Pierre Massot, the head of one of the most successful jewelry firms in the world, won’t rest until he reaches the top. He goes to Russia seeking control of newly discovered diamond mines and inexplicably does not return. In his absence, his trusted assistant, Gregoire Lazard, continues to run the House of Massot.
After seven years, Pierre’s wife, Sophie, declares her husband dead, infuriating both her mother-in-law, Katherine, and her son, Thomas, both in denial as Sophie sees it. Thomas will inherit the business but cannot do so for three years because of his age. Lacking any business experience, Sophie bravely takes her place as manager of the firm until Thomas can take over and soon finds that the financial situation at the House of Massot is not as it first appears. Who is responsible for the financial decline? Whom can she trust to help her restore the Massot name? What dark secrets threaten to destroy her family?
Louise Bagshawe’s characters are vivid and memorable. Sophie will be remembered for her innocent vulnerability as well as her courageous spirit. Thomas, the abandoned son, becomes a strong man through the suffering he endures; the reader empathizes as he struggles to love a mother who has become unfamiliar while cherishing the memory of a father whom he once adored. Hugh Montfort, business rival of the House of Massot, surprisingly emerges as someone we don’t need to hate. Even Judy Dean, mistress of both father and son, begs our forgiveness in the end. Father Sabin is quirky and wise.
This novel is an easy to read page-turner. It is not without its surprising twists, and the ending is a stunner. It is easy to see why this author’s works are international bestsellers.
On her web site, Bagshawe credits trips to the library with her mother as a child as the inspiration for her writing career. She reminds us that her books are available in local libraries. Whether you choose to buy it or borrow it, don’t miss Sparkles.