If her old-fashioned family had never left Morocco, Michelle Benamou would have been in big trouble, being almost thirty and nowhere near married. Luckily, in the hardy multicultural stew of New York City, she's been able to follow her other dreams, working her way up from broadcast news producer to on-air reporter. Still, there's something sparkly missing from the ring finger of her left hand. . .
Michelle thinks maybe her sexy, ex-Marine boyfriend can provide it -- until Joe abruptly tells her adios. Her old friend Benny from the Bronx is an intriguing possibility -- but he's out in L.A. . . . and not quite divorced.
It's tough for a sexy, very modern urban woman to follow the traditional calls of the marriage muezzins to matrimony -- especially when the rest of her life starts racing rapidly downhill. Suddenly in desperate need of an affordable new Manhattan apartment (an oxymoron), and quite possibly a new career (a catastrophe), Michelle's got other worries besides finding passionate love sealed with an "I do."
But a diamond is just coal, after all, until it's forged by fire and time. And sometimes something precious, strong, dazzling, and enduring can turn up when you least expect it . . .
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About the Author
The daughter of an Iraqi immigrant, Jessica Jiji is a speechwriter for the secretary-general of the United Nations. Her first novel, Diamonds Take Forever, was published in 2005. She lives in New York City with her husband and three sons.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A very well written novel with very rich cultural references.
Moroccan-American Michelle Benamou thought her life in New York was pretty good until her boyfriend dumps her and kicks her out of his apartment. She must move back home where she fears that her matchmaking mother will interfere with Michelle¿s lifestyle. Her friends sympathize knowing how un-cool their parents are for instance Michelle¿s father owns a grocery shop. --- However, her friend Benny informs her that he is undergoing an ugly divorce. She feels for him and they begin a long distance relationship as he lives in Los Angeles while she is in Nee York where she feels the city has the only opportunity for her to becoming a TV reporter. As the bi-coastal romance stays somewhat tepid, Michelle begins to reassess her life and how much her parents have done for her, but she still wants the diamonds that are forever around her finger. --- The deep look at family relationships between immigrant parents and an Americanized daughter will grip the audience as assimilation begins to form a rift even when each member loves one another and is considerate and respectful of each other. Michelle¿s efforts to break into media news are also deftly handled. However, the center of the tale is Michelle¿s quest to find love, which seems somewhat pale compared with the profundity of the other prime elements. Still overall this is a perceptive well written character study. --- Harriet Klausner