'I am following the traces of a great jewel. All its owners are dead, and the jewel is lost...' Precious stones are thousands of years old. They pass through the hands of owners and smugglers, merchants and thieves. Often the hands leave no trace, but they are there all the same: they leave impressions, invisible, like atoms of hydrogen drawn to ...Read More'I am following the traces of a great jewel. All its owners are dead, and the jewel is lost...' Precious stones are thousands of years old. They pass through the hands of owners and smugglers, merchants and thieves. Often the hands leave no trace, but they are there all the same: they leave impressions, invisible, like atoms of hydrogen drawn to the surface of a diamond. The Love of Stones charts three lives linked by one such jewel. Katherine Sterne searches the goldsmiths' quarters and hidden archives of contemporary London, Tokyo and Istanbul, following the trail of a long-lost jewel: a brooch of rubies, diamonds and pearls once worn by Queen Elizabeth I. Two hundred years earlier, a pair of Iraqi Jewish brothers travel to London, their fortunes made by an unearthed jar of mysterious and priceless stones. An epic story spanning two continents and six centuries, The Love of Stones follows three very different people, each in their own way consumed by the same desire. At the heart of their lives is the Three Brethren, the legendary jewel that binds them together in a narrative as clear and irresistible as the facets of a diamond.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2001-11-05 Diamonds may be forever, but tracking down a 15th-century set of rubies is fraught with minute-to-minute tension for jewel dealer Katharine Sterne in British writer Hill's latest, a remarkably accomplished and literate novel that incorporates both historical and intriguing thriller subplots. Obsessed with finding a legendary stone set called "The Three Brethren," Sterne starts her search in Turkey, where she must first locate a rich, eccentric British woman who teases her with a lead about the whereabouts of the gems. As Sterne's quest continues, Hill introduces a parallel historical subplot dealing with the provenance of the stones. A key part of the collection's history is traced through the journey of Salman and Daniel Levy, Iranian jeweler brothers who emigrate to England, where they work on an important project for Queen Elizabeth I. Masterfully juxtaposing alluring historical detail and exotic locales as he narrates the story of the gems, Hill sends his protagonist on a globe-trotting adventure that culminates with Sterne's trip to Japan, where she unearths the final clues while trying to stay one step ahead of a nefarious, unnamed third party. Hill does a better job of bringing history to life than he does the driven but emotionally repressed Katharine Sterne, while the Levys fare better as a more lively counterpoint to the stone's fascinating and illustrious history. The dexterous combination of historical scope, lush yet precise storytelling, and twist-and-turn subterfuge and intrigue makes this sophisticated novel both challenging and edifying. (Jan.) Forecast: While Hill has previously published a novel (Underground) and a short story collection in the U.K., this is his first book to appear in the U.S. Picador's bookstore promotion contest, whose winner will receive a gift from Tiffany's, and an eye-catching jacket featuring Queen Elizabeth should attract attention to what could be one of this season's sleepers. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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