Pearls, Pearls, Pearls

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I am the custodian of an embarrassment of pearls, the first of which I bought on my first trip overseas—to Spain one summer during law school—but the rest of which were given to me by others.

One strand my father gave my mother, who in turn set it around my neck.

One strand, improbably, was a gift from the vice-mayor of Wuxi, China, a man I shared a single dinner with, although admittedly an eleven-course one honoring my dad.  This is the one pair I’ve never worn except for the few minutes after they were given to me, but I keep them draped over a favorite doll on my desk; I have no idea why.

The first jewelry my husband ever gave me was an opera length strand. My favorite is a shorter strand he bought in Paris with his winning from Monte Carlo, where he bet my birthday at roulette.

I have a double strand like the ones on the cover of The Four Ms. Bradwells, which belonged to my husband’s grandmother, and then to his mother, before becoming mine.

But I still have pearl greed: the ones I still covet are unmatched gray pearls like Faith’s in the novel—Faith’s pearls which become Ginger’s, and then go out into the world from there.

Like the pearls all the four Ms. Bradwells wear in my novel, many pearls have a history, and often a good story to go with them. Do yours?

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