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!
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. 😉
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!