Jewelry has always held a special place in Beth Bernstein's life: More than just trinkets of adornment, gems have been guideposts to her memories, and through them, she tells her story. Every piece of precious metal and stone in her new book My Charmed Life: Rocky Romances, Precious Family Connections, and Searching for a Band of Gold represents a chapter in her life — and not just her life alone. Treasured pieces link generation to generation as they are passed from mother to daughter. From Beth's mother's Jackie Kennedy–style Mikimoto pearls, to her father's Cartier Tank watch, to her great-grandmother's Edwardian opal brooch, to her personal eclectic collection of rings, necklaces, charms and more, each jewelry piece has a tale of its own.
On one hand, the book is a moving tribute to a family of strong women, and the power of female bonds. A child of divorce, Beth was primarily brought up by her mother and grandmothers, and she celebrates these women for their wisdom, love and support. Her mother was her biggest fan, her closest confidante and her greatest inspiration, especially on the subject of her impeccable style. She called Beth her "survivor," but it was she who taught Beth how to face her greatest challenges.
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More than a decade after her mother's death, Beth continues to visit her grandmother Ida at a nursing home, the older woman's spirit as feisty as ever, still taking care to look her best and offering no-nonsense advice on Beth's choices in fashion and men. As a child, Beth had bonded with her Ida over their shared love of jewelry and Nana's lessons on "how to make life more glamorous." Her grandmother touchingly taught her: "When you go out looking your best, the rest of the world won't know how you are feeling, even if your heart is breaking."
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On the other hand, the story is also Beth's quest for everlasting love, or as she would translate it into the language of jewelry, "a band of gold." The road she has traveled is indeed one of "rocky romances." Read the rest...
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