Synopses & Reviews
Part comedy of manners, part treasure hunt, the first novel from the writer whom 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 in 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 Victor, Kezia, and Nathaniel from Miami to New York and L.A. 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 is far more difficult to pull off with humans.
"In her debut novel, The Clasp, Crosley’s talent for extracting hilarity from disappointment crosses over into fiction and thrives there… Amid all the travel and high jinks, the true journey of this book is a philosophical one. The book’s delicious humor and whirlwind plot help the book’s harshest medicine — important-but-sad epiphanies of life’s truths, both beautiful and cold — taste far more enjoyable than it would if delivered by a less-funny writer. The amusing adage "If I have to learn something, I’d rather have fun doing it" fits The Clasp well: Its humor is wildly entertaining, but relevance always shows up at the party." The San Francisco Chronicle
"Crosley is already an established humorist…and her signature wit is sharp as ever here. She is startlingly good at portraying comically awful characters who would seem cartoonish if they weren’t also so recognizable. Crosley is an incisive observer of human nature in general and of a generation in particular…. For all its humor, Crosley’s prose is equally sharp in delineating her characters’ despair. When, late in the novel, Nathaniel finally says the words Kezia has always wanted to hear from him, she wishes she could “give the gift of him saying it to her younger self, the one who needed to hear it.” All at once there is nothing funny, but something all too sad and true, in this highly comic, highly affecting novel." The New York Times Book Review
"Sloane Crosley's debut novel is hilarious, insightful, and full of characters and situations that only Sloane Crosley could devise. The laugh-out-loud observations and dialogue that make her essays such a delight to read shine through in her fiction too. The Clasp is a gem." J. Courtney Sullivan, author of The Engagements
"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." Michael Chabon, author of The Yiddish Policemen's Union
About the Author
Sloane Crosley is the author of the New York Times bestsellers I Was Told There'd Be Cake (a Thurber Prize finalist) and How Did You Get This Number. A frequent contributor to The New York Times, she lives in Manhattan.