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The Jewel Box

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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  170 ratings  ·  84 reviews
Back in the Sixties while Motown music filled the airwaves, naïve Jill Novak acknowledged her knack for choosing losers when boring Husband Number One vanished, leaving her to support their two-year-old. Afflicted with planning deficit disorder, the perpetual daydreamer soon morphs from small town Jill to sophisticated big city Cherie, but a new name does not a new life br ...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published March 13th 2013 by Createspace
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 803)
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Karl Wiggins
WHY isn’t this a TV Drama?

This is a really super book, and I was very sad when it came to an end.

I’ve never met C. Michelle McCarty, but this book is written with such clear vision that at least part of it must be autobiographical, and I’d be willing to bet that the ‘C’ in her first name stands for Cherie.

Regardless of whether this is autobiographical or complete fiction, there are some great books in the realist tradition, depicting contemporary social realities and the lives and everyday activ
...more
Wanda Hartzenberg
The Jewel Box

When I started this book I was a bit nervous about the setting and the implication of where the story started for the general theme of the book!
Turns out I was both correct and wrong.
The book starts out in a top-less bar but it is in no way an erotic story. Frankly it has no scenes in it that might offend. So this fear was negated.
I was however correct in the setting becoming a theme although the theme was one of hope, love and bumpy starts true to real life.

The characters are mo
...more
Books
Don’t let the awful cover fool you. It hides one magnificent, intelligently-written, unforgettable story about enduring love! And those who’ve been following my reviews know by now that I avoid love stories like the plague. One of my fellow bookworm friends who have the same taste in books I have, insisted I read this gem of a novel, and no matter how skeptical I was at first (mainly due to the cover), I agreed to read and review The Jewel Box...and I was hooked and totally in love with this boo ...more
Lynn Worton
I was recommended this book, so I thought I would give it a try.

Jill Novak is a divorced woman and a single mother of one child. She is a woman trying to make a living to keep herself and her child off the streets. She moves to the city of Houston and changes her name to Cherie. The rest, they say, is history! I really liked this character and enjoyed watching her grow throughout the book.

I must admit that I wasn't sure what I was getting into when I began reading this book. I was expecting a r
...more
Nikki Bywater
The Jewel Box is a love story that is told over a few decades. It tells the story of single-mum Cherie, who meets Gabriel in a bar she is working in. This begins their rollercoaster of a love affair, destined to be together but life keeps pulling them apart. As the years go by something keeps pulling them together but will it is strong enough not to tear them both apart.

This is a beautiful storyline, a romantic love story that is not too mushy, true to life and a really good read. I liked the ch
...more
Mary Adair
“Life is a lesson. Take notes…” on page 33. I love this line from the Jewel Box, and to me, it sums up the storyline in a wonderful way. The Jewel Box is an absorbing, well-written story of a young woman struggling to overcome and learn from her mistakes while living her life to the fullest.

I loved this book! There were so many things within its pages that took me back in time. I love it when a book can make you cry as well as laugh and even get angry with a character.
The story begins when Jill
...more
Kendra
There are a few interesting details about The Jewel Box that people should take note of. This particular book is set in Texas, which I personally haven't seen in many romance novels -- at least modern ones. The second thing is, the protagonist is an older lady, although the story is told largely in delightful flashbacks that blend in with the modern-day narrative seamlessly. Cherie is straight-laced to the point of being a stick in the mud, but we learn through the course of the book that it was ...more
Anne (Angel Anne Reviews) Nelson
I received my copy of "The Jewel Box" from the author herself for my enjoyment, and to follow is my fair and unbiased review as to my view ofthis novel.

Wow, what a wonder blast into the past as I drove through the pages of this amazing debut novel by Author C.Michelle McCarty. Love, love the Motown era.

Michelle has woven such terrific characters for us to fall in love with throughout this story. It's a story of many live choices, some good, and some bad. But the thing is that as we make those ch
...more
Jenny Bynum Black Words-White Pages
Dec 20, 2013 Jenny Bynum Black Words-White Pages rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All Romantics who love a happy ending
Recommended to Jenny Bynum by: Wanda Hartzenberg
The Jewel Box

I was thrown head first into a world of romance that exceeded my expectations of this book. Grant it, it was out of my genre's comfort zone, but never judge a book til you have dove into it's pages.

This book blew me away and took me by surprise. I felt as if I was living the words in the story with a clear picture in my head. I absolutely loved the humor, the characters, and the plot. The story just poured through and left me wanting to take my time and actually enjoy this story and
...more
Jon Silva
The Jewel Box is a delightful character driven story that covers the life of Jill/Cherie over a 25 year period. From beginning to end, McCarty does a good job of engaging the reader with her characters' flaws and foibles. Her characters are easy to care about (even Delilah) and I eagerly turned the pages to learn their destiny. I enjoyed Beau's words of wisdom and his recurring jack of clubs trick throughout the story. The bottom line is, this is a flat out good read.

Great debut novel! I highly
...more
Charles
At the end of the book, embedded within the acknowledgements is the revelation that this is the author’s first published novel. Until I reached that point, I had no clue that that was the case. The dialog is snappy, the metaphors are clever and the characters are sometimes cranky, other times charming but at all times interesting. It is a love story where two people are the love of each other’s lives, yet seem unable to stay with each other and compensate by being involved with people that are ...more
Travis Casey
Sadly, anyone can write a book these days. All one has to do is look through Amazon's catalog to find a whole host of clueless writers. However it takes skill and dedication to the craft to be a top-notch storyteller, and that is exactly what C. Michelle McCarty is.

The story isn't rushed which I liked because I wanted to enjoy the author's writing skills as much as the story itself. It's laid out in such a manner I felt like I was there. I loved the little details that were thrown in to create
...more
C.L. Roman
McCarty's The Jewel Box is an interesting cross between irreverent romp and heartfelt women's fiction that manages to combine laughter and gritty realism, often on the same page. I found myself laughing out loud (literally - people stared) in the first couple of pages and on the whole, enjoyed the book very much.

On the downside, the book makes the classic first person error of having only one fully fleshed character - the narrator. Towards the middle of the book I got a bit frustrated with main
...more
Rebecca Ann Baker
This is contemporary romanceI written mostly from one point of view. I was engulfed by the characters in this book, they really made the story come to life. Beau, Cherie, Gabriel and even Nikki you could feel the emotions though the story love, pain, happiness and sadness, all the ups and downs feel realistic it was heart wrenching watching cherie handle what happens to Sean. .Once I picked this book up I did not set it down until the end. Michelle McCarty writing is fabulous she grabs the reade ...more
Khamneithang Vaiphei
The Jewel Box by C. Michelle McCarty is a quick read set in Houston with an impressive cast of characters ranging from a reluctant topless dancer to a loud-mouth who discharges nothing but vulgarity, people who are as mottled and diverse as night and day. It is a story that convincingly portrays the attitude and mentality of the people in the 1970s t0 1980s.

Michelle narrates the story of Cherie, who is a single-mother, and tells her story of affection, hurt, and existence. It is a moving and poi
...more
Deborah Bean
Michelle McCarty knows how to grab a reader’s attention and heart strings. The Jewel Box is a work of fiction that allowed the reader to feel like they made a new friend. It is a sweet romance that spans through the life of a single mother trying to make a living and find Mr. Right.

The Jewel Box covers the twists and turns that Jill’s life takes when she decides to leave an unhappy marriage. When her friend talks her into working at a go-go club, Jill is paralyzed by fear. She starts using the n
...more
Dora Mills
To be honest I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It started off with a very popular phrase “that people come into our lives for different reason”, which is Cherie’s impression of the relationship between her and her friend Delilah. The story is set in Texas and is about a woman Jill most affectionately known as Cherie throughout the book. The book has a lot of humor. And the writer’s ability to switch from the present to the past with the introduction of music symbolizes true talent.
The characters
...more
Scott
Not typically a fan of romance novels, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed The Jewel Box by C Michelle McCarty. This very well written non-traditional romance will suck you in with the raw emotion and the exceptional character development. Even the secondary characters are developed to the point that you feel like you know them. You feel for them when they hurt and celebrate when things go right.

Jill Novak aka Cherie is a single divorced young mother who starts off with no skills and no direct
...more
Casia Courtier
I didn't know how to react when I started to read this book. An important set piece in the story is a topless bar by the name of THE JEWEL BOX. Being a bit prudish myself, I was a bit hesitant that this book would be bordering upon the obscene. I mean, come on, the time is the sixties and an important setting is a topless bar. Anyone would think that at first.

I was wrong. This book is a coming of age for an already adult woman. It is about relationships among family and friends. It is about matu
...more
Michelle Randall
Follow the life saga of a naive young, small town Texas girl from the late 1960's when she was a young newlywed looking to get out of town until the present. Jill Novak is pretty and spunky, but when it comes to the real world and life, she knows almost nothing. At 18 she marries the first guy that promises her a way out of the small town of Lake Jackson, Kent Novak and they are gone. Married life turns out to be a whole lot different than she expected or planned, and it's not all her fault, nee ...more
Thalia
The Jewel Box, by Michelle McCarty, is a unique and interesting romance novel. I was hooked by the first quote…”A wise man once told me the universe drops bizarre beings into our lives for the purpose of developing our souls”…and then main character Cherie’s response: “Apparently the cosmos deems my soul a work in progress, because here comes another dose of crazy.” And herein starts the story, with Cherie having an extended flashback of her full and more-than-interesting life in which she has c ...more
Elizabeth Ehlen
The Jewel Box is a novel based on the memories of main character, Cherie. It is largely composed of her fond recollections of her string of lovers and positive associations with a topless club called the Jewel Box where she was once a waitress in the late 60’s and early 70’s. It was at the Jewel Box that she met the love of her life, although their relationship was rather rocky with a lot of off again/on again drama.

Cherie is something of a tormented soul, always looking for the one silver bull
...more
Lauren
Jewelbox review


Cherie is having tough luck finding the one. Deep down she knows Gabriel is the man of her dreams, but something always gets in their way. There is alot of back and forth between the two, at times you just want to smack them!! I do believe the heart knows what it wants, even if its not time for it. I think the author did a great job easing us into the story and giving it proper closure. Great read for the romantic at heart. WaAR
Shannon
This is my review for The Jewel Box by C. Michelle McCarty. The opinions expressed are my own and were in no way influenced by anyone else.

This book surprised me. I'm normally not one for what could be described as "Chick Lit" but the description of this book had me interested. The description promised a cast of characters that wind their way through the life of a small-town girl who takes on big-city life. It promised a gorgeous transsexual, groping cop, ditzy quasi-stalking neighbor and a Mr.
...more
S.J.B. Gilmour
I'm not usually drawn into fond trips down memory lane, but McCarty's The Jewel Box isn't your usual such tale. I'm serious. Normally I'd get a few pages in if I'm lucky before tossing the book aside. So often writers of books in this kind of genre make the mistake of deifying their protagonists. Not McCarty. Texan Jill ("Cherie") is delightfully flawed, and her tale of tumbling from one situation to another is as captivating as Alice's trip down the rabbit hole. Add to that her well researched ...more
Grady
`Regrets, I've had a few...'

C. Michelle McCarty lives in Texas, always has, and knows the twang of the accent well - as well as the style of living that comes only from being IN a place for so many years. Though she was born with a love of writing (`I wrote asinine poems and short stories'), events in her life such as school, marriage, childbirth, and divorce forced her to take jobs that actually paid simply to pay her way, jobs such as owning her own hair salon and employment agency to writing
...more
Angel Sefer
A fun road trip back in time!

The Jewel Box offers Southern charm in a thirty year tapestry focusing on Jill-Cherie, who slowly matures over each decade. In flashback method, Ms. McCarty uses music and current events of each era to take readers on a trip from the 60s through Y2K. Characters are well developed - even those with minimal parts, however my favorite was intelligent and charismatic, Beau. Our female lead protagonist stumbles in and out of countless relationships and other calamities, y
...more
Kelsey
This book is different than any other book I’ve read and it was so nice to find an author that could create such a realistic story that made me feel more like a true story than a work of fiction. I really loved how the author made the time period come alive to me. I was born in the 80s so I couldn’t relate at all, yet I got such a good idea of what it was like, the music references were a big plus to me too. I can’t get over how believable McCarty’s characters are, I really became invested in Ch ...more
Robin Perron
The Jewel Box by C Michelle McCArty takes us through the roller coaster life of Jill Novak, affectionately known as Cherie by everyone but her mother. Cherie has many love interests throughout this book but always keeps being pulled back to the same love. This story makes you feel for all of the characters not just our male and female leads. Cherie’s spunk and raw emotions make you which you could help her. Beau’s wisdom make you wish that you knew him. Gabe’s spunk will make you laugh out loud. ...more
Andrea
The Jewel Box is a great debut novel. For lovers of romance books, this is a delight. Full of intrigue and lively characters that get tangled up in life's web of surprises, this fast paced and well written book keeps you moving through time. The characters are well developed, well described, and their interaction convincing and real. Vivid descriptions of Houston transports you to the city and its outskirts, and paints a great picture of the city's development throughout 3-4 decades. The author ...more
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“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~ Anais Nin” 0 likes
“To laugh is to risk appearing the fool. To weep is to risk being called sentimental. To reach out to another is to risk involvement. To expose feelings is to risk showing your true self. To place your ideas and your dreams before them is to risk being called naive. To love is to risk not being loved in return. To live is to risk dying. To hope is to risk despair, and to try is to risk failure. But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing and becomes nothing.” 0 likes
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