About The Book

A Jewish-Arab-American Heroine as Multifaceted as the Ring She Covets

Avon Trade’s latest entry breaks edgy new ground with Michelle Benamou, a smart and sassy Jewish-Arabic American radio producer created by Jessica Jiji, a smart and sassy Jewish-Iraqi-Buddhist writer who works at the United Nations.

Multiculturalism is a pervasive aspect of New York life. Unlike Prada-wearing devils and the blondes at Bergdorf’s, Michelle has friends from all over the socio-economic scale.  The novel runs a veritable cultural gamut – much like the one the author experiences in her daily dealings at the UN: from a Spanish-speaking, ex-Marine security guard (who breaks the heroine’s heart) to N’gegei, her close friend and esteemed colleague from Africa, Jiji renders disparate worlds with realism, respect, and a sense of humor.  She is especially tender in her depictions of the rich and proud Arabic traditions she was raised to appreciate.

As the book begins, Michelle Benamou stands to lose everything she ever lusted after, including her hard-bodied ex-Marine boyfriend and her share of their cozy, cheap apartment in Queens.

Although her Moroccan relatives worry she’s over the hill because she’s nearly 30 and still single, Michelle learns that the only ordeal worse than dating hell is trying to find an affordable place to live in Manhattan.  When massive changes start sweeping across her workplace, the Canadian Broadcasting Company, she has the opportunity to move from news producer to on-air reporter…if she can only stop making inappropriate comments to a top company executive. As if she doesn’t have enough problems, a past flame flares back into her life – but time, distance and his soon-to-be-ex-wife threaten to snuff these rekindling relations before the fire catches and romance gets hot.

Like its heroine, who repeatedly defies convention but believes in the power of a white dress and a ring, DIAMONDS TAKE FOREVER walks a fine line. While being unapologetically frothy, fun, hot and sexy, the book addresses weighty issues, such as career, culture, and commitment. Jiji makes a powerful statement about embracing the old ways and the family, food, and folklore that create who we are, as well as the importance of stepping out on our own to free a mind, find a friend, and follow a dream.

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