"I can still recall how cold the pearls felt on my bare neck as Mr Fitzroy secured the clasp, and how heavy they were. I also remember that they were far, far too long for me. But, oh how mesmerising I found those pearls..."
Sophia Beaumont-Brown was an IT girl. But now she's in the papers for all the wrong reasons. Single, sofa-surfing and not speaking to her family, only her grandmother has any faith left in her. From her hospital bed, Tilly Beaumont sends Sophia letters about her life: dispatches about wartime England, about family secrets and finally, about the most beautiful thing she ever owned - a necklace of the most incredible pearls.
If Sophia's prepared to listen, she'll unlock the secret story of generations of incredible women, from the pearl divers of Japan, to high society in pre-war England, and find that the necklace has changed the lives of all who have worn it. The only problem? No one knows where it is.
Sophia must find out if she's ready to take on the search for something so perfect it can change a life. Wouldn't a girl do anything to hold that in her hands?
What did I think?
The Inheritance is an absolutely stunning piece of fiction. It's a sweeping saga spanning not only decades but also the globe as it takes us to London, New York and Tokyo. I had no idea how it was all going to link together but it does so beautifully and I was so emotionally invested in the characters that I had to read the final few chapters through my tears.
Sophia has never really got on with her parents, so she left home and lives with her best friend, Hugo, in London. They certainly don't live in the manner to which Sophia has been accustomed, but they look out for each other and have been friends since they were young. At the beginning of the book, Sophia receives a letter from her Grandmother telling her that she is very ill and wants to send her letters detailing her life story. Sophia's Grandmother is Lady Matilda (Tilly) Beaumont and we learn through her stories about the most precious pearl necklace that she was given by her father on her 18th birthday. A necklace that was handed down to Sophia's Mum on her 18th birthday but has now gone missing. It is Tilly's dying wish that she is reunited with her precious necklace and Sophia makes it her mission to grant her Granny's wish.
It was so exciting to read about Sophia's quest for the pearls and at the same time learning so much about the history of the pearls themselves. All three intertwining stories, of Sophia, Dominic and Aiko, were simply spectacular. I particularly loved Aiko's story: her mother was a pearl diver and she left her daughter the most precious collection of pearls. Aiko is torn between parting with her pearls, the only remaining connection to her mother, and making a better life for herself. Film producer, Dominic's story was only touched on briefly throughout most of the book but he has a big part to play at the end. I was puzzled as to how he would link into the story but it did all fit together like a perfectly matched jigsaw.
The Inheritance is certainly one of the best books I've read this year and it completely captivated me; it's a thoroughly enjoyable and intriguing family saga that drew me in from the start. Through Katie Agnew's incredibly storytelling, I was effortlessly whisked away to Tokyo, London and New York in both the 1920's and present day. The Inheritance is an enchanting book and a perfect example of fiction at its best - I heartily recommend it.
I received this book from the publisher, Orion, in exchange for an honest review.
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