“My Charmed Life” Book Review and Giveaway

When I first heard about My Charmed Life by Beth Bernstein, I knew I had to read it! In this memoir, she shares her life story through the jewelry she wore, from “rocky romances, precious family connections and searching for a band of gold.” While I knew that I would certainly enjoy the story, I had no idea how much I’d resonate with her feelings, her stories, and how powerful jewelry is in ones life story. In fact, many times I felt like I was reading from the pages of my own life!

my charmed life by beth bernstein
I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

Simply the introduction brought tears to my eyes, as she described a ziploc baggie of jewelry she was handed as her mother unexpectedly passed away. I can only imagine such heartache and grief…and then reliving all the memories that each special piece in the bag carries with it. Personally, I know that each time I wear my grandmother’s opal ring or my Nonie’s engagement ring, I feel as if they’re right there next to me. Images flash before my eyes of our times together.

I just adored the chapter about her wanting to get her ears pierced, and her only ally in the “grand scheme” was her much-loved grandmother. It was written with such young feminine angst that I could honestly feel her deepest yen to get them pierced. (But I won’t tell you how that chapter turned out!) I was emotionally right there with her when growing up, as my dad forbid me to pierce my ears until college graduation, threatening to stop paying my tuition. Luckily, when I tempted fate and went through with it my sophomore year, he didn’t make good on that threat. šŸ˜‰

The way Beth describes her relationship with her niece, Sammie (and later her nephews) is purely magical. She made a gorgeous jewelry box for her to celebrate her birth. As she states on pg. 172, “I wanted to be the first person to purchase her jewelry that she would cherish and remember later on, and that would connect us as it had my grandmother, mom and me.” I, too, gave my niece a jewelry box for her birth, and deemed myself “the jewelry aunt.”

I feel like the author and myself have lived somewhat parallel lives when I read lines such as, “…while I was multitasking — flipping through fashion magazines, writing an article on buying estate jewelry and perusing profiles on Match.com.” Seriously?! I’m not the only one? In fact, much of the book is dedicated to the different relationships Beth has had in her life, and I admire her penchant for foreign men and taking that risk. Her romances take her all over the globe, and in each one, there is a jewelry story as well.

It was through her life experiences that she really found the joy in self-gifting, which you know I’m a huge proponent of! On pg. 197 she reveals, “I learned that it might be easier to find the right ring than the right man.” Oh, how true, sister! Thus began her fabulous practice of self-gifting, with a lovely platinum and diamond eternity band. I completely agree with what she says on pg. 199, “I’ve joined the growing ranks of self-purchasing women who are in touch with their tastes, more confident about their personal styles and know they’ve worked hard and are worth it.”

Well you, my dear readers, are worth it as well. And while I encourage all of you to buy and read this delightful book (because I know you’ll love it!), I do have ONE autographed copy available for you to win! So enter the contest below, and best of luck to you all!

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6 thoughts on ““My Charmed Life” Book Review and Giveaway”

  1. i have a orange saphire ring, pair with the pendant, its my most memorable jewelry ever, because i got it from my mother, its our familly jewelry. One of my aunty also have it, with very similiar shape but with smaller stone.

  2. all my vintage pieces would have to be my faves…i feel they have lived through some incredible “special moments” by those who have owned them…so i need to continue on…and add more special moments…

    loved your description of the book…i can’t wait to read it…i’m crossing my fingers =)

  3. I love the connections to the past gained from an heirloom piece of jewelry. The significance becomes not in the value of the piece, but the story behind its original acquisition and the reason the next recipient is chosen. In these days of $2.99 “disposable” jewelry found in Forever 21 etc. (fun – yes, but not meant to last) to have a cherished piece in one’s wardrobe is – to quote Mastercard – priceless. I wear an aquamarine ring which was part of a set of 4 given to my great grandmother and her 3 sisters upon their high school graduations around 1908 – 1910 and the story behind their lives is the stuff of Victorian novels – just wish the ring could talk!

  4. My mom gave my sister and me beautiful matching heart lockets for Christmas a few years back. I love wearing it because I feel close to my sister and mother each time I have it on!

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