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Precious Things

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  275 ratings  ·  50 reviews
In the tradition of gloriously absorbing, lush and moving women's fiction by authors such as Kate Morton, Lucinda Riley and Joanne Harris comes PRECIOUS THINGS.

Normandy, France, 1891: a young woman painstakingly sews an intricate beaded collar to her wedding dress, the night before her marriage to someone she barely knows. Yet Aimee longs for so much more ...

Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 21st 2016 by HarperCollins - AU
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Average rating 3.51  · 
Rating details
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Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
A very enjoyable read.

My View:
This is a rather remarkable read. It is subtle; the individual sub stories/chapters are personal and intimate and slowly draw you into to the overarching story – of Maggie’s life and her daily struggles juggling paid work, motherhood and relationships. I found Kelly Doust’s writing to be intelligent and her observations of relationships and family to be insightful and honest. The more I read of this novel the more invested I was in Maggie’s life, the more I found
I thoroughly enjoyed this historical mystery with a difference.

In present day London, Maggie - an antiques valuer and auctioneer with a specialisation in textiles - discovers an intricately beaded vintage item, which she thinks could be either a collar or a coronet/crown of sorts. She carefully cleans it and becomes so smitten with the piece that she takes it along with her as part of her show-and-tell on a daytime TV interview. Later she is approached by Francesca, who saw the interview and
There are some excellent ideas and issues contained within this book, with its eye-catching cover. I have seen other GR readers rate this book very highly, which pricked my enthusiasm. However, for me the story fell flat and I was rather underwhelmed. I think the concept was great (though not original) and the plot lines worked well. For me the writing style was not well-polished, and downright clunky in parts. It was like the author had enrolled at a university Creative Writing course, and had ...more
Have you ever gone vintage shopping and wondered about the history of the precious things you find? That's the main idea behind Precious Things by Kelly Doust.

The story is centred in the present day around Maggie who loves her job at an auction house. She gets to spend her days finding precious things. The only problem is she is finding it difficult to keep up with her job and her family life at the same time.

When she finds a gorgeous hand-made beaded piece she winds up playing detective to
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
Jul 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-books
Precious Things is the delicate tale of the history, lives and loves behind an exquisite antique dress collar. Woven into this intricate novel is the story of a young woman in the present day, Maggie, who discovers the collar in an abandoned box in her job as an antiques auctioneer. Upon her unearthing of the collar, Maggie feels inspired to find out the origins of the collar. What follows is an absorbing journey that takes Maggie from modern day London, right across the globe to a range of ...more
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Um, so I possibly loved this way more than I should have, and definitely way more than expected.

One thing about this book:It is not boring.

You may be wondering why I have the need to clarify that? Well, you see, generally when I pick up book like this I am bored to death by the end of chapter one.

Contemporary books, especially ones with a historical fiction aspect, can be so slowwwwww. But not this one.

Honestly, right from the beginning I was hooked. I wanted to know what will happen to Maggie's
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved this novel read in eAudio book format, what a wonderful narration by Mel Hudson who carefully and cleverly brings to life the wonderful cast of characters Maggie, Tim, Stella and Pearl as well as the many stories that take us back to the start to where the thread is first woven and the intrigue begins. There are so many layers as we look back at the path of a coronet - a beady and sparkly little treasure which touches the lives of Aimee, Bella, Lily, Francesca and Ulricha -it ...more
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, audiobooks
I won this book via a Goodreads giveaway.
But before my copy arrived I had the opportunity to listen to an audio book version.

For me, the narrator is the make or break of an audio book and I think this narrator did a great job.
I really enjoyed delving into the different time lines and journey of the beaded coronet.
As with most dual timeline stories, it is the modern day version I enjoyed the most. I really felt for Maggie as she struggled with the complexities of her lifestyle, work and family.
MarciaB - Book Muster Down Under
In the contemporary storyline we meet Maggie, an auctioneer trying to find balance between motherhood, marriage and her career. When she buys a box of old items for herself from an auction, she thinks nothing further of its contents until one day when she is scrabbling around in it and comes across a beautifully crafted coronet.

It is when someone sees a picture in the newspaper of the coronet and approaches Maggie about helping her with some research into the item’s origins that the story begins
Natalie  S
May 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Oh you pretty things… Kelly Doust’s debut novel is a celebration of all things precious. It’s a rich, historic fiction book that intricately threads together the stories of the owners of a beaded coronet. This fashion piece is like a cat with nine lives because over the course of the book we learn that it has lived in different countries and continents and has enjoyed being reinvented as a choker, headband, collar and artwork.

Doust has previously written five non-fiction books about craft and
Jessica M
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Precious Things is one of my favourite adult fiction books of the year. It’s a slow-burner, but it’s beautifully written with wonderful characters and hidden historical gems.

Kelly Doust has done a marvellous job of writing an adult fiction book that resembles historical fiction as well as contemporary fiction. Precious Things follows many characters throughout the past few centuries, however the main character is Maggie, an auctioneer in modern-day London. She comes across a crumpled, neglected
Monique Mulligan
Apr 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
A beaded collar, found scrunched at the bottom of a box of old junk. What’s its story? That’s what Maggie, a modern-day auctioneer in London, wonders when she finds the collar, cleans it, and recognises that once, long ago, it was someone’s precious thing. Drawing on her own love of finding precious things, author Kelly Doust delivers a captivating read about the things in life we hold dear, both material and emotional.

When Maggie is asked to find out more about the collar’s history, she’s more
Rowena Holloway
Apr 25, 2016 rated it really liked it

If you love vintage or antiques, if you’ve ever wondered about the story behind the items in the antiques store, you’ll adore Precious Things, a tale of Maggie, a modern woman at a cross-road in her career and life, who explores the history behind a beaded collar that is more than a century old.

Stitched together by Maggie’s story are vignettes of the collar’s history, from the woman who created it to its various owners and the family mystery which the collar’s discovery helps reveal. These
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Precious Things by Australian author Kelly Doust follows a handmade beaded collar through history to the present, touching on the women who owned it and wore it in the past.

Maggie is an auctioneer in London and she comes across the collar in a box of neglected lace and fabric and is immediately drawn to it.

Interspersed between Maggie's narrative of busy family life in present day London, are individual vignettes from the previous owners of the collar, from 1890s France to the present day.
Kate (Lillytales)
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
I popped the book on my bookshelf and thought to myself, 'I'll get to it in a little while...' but for one reason or another, I found myself picking it up and reading it straight away.

The main character in Precious Things isn't a person; it's a coronet, the lace embroidered collar which takes pride of place on the front cover. Maggie, an auctioneer living in present-day London, comes across the coronet in one of the old estate houses she visits to find antiques and vintage collections. Maggie
Maree Hodgess
May 15, 2016 rated it liked it
There were so many relateable moments in this book!

The way Maggie had to try and balance her family life and her career is something I think a lot of parents will find familiar. I like the way the author explored the guilt involved as well and how difficult it can be sometimes to know if you are doing the right thing when sacrifices have to be made.
The family's growing needs and her aspirations for a career that is starting to show a lot of promise are both vying for her undivided attention and
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway and really enjoyed it. Loved the characters especially Maggie who has never resolved the problems with her parents and still feels unworthy of love. She can't seem to find that happy balance between a wonderful, enriching job and home and family. The discovery of the beaded coronet gives her a wonderful chance to try and discover it's past and in doing so sort out her own life before its too late. The search for the origins of the coronet was ...more
Mar 30, 2016 rated it did not like it
This started off with a very interesting character named Aimee living in 1891 then jumps to a modern day Maggie set in London 2015. It tells the story of a piece of handiwork a beaded collar that was created by Aimee but ends up in the hands of Maggie. The story jumps from owner to owner throughout the years but although it was beautifully written and well researched I just found jumping from owner to owner annoying and it was like reading numerous books when I just wanted to read about Aimee ...more
Nicole Alexander
May 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed Precious Things. The interweaving narrative moved around a lot - timeline/characters, and there were certainly some characters that I could have spent more time with than others, which is invariably always the case with interweaving stories. At times I got a little lost, but an enjoyable read.
Mar 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: doust-kelly
How I love this book! It has so many of the elements that I love and the story of a precious piece is simply enchanting. If you have ever looked at and held a precious thing, you will enjoy reading the history of the item in this story. I believe Kelly Doust is planning another fiction story and I look forward to reading it. Meanwhile, I will start on her non-fiction books!
Apr 01, 2016 rated it liked it
I picked this book up as the premise is so interesting and appealing - to trace the story behind particular old antiques/pieces - what have they witnessed? And although Doust has done a good job, I think by narrowing the field somewhat, it could have created more impact.

Full review at:
Apr 28, 2016 rated it liked it
I did enjoy this book but the history of the lace collar interspersed with the modern day tale did not pull together very well. I lost track of some of the characters and couldn't see where they fit in. At the end the threads were joined but not very satisfactorily.
Mar 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
I received a copy of this book from goodreads.
I absolutely loved this book. I engaged with each of the characters and found myself wanting to know more about them all. The book is a clever weaving of all their stories.
Megan Ogier
Jul 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Loved it! The characters are fascinating and the story reveals itself slowly and beautifully
Lorraine Williams
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic, enchanting, easy to read book ... Can't wait for the next one by this author!!
Jane Connor
Jan 14, 2019 rated it liked it
In the tradition of gloriously absorbing, lush and moving women's fiction by authors such as Kate Morton, Lucinda Riley and Joanne Harris comes PRECIOUS THINGS.

Normandy, France, 1891: a young woman painstakingly sews an intricate beaded collar to her wedding dress, the night before her marriage to someone she barely knows. Yet Aimee longs for so much more ...

Shanghai, 1926: dancing sensation and wild child Zephyr spies what looks like a beaded headpiece lying carelessly discarded on a ballroom
This is an ambitious and unusual novel in that it traces the story and secrets not of a person but of an object: the glittering coronet or pearl beaded lace collar. Maggie is an auctioneer in modern day London who finds the piece. Her love of antiques and the stories behind them shine through, and help unravel the tortuous history of the object. Beginning life in 1891 Normandy, as a handmade collar a bride sews onto her gown, the coronet makes its way to a circus in Shanghai and is later found ...more
May 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Not to thrilled with this. I anticipated a Geraldine Brooks .. People of the Book type of read. The story of an amazing price of textile and how it travelled through time and the impact it had.
Sadly it was more of a Mills & Boon love fest and how the textile piece impacted personal relationships.
The story of Maggie, our modern day character was all that kept me going. But even then I found the book a little ho hum.
Looking forward to starting a new book.
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
The complicated structure ultimately caused me to lose interest in this potentially fascinating story about a piece of embroidery which is made by a young girl for her wedding and passed on to other women over more than a century. Each woman has an interesting story but the novel was so episodic that it was almost impossible to engage with any of them other than 21st century Maggie, who was probably the least attractive character.
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm rating this book as 'ok' because whilst I enjoyed the storyline, it wasn't quite easy enough to follow and I got lost among the cast of characters, jumps in stories and still haven't any idea how the collar made bits of its journey nor what happened with the wedding-not-wedding-actual-wedding of Aimee.
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Kelly Doust is the author of the novels 'Dressing the Dearloves' and 'Precious Things'; 'A Life in Frocks' (a memoir); vintage fashion bible 'Minxy Vintage: how to customise & wear vintage clothing' and The Crafty Minx series of craft books.

With a background in book publishing and publicity, Kelly has worked in the UK, Hong Kong and Australia, and has freelanced for Vogue, Australian Women’s
“there to ground her. Eventually Maggie returned to Bonninghams, placing Pearl in Tim’s work creche the week after she turned five months old. She’d felt awful at first, as she shrugged on her slightly tight, slightly scratchy pre-baby suit and headed out the door. It felt good later though, at work, knowing that she had the next seven hours to do what she loved. But Maggie had felt terribly guilty admitting that even to herself. That had been almost four years ago, and Pearl had grown into a determined, spirited little girl. Maggie felt her heart twist with love and guilt every time she thought about her. She wanted to work and she wanted to spend more time with her daughter. So why couldn’t she have both? There was just no easy solution. Sometimes it seemed to Maggie that the balance between work and home was as delicate and finely wrought – and as prone to snapping under pressure – as the gold chain hanging around her neck. Maggie’s fingers brushed over Tim’s and” 0 likes
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