There is a little old bookshop close to where I work. Its the size of a small cupboard, with shelves up to the roof piled with books of all shapes and sizes. It is here I stumbled across Tobias Hills book, The Love of Stones. Deciding not to be deceived by attractive covers again, I bought it and took it home with me.
This is not the kind of book I normally read, it is classified as “historical thriller”. In some parts it was tedious because of Hill’s meticulous descriptions. At times I felt lost because he transitions between characters so quickly, I wasn’t always sure who’s point of view I was reading at the time. However, Hill uses his meticulous descriptions to bring to life a very different world: the world of lapidaries
The story traces the events of Katherine Sterne, a 25 year old woman in the 21st century who has dedicated her life to recovering the lost jewel forged in the 1500’s known as the Three Brethren (if you’re interested, it is a real jewel, or at least it has existed in history). It also traces the story of two Iraqi Jews trying to make their fortunes in 19th century England as lapidaries, Daniel and Salmon Levy. To see where their paths cross through the centuries is what makes this story intriguing, and where they eventually meet is where the Brethren will be found.
Its definitely worth a read if you’re a history buff. Sometimes Hill fails to explain some of the terminology or historical implications of certain characters, but if you can work around that, you’ll enjoy this story.
I paired it with the absolutely delicious Anura Cabernet Sauvignon from the hills of Simondium. This jewel of a wine has rich raspberry and fruit flavours which are complex and memorable, and the makers describe this wine as “the fulfillment of a dream and the pursuit of perfection” much like Katherine’s search for the Three Brethren.