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Growing up on the West Coast sounds great, except if you live a small timber town with a limited selection of activities. But as a youngster, Tali Nay’s childhood wasn’t the least bit boring since she zeroed in on a place that became her all-time favorite stomping ground: the local jewelry store. Better known as Carlton’s Jewelers, Nay’s immediate attraction to diamonds quickly turned into obsession. Spellbound by the sparkling qualities of these highly treasured gems, Nay had no idea that her adolescent affection for these precious stones would significantly impact her adult life.

Written in a style that is mixed with wit and charm, rising author Nay unfurls the story about her life-long love with “all things sparkly,” as she puts it. Becoming a regular at Carlton’s after spending countless hours eyeing the glistening showcases, eventually landed Nay a couple summer jobs. Her recollections working at her beloved store go beyond the pieces she actually was able to purchase (at discount prices, of course). For example, her cashier experience and unfamiliarity with store gift-wrapping are nothing more than uproariously funny. She also draws attention to a number of jeweled memories – many of which are tender moments — taken from her childhood, as well as college days, other job experiences, her visits to Tiffany and Company, and her present studies toward a gemologist degree.

Nay’s memoir may appear a bit haphazard since she randomly introduces other topics that are related, in one form or other, to jewelry. But in a roundabout way she aptly makes her points crystal clear at the close of each chapter as she cleverly ties them altogether. Interestingly, the wide-ranging subject matter that she brings up is not just limited to personal accounts. Nay candidly and unabashedly admits that she has her own “jeweled” viewpoints, such as whether or not men should wear jewelry besides wedding bands, how much jewelry a woman should wear, and which stores she doesn’t support and why, to name a few. Dogmatic as they may appear, she does raise some good points.

Also among Nay’s varied subject matter, which she deftly weaves into her storytelling, is a plethora of interesting information about the jewelry industry and gemology (the study of gems) that are both eye opening and thought provoking. For example, she addresses the most common misconceptions about jewelers, how the average person doesn’t know much about jewelry in that “there’s a cheap replacement out there that looks exactly the same,” and how jewelry and Windex go hand in hand. Regarding gemology, Nay touches on what makes a diamond beautiful – focusing on terms such as brightness, fire, and scintillation; background on cubic zirconia; and the somber truth behind cultured pearls.

Although Jeweled is the sincere and outspoken retelling of Nay’s jeweled experiences, her stories invoke the humanness in all of us. Truly a fun and totally engaging read from cover to cover.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 274 pages
Publisher Corner Chapter Press
Publish Date 17-May-2014
ISBN 9780991498659 Buy this Book
Issue October 2014
Category Biographies & Memoirs


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