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Part comedy of manners, part treasure hunt, the first novel from the writer David Sedaris calls “perfectly, relentlessly funny”.
Kezia, Nathaniel, and Victor are reunited for the extravagant wedding of a college friend. Now at the tail end of their twenties, they arrive completely absorbed in their own lives—Kezia the second-in-command to a madwoman jewelry designer in Manhattan; Nathaniel the former literary cool kid, selling his wares in Hollywood; and the Eeyore-esque Victor, just fired from a middling search engine. They soon slip back into old roles: Victor loves Kezia. Kezia loves Nathaniel. Nathaniel loves Nathaniel.
In the midst of all this semi-merriment, Victor passes out on the mother-of-the-groom’s bedroom. He wakes to her jovially slapping him across the face. Instead of a scolding, she offers Victor a story she’s never even told her son, about a valuable necklace that disappeared during the Nazi occupation of France.
And so a madcap adventure is set into motion, one that leads Kezia, Nathaniel, and Victor from Miami to New York and LA to Paris and across France until they converge at the estate of Guy de Maupassant, author of the classic short story “The Necklace.”
Heartfelt, suspenseful, and told with Sloane Crosley’s inimitable spark and wit, The Clasp is a story of friends struggling to fit together now that their lives haven’t gone as planned, of how to separate the real from the fake. Such a task might be possible when it comes to precious stones, but it is far more difficult to pull off with humans.
I took so much pleasure in every sentence of The Clasp, fell so completely under the spell of its narrative tone--equal parts bite and tenderness, a dash of rue--and became so caught up in the charmingly dented protagonists and their off-kilter caper, that the book's emotional power, building steadily and quietly, caught me off-guard, and left me with a lump in my throat.
The Clasp reads like The Goonies written by Lorrie Moore. A touching but never sentimental portrait of a trio of quasi-adults turning into adult adults, this is one of those rare deeply literary books that also features -- a plot! From the shores of Florida to the coast of Normandy, wonderful, unforgettable things happen in this enormously hilarious novel. And they are written in a language so beautiful, I gnashed my teeth at Sloane Crosley's talent.