Doust has been scouring flea markets and charity stores for vintage fashion, fabric and homewares from her early teens, and making and reinventing things in her own trial-and-error way since she was a girl. A Brand Ambassador for Vinnies, Kelly also hosts workshops and demonstrations for a variety of organisations, including the City of Sydney and its annual Garage Sale Trail initiative.Kelly appears as a regular craft expert on television shows such as Sunrise and The Morning Show. With a career spanning book publishing, public relations and freelance writing in Sydney, Hong Kong and London, Kelly has written for Vogue, Australian Women’s Weekly and Sunday Life and is currently working on her first novel. She lives in Sydney’s inner west with her husband and daughter.

          Books by Kelly Doust

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