Friday, 3 June 2016

The Clasp - Sloane Crosley

Reunited for the extravagant wedding of a college friend: Kezia, the second-in-command to an eccentric jewellery designer; Nathaniel, the former literary cool kid now selling his wares in Hollywood; and Victor, who has just been fired from a middling search engine. They soon slip back into their old roles – Victor loves Kezia. Kezia loves Nathaniel. Nathaniel loves Nathaniel.
In the midst of all this semi-merriment, Victor has a bizarre encounter with the mother of the groom that triggers an obsession over a legendary necklace. Lacking employment or any other kind of tie, Victor leaves New York in search of the jewellery, supposedly stashed away in an obscure small-town chateau. And, in a bid to save him from ruining whatever is left of his young ambitions, Kezia and Nathaniel set out to find him.
Heartfelt, suspenseful and told with Sloane Crosley’s inimitable spark and wit, THE CLASP is a story of friends struggling to fit together when their lives haven’t gone as planned and of learning how to tell the difference between what’s real and what’s fake.
I have to say that this book does have a kind of slow start - it's like you just dropped into their lives and you are watching what happens when old friends come together for a wedding. There are the flashbacks to relate to what happened when they were at college years ago, but they aren't long winded or take up too much of the book. 
I was wondering why I had requested this book? Then Victor falls asleep in the bedroom of the Mother of the Groom - and the story for me began. Victor is the kind of guy you would find in the TV show "The Big Bang Theory". He's the kind of guy who doesn't do well in the real world, which becomes evident when he travels abroad for the first time. I just loved the parts of the book which were about him.
I think it's Crosley's observations of human nature that do make the book. At times it is a little too American - too many cultural references that for someone in the UK and not in this age range I just didn't get.
The other character that grabbed my attention was Kezia, who works in the jewellery trade, this being one of my interests I really enjoyed the parts of the book about "The clasp". I can see for others this would be just boring though. Kezia has a boss a little like the lady in The Devil Wears Prada and she has to be on point to keep her happy. 
I did become confused why it was called "The Clasp" and not "The Necklace". The book refers to the Guy De Maupassant book (which I've also read a long time ago) and has references and links to it, maybe they felt it was too much of a lift to use the same title. But the Clasp is really just how the stories of Victor and Kezia become linked - I suppose like a clasp! The thing is in the UK  we also think of a clasp as a fastening on a handbag or a purse.
What started as a slow book had by now really grasped me as we began a little chase across France on a treasure hunt. I can't say what happens because it would just spoil it for you, but after this little sojourn the book just ends - really abruptly. Not in a "I wonder what happens next kind of way" but more like - did someone rip out the last page of the book? way.
I'm giving this book 3 out of 5 five stars. I think if I was younger and in the USA it would have been higher, so that is down to me rather than the writing. 
My thanks go to Netgalley for a free ecopy of the book to review.

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