Official Review: Diamonds and Scoundrels by Adrienne Rubin

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AvidBibliophile
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Latest Review: Diamonds and Scoundrels by Adrienne Rubin

Official Review: Diamonds and Scoundrels by Adrienne Rubin

Post by AvidBibliophile »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Diamonds and Scoundrels" by Adrienne Rubin.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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First there was Mexican silver and Italian gold, then sapphires and rubies from Thailand and Hong Kong. Israeli diamonds presented their own allure, and then this author’s gem-laden inventory expanded exponentially from there. In Diamonds and Scoundrels: My Life in the Jewelry Business, businesswoman extraordinaire Adrienne Rubin shares her unbelievable memoir, one sparkling carat (and criminal) at a time. Originally a high school French teacher, Rubin ambitiously became an importer and distributor of fine jewelry, and then eventually opened her very own jewelry store in Beverly Hills, California.

The story begins in the late seventies, where her family of four is living quite comfortably in west LA. While she self-reports being affluently cocooned within a true life of leisure, this stay-at-home mom, with a degree from UCLA, finds her life as a simple homemaker lacking identifiable substance. She busies herself with cookbook committees and children’s cancer funds, but when substitute teaching and charity work fail to provide adequate fulfillment and purpose, she realizes she might be stuck in “the age-old story of the over-educated housewife.” During a vacation with her husband to Mexico City, they stumble upon an opportunity involving a family-owned silversmith company, and Rubin spontaneously becomes a California distributor of their fine silver jewelry pieces.

With a sudden identity that encompasses more than that of just wife and mother, she finds herself navigating a labyrinth of extortionists with questionable ethics. Through trial and error and a significant amount of blood, sweat, and tears, Rubin sacrifices time at home in order to drive daily to buyers, cold call potential retailers, network, persuade, and attend multiple trade shows with her wares. Thieves lurk surreptitiously, and scammers try to exploit her naïve gullibility at every turn. But while shadowy characters and street criminals seem to occupy the greatest threat, it turns out that shareholders, Russian contacts, silent partners, Colombian cocaine traffickers, bankruptcy cases, and friends within your inner circle may the biggest scoundrels of all. When debts and assets, ongoing legal battles, manipulated documentation, and fiduciary duties begin to consume your world, the ambitiously deceitful nature of those around you becomes glaringly apparent.

The true chicanery of that progressive day and age appears on every page, but in a time of perceived sexist subservience, when females had to fight to earn their rightful place in the workforce, Rubin was a devoted trailblazer, determined to bejewel lives and make a lasting mark in the industry. She states: “Every woman with brains and energy to spare needs to find a way to develop herself independently as a fulfilled, independent, and happy individual.” I greatly enjoyed coming across a surprise section of personal and family photos, and a grouping of colored illustrations featuring paintings by Picasso.

There was nothing I specifically disliked about the book, although the recurring mention of financial improprieties, plundering of assets, shareholder stakes and investment blunders can start to seem repetitive throughout some of the later sections that are more densely litigious. I did come across a handful of grammatical errors throughout the 296 pages, but they were minor issues that did not detract from the overall story progression. There is only one instance of profanity, and a single, brief episode of reference to indecent exposure.

I feel this book would be appropriate for any woman who possesses a curiosity or insatiable desire for furthering her business acumen, and also for any mother who has struggled or is struggling with finding the appropriate work-life balance appreciation. The memoir also helpfully concludes with a list of potential book club discussion topics. Even today, the world of entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart, and this sentence of Rubin’s realistically sums up the typical experience of anyone who seeks self-employment:
“I ended up riding a roller coaster from high hopes to heartache, from trust to suspicion, from triumph to frustration, from glee to rage, and from glad to sad and back again.”
I give this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars for being a well-structured and honest account of one brave woman’s ventures into a tricky facet of entrepreneurial self-reliance. It is often said that when you fall, the only place to go is up. If you’ve ever found yourself craving recognition, desiring the power of influence, and feeling the desperate need to be needed, then this is a title I highly recommend. Step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself, you might be pleasantly surprised to discover where your true capabilities lie. Remember to “calculate the risks before you take them, and take the good ones as often as possible.”

******
Diamonds and Scoundrels
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Post by MsH2k »

AvidBibliophile wrote:
11 Feb 2020, 19:55
She states: “Every woman with brains and energy to spare needs to find a way to develop herself independently as a fulfilled, independent, and happy individual.”
So true! It sounds like she stumbled upon quite an exciting business opportunity. I loved your colorful review!

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Post by RetiredOBNurse »

What an interesting book this will be to read! It sounds as if she gave it her all and hit so many different roadblocks despite her best efforts. To be in a jewelry business would be difficult with all the dishonest people that you must cross paths with. Thank you for such a thorough review!

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Latest Review: Diamonds and Scoundrels by Adrienne Rubin

Post by AvidBibliophile »

MsH2k wrote:
12 Feb 2020, 01:41
AvidBibliophile wrote:
11 Feb 2020, 19:55
She states: “Every woman with brains and energy to spare needs to find a way to develop herself independently as a fulfilled, independent, and happy individual.”
So true! It sounds like she stumbled upon quite an exciting business opportunity. I loved your colorful review!
Thanks! It was truly amazing to read about her perseverance, wit, and unwillingness to back down over the decades - even when scoundrels often managed to trick and cheat her with every subsequent deal. Such an inspiring story of going after goals!

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Latest Review: Diamonds and Scoundrels by Adrienne Rubin

Post by AvidBibliophile »

RetiredOBNurse wrote:
12 Feb 2020, 01:58
What an interesting book this will be to read! It sounds as if she gave it her all and hit so many different roadblocks despite her best efforts. To be in a jewelry business would be difficult with all the dishonest people that you must cross paths with. Thank you for such a thorough review!
And she tackled it in the days of pay phones and the Yellow Pages, where quick web searches and thorough background checks were nonexistent. She got bamboozled time and time again, yet still kept at it tirelessly!

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Post by Aniza Butt »

I don't read memoirs but after reading your review, am having second thoughts. Thanks a lot for an insightful review AvidBibliophile ☺.
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Post by espo »

AvidBibliophile wrote:
11 Feb 2020, 19:55
I feel this book would be appropriate for any woman who possesses a curiosity or insatiable desire for furthering her business acumen, and also for any mother who has struggled or is struggling with finding the appropriate work-life balance appreciation.
While reading your review, I had exactly the same thought. As a young woman who currently has that desire, I think I could benefit from reading this book. Thank you for sharing your thoughts in such an insightful review!
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Latest Review: Diamonds and Scoundrels by Adrienne Rubin

Post by AvidBibliophile »

Aniza Butt wrote:
12 Feb 2020, 09:06
I don't read memoirs but after reading your review, am having second thoughts. Thanks a lot for an insightful review AvidBibliophile ☺.
So kind of you to say! I’m glad you enjoyed it, and I really appreciate you coming by. Adrienne was definitely a force to be reckoned with!

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Latest Review: Diamonds and Scoundrels by Adrienne Rubin

Post by AvidBibliophile »

espo wrote:
12 Feb 2020, 09:21
AvidBibliophile wrote:
11 Feb 2020, 19:55
I feel this book would be appropriate for any woman who possesses a curiosity or insatiable desire for furthering her business acumen, and also for any mother who has struggled or is struggling with finding the appropriate work-life balance appreciation.
While reading your review, I had exactly the same thought. As a young woman who currently has that desire, I think I could benefit from reading this book. Thank you for sharing your thoughts in such an insightful review!
Well, thank you! I suspect it’s probably a secret desire a lot of us share and sometimes just don’t openly voice feelings of or talk about, so I commend her wholeheartedly for saying all she did and for proving that there is a way to try and juggle it all - without regrets.

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Post by Julius_ »

From your review, this looks like a well written memoir. However, I'm not a woman, I think I'll pass it.
We're all philosophers. When there's a tough choice to be made, when faced with the facts of birth,love or death or simply when thinking about what we want to do with our lives.

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Latest Review: Diamonds and Scoundrels by Adrienne Rubin

Post by AvidBibliophile »

Julius_ wrote:
14 Feb 2020, 01:14
From your review, this looks like a well written memoir. However, I'm not a woman, I think I'll pass it.
Fair enough, and thank you, it was an enjoyable and well-written read for sure!

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Post by Shabram22 »

This is not a memoir that I would be interested in. Thanks for your review!

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Latest Review: Diamonds and Scoundrels by Adrienne Rubin

Post by AvidBibliophile »

Shabram22 wrote:
15 Feb 2020, 13:00
This is not a memoir that I would be interested in. Thanks for your review!
Thanks for at least checking it out and commenting!

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Post by BookPower9 »

I don't know anyone who fail in Business and become successful who never tried many times until perfectly seen the good results of trying. This book is a must read. Thanks for the review.

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Post by Everydayadventure15 »

I feel like this is a memoir I could relate too, but I’m an over-educated stay-at-home mom who choose the OnlineBookClub route instead of fine jewelry lol. Great review!

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