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She had a rich friend, an old school friend whom she refused to visit, because she suffered so keenly when she returned home. She would weep whole days, with grief, regret, despair, and misery. O ne evening her husband came home with an exultant air, holding a large envelope in his hand. Swiftly she tore the paper and drew out a printed card on which were these words:. Instead of being delighted, as her-husband hoped, she flung the invitation petulantly across the table, murmuring:. You never go out, and this is a great occasion.

I had tremendous trouble to get it. Every one wants one; it's very select, and very few go to the clerks. You'll see all the really big people there. She looked at him out of furious eyes, and said impatiently: "And what do you suppose I am to wear at such an affair? He stopped, stupefied and utterly at a loss when he saw that his wife was beginning to cry. Two large tears ran slowly down from the corners of her eyes towards the corners of her mouth.

But with a violent effort she overcame her grief and replied in a calm voice, wiping her wet cheeks:. Only I haven't a dress and so I can't go to this party.

Thirteen Women and the Experiment That Transformed Their Lives

Give your invitation to some friend of yours whose wife will be turned out better than I shall. She thought for several seconds, reckoning up prices and also wondering for how large a sum she could ask without bringing upon herself an immediate refusal and an exclamation of horror from the careful-minded clerk.

He grew slightly pale, for this was exactly the amount he had been saving for a gun, intending to get a little shooting next summer on the plain of Nanterre with some friends who went lark-shooting there on Sundays. Nevertheless he said: "Very well.

The Necklace

I'll give you four hundred francs. But try and get a really nice dress with the money. The day of the party drew near, and Madame Loisel seemed sad, uneasy and anxious. Her dress was ready, however. One evening her husband said to her:. I would almost rather not go to the party. For ten francs you could get two or three gorgeous roses. You know her quite well enough for that. Madame Forestier went to her dressing-table, took up a large box, brought it to Madame Loisel, opened it, and said:. First she saw some bracelets, then a pearl necklace, then a Venetian cross in gold and gems, of exquisite workmanship.

She tried the effect of the jewels before the mirror, hesitating, unable to make up her mind to leave them, to give them up. She kept on asking:. Suddenly she discovered, in a black satin case, a superb diamond necklace; her heart began to beat covetousIy. Her hands trembled as she lifted it. She fastened it round her neck, upon her high dress, and remained in ecstasy at sight of herself. She flung herself on her friend's breast, embraced her frenziedly, and went away with her treasure. The day of the party arrived. Madame Loisel was a success.

The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant (Summary and Review) - Minute Book Report

She was the prettiest woman present, elegant, graceful, smiling, and quite above herself with happiness. All the men stared at her, inquired her name, and asked to be introduced to her. All the Under-Secretaries of State were eager to waltz with her. The Minister noticed her.


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She danced madly, ecstatically, drunk with pleasure, with no thought for anything, in the triumph of her beauty, in the pride of her success, in a cloud of happiness made up of this universal homage and admiration, of the desires she had aroused, of the completeness of a victory so dear to her feminine heart. She left about four o'clock in the morning. Since midnight her husband had been dozing in a deserted little room, in company with three other men whose wives were having a good time.

He threw over her shoulders the garments he had brought for them to go home in, modest everyday clothes, whose poverty clashed with the beauty of the ball-dress. She was conscious of this and was anxious to hurry away, so that she should not be noticed by the other women putting on their costly furs.

But she did not listen to him and rapidly descended-the staircase. When they were out in the street they could not find a cab; they began to look for one, shouting at the drivers whom they saw passing in the distance. They walked down towards the Seine, desperate and shivering. At last they found on the quay one of those old nightprowling carriages which are only to be seen in Paris after dark, as though they were ashamed of their shabbiness in the daylight.

It brought them to their door in the Rue des Martyrs, and sadly they walked up to their own apartment. It was the end, for her. As for him, he was thinking that he must be at the office at ten. She took off the garments in which she had wrapped her shoulders, so as to see herself in all her glory before the mirror. But suddenly she uttered a cry. The necklace was no longer round her neck!

They searched in the folds of her dress, in the folds of the coat, in the pockets, everywhere. They could not find it. They stared at one another, dumbfounded. At last Loisel put on his clothes again. And he went out. She remained in her evening clothes, lacking strength to get into bed, huddled on a chair, without volition or power of thought.

He went to the police station, to the newspapers, to offer a reward, to the cab companies, everywhere that a ray of hope impelled him. She waited all day long, in the same state of bewilderment at this fearful catastrophe. Loisel came home at night, his face lined and pale; he had discovered nothing. That will give us time to look about us. Next day they took the box which had held the necklace and went to the jewellers whose name was inside.

He consulted his books. What if we shared what we desired?

Several weeks, dozens of phone calls, and one great leap of faith later, Jonell and twelve other women bought the necklace together—to be passed along among them all. Lending sparkle in surprising and unexpected ways, the necklace comes to mean something dramatically different to each of the thirteen women. With vastly dissimilar histories and lives, they transcend their individual personalities and politics to join together in an uncommon journey—and what started as a quirky social experiment becomes something far richer and deeper.

The true story of thirteen women who took a risk on an expensive diamond necklace and, in the process, changed not only themselves but a community. Four years ago , in Ventura, California, Jonell McLain saw a diamond necklace in a local jewelry store display window. The necklace aroused desire first, then a provocative question: Why are personal luxuries so plentiful yet accessible to so few? Several weeks, dozens of phone calls, and a leap of faith later, Jonell bought the necklace with twelve other women, with the goal of sharing it.

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Short Stories: The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant

With vastly dissimilar histories and lives, the women show us how they transcended their individual personalities and politics to join together in an uncommon journey. What started as a quirky social experiment became something far richer and deeper, as the women transformed a symbol of exclusivity into a symbol of inclusiveness. They discovered that sharing the necklace among themselves was only the beginning; The more they shared with others, the more profound this experience—and experiment—became.

Original, resonant, and beautifully told, this book is an inspiring story about a necklace that became greater than the sum of its links, and about thirteen ordinary women who understood the power of possibility, who touched the lives of a community, and who together created one extraordinary experience. More about Cheryl Jarvis. Sweet and touching, it also manages to make you think about what really matters in life.

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How this piece of jewelry transformed the lives of the participants is the subject of a highly readable book that is part memoir, part metaphor and all charm. Louis Post-Dispatch. A Conversation Between Dr. What attracted you to writing our story? By the end of the meeting, I was hooked.


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RW: What changed your mind? RW: Did anything else persuade you to write our story?