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Nov 21, 2011

House of Diamonds by Karen Jones Gowen

Posted by Unknown  |  at  2:31 AM

Author:    Karen Jones Gowen
Series:      Y
Genre:      Literary Fiction
Publisher: WiDoPublishing (November 2011)

In this sequel to Gowen’s debut novel, Uncut Diamonds, she follows sisters Cindy and Marcie as they reach a crossroads in their lives. House of Diamonds tells the story of two women, one facing opportunity the other tragedy. Can their bond endure? Marcie pursues her dream of becoming a published writer while Cindy faces a terrible tragedy. In this gripping story of faith, loss and the transcending nature of sacrifice, Gowen gives voice to a beloved baby who has none. She shows the incredible power that comes to families when they pull together to overcome challenges. It is at these times that a house of pain can become a house of diamonds.

  • Marcie McGill takes us through this second instalment of her and her sisters Cindy’s life. It’s mainly through Marcie’s perspective that the story of the two sisters is told to us.
  • Cindy is Marcie’s youngest sister and she is going through a terrible time in her personal life as a parent and financially.
  • Shawn McGill is Marcie’s husband who is looking more and more like an absent father through no fault of his own.
  • Karl is a school teacher and very active member of the his church. He is also the slightly overwhelmed husband of Cindy, a guilt ridden father who believes his past behaviour has somehow contributed to their youngest son’s condition.
  • The candor with which family dynamics are dwelt with is both amazing and uncomfortably realistic. Karen doesn’t make this a novel pegged for happy endings but to reflect a real life experience. As an outsider you empathise, encourage, get happy for,  get angry with and even want to condemn the sisters  for their thoughts and actions. Very much what we go through in daily life. It’s not perfect but is a series of choices and experiences.
  • House Of Diamonds has a significant but not overwhelming  spiritual element and I’ve never read a book that has the Mormon background in it so I found the bits of detail about the faith quite interesting. Especially the similarities in terminology in comparison to the Christian faith as well as the bits that showed the fundamental difference in the basis for belief.
  • A supporting character that really engaged me was the old professor who made his mission to exterminate Marcie’s writing career. He feels she is a charlatan who breeds with no regard for the consequences of overpopulation. I must say I also can’t imagine what possesses a woman to get pregnant 7 times in one life time and in the eighties. I suspect I’d also have been looking down my nose at her a bit. I must say I particularly loved the way Karen developed this character. He was a surprisingly strong influences on Marcie’s decisions and feelings towards her writing career.
  • On very few occasions I found little repetitions of things that had been said before. For example of something that we had witnessed previously being told back to us again by one of the significant characters, usually Marcie as she either thinks about it or brings us up to speed.

Karen has an amazing talent for rich and meaningful prose. The moment you open the first page  you are captivated by her writing style. Through her narrator she gets into a conversation with you and it feels as though  her characters are letting you in on their deepest thoughts and feelings. I was so pleasantly surprised  by how deeply I enjoyed this book, it was a real treasure. Well done Karen and congratulations.
Rating: A well deserved,


About the Author

Most know me as the author to Fabulosity Reads and in actual fact, that is the previous name of this blog. I have since then moved my books to a Wordpress self-hosted blog so that I can have a place to show a different side of me which I am equally passionate about and that is marketing and personal development. I hope you will love being here, watching me grow as I share and learn. My highest hope is that we will grown and learn together in all disciplines affecting our lives. I'd LUUURRRVE to hear from you, so don't be shy...


  1. Great review! See, Karen, nothing to be afraid of :o) And nice to meet you, Wendy! New follower :o)

  2. Great to see you Jessica. Thanks for the follow.

  3. Thanks for the review, Wendy! I better not tell you how many children my husband and I actually have LOL. (But here's a clue: #9 spent two years in South Africa and calls it his "homeland.")

  4. P.S. I am truly touched by your praise of my writing. *blushing*

  5. Yay!! Five sparkly golden beautiful stars for the equally amazing KarenG!!!!! Awww brilliant!!

    Thanks Wendy!

    Take care

  6. Wow! What a great review. It is obvious you actually read the whole book from beginning to end. Unlike so many other reviewers today. I don't personally know Karen that I've been reading a good amount of her writing lately and I have found much of what you have said to be the same as my own opinion. I love how you did a summary of each character and their motivations and I appreciate your suggestions for improvement. I will definitely be back to this site to read more book reviews, thank you so much for your hard work

  7. What a great review. I agree. The book is exactly how you say.

  8. Five stars! You had no worries, Karen.

  9. Thank you all for coming by to read my super super long reviews. I always worry that I go on for so long that the reader will get put off. So I deeply appreciate your comment Donna. Karen did an awesome job.

  10. Can't wait to read both these books.

  11. Excellent review. I liked the book, too. As Wendy said, there were some repetitions, but overall it's a very good read. I especially liked the writing group sequence that I thought was filled with very credible suspense.
    Ann Best, Memoir Author

  12. Fabulous review! Congrats to Karen :)

  13. Great review. Count me in as your newest follower.

  14. Excellent review, Wendy. I'm glad to have found your site.

    And hurrah for you, Karen. I wish you much success.

  15. Great review! I haven't read this one yet, but did her last two. I really liked them a lot.

  16. Yay for Karen. Great review! :)

  17. Wendy, great review. I've seen the cover around but haven't read a review of the book before.

  18. Really love the format of your review, Wendy. And I'm glad to hear you enjoyed House of Diamonds so much, even though it was different from what you normally read. I read the book to, and have to say I agree with your assesement. :) Congrat's, Karen!


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