Victor, Kezia and Nathanial are college friends who meet up at another former classmate’s wedding. When Victor passes out in the bedroom of the groom’s mother, he wakes up to find her in good spirits and telling him a story about a missing necklace that even her own son doesn’t know about. Absorbed in their own lives and hanging onto a friendship rooted in the past, the trio jet-set from Los Angeles and New York over to France – each with their own agendas.
I originally heard about this book after Mindy Kaling recommended it online, and it sounded like a fun, crazy adventure to check out. Told through alternating narratives between the three friends, the story moves along at a good pace leading to some outrageous scenarios and unbelievable revelations. Crosley’s writing is filled with humour and wit, so it’s easy to see how Kaling is a fan. Some of the antics felt like it could have happened in an episode of The Mindy Project or other similar type comedies.
I loved the tie-in with Guy de Maupassant’s short story The Necklace throughout the novel and I suppose that was a reason why Crosley’s book wasn’t titled the same. I thought The Clasp possibly a bit misnamed. True, a clasp does factor into the story but, to me, it was such a minor sub-sub-sub plot to the overall tale and I didn’t think it significant enough to have it be the title. Speaking of titles, the cover of this book is also a bit heavy on the “clasp” font. Those squiggles, which honestly look more like snakes or worms, are more chains than necklaces or clasps. If I hadn’t seen it recommended by someone, I probably would never have given this book a second glance.
With the previously aforementioned tie-in, and much of the book being set in France, I enjoyed the inclusion of so much French language and cultural elements into the story. Which is why I was surprised to see Ladurée’s macarons being referred to (many times) as macaroons. For those who know me, you know it’s a big pet peeve of mine because they are absolutely 100% not the same thing. I am surprised whenever this happens in other books (which is often), that given everything else being so well researched and edited that this is missed – which, true, is relatively minor in the grand scheme of things. (That being said, thank you to Crosley who did address this on Twitter 🙂 )
Despite these hang-ups I had, it did not diminish my enjoyment of the actual story whatsoever. I got so invested in the three protagonists and wondering how their predicaments would work out. The writing was humourous and observations were poignant. Some of the small throwaway moments were funny because Crosley was able to capture the truth of these mundane occurrences that many of us could relate to.