The Liz Taylor Ring by Brenda Janowitz, Cassandra Campbell (Narrator)
Published February 1st 2022 by Graydon House, Harlequin Audio
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Liz Taylor Ring was more than I expected. I was thinking it would be a romance, but it was more a family saga, the story of a family dealing with gambling addictions and how it affected them. The relationships that needed to be repaired, and those that needed to be exposed for what they were. The story is told in a dual timeline, starting 1978, with Lizzie and Richie’s classic love affair. Ritchie gave his beloved Lizzie the ring, after a nine month break in their relationship and they resumed a love affair giving birth to their third child, Courtney. The ring disappears with many stories to explain what happened to it. Now, decades later after both their deaths and the “The Ring” reappears. All three children are there when the safety deposit box is opened and for each of them; Addie, Nathan, and Courtney, the ring has a different significance. As the family story unfolds, we get to know all members of the family and how Richie and Lizzie affected their lives.
This was a great way to tell this family saga story. Using the 11 carat diamond that was so important to Richie and Lizzie’s love story to show the families ups and downs was quite intriguing. The story is told through the POV of Courtney, Addy, and Nathan. When the ring resurfaces, these three siblings get together for the first time in years. They don’t really like each other very much. They all have secrets and are all judgemental. Not knowing that the ring will reveal unknown secrets about their parents and themselves, it leads them to make a final decision about what to do with the ring as well as to either bring them closer together or destroy their relationships completely. Brenda Janowitz has written a very enjoyable book, with flawed characters that I came to like by the end. This engaging book deals with serious issues such as family turmoil, alcohol and gambling addiction, yet the story never gets too heavy. I enjoyed all the references to classic movies, especially the Guys and Dolls homage with the names of the two oldest children. A slow burn of a story, but with short chapters, it moved quickly. The narration of the audiobook was performed by Cassandra Campbell, a voice actress I enjoy. She does a good job with this book full of very different characters with accents and changes in tone and pacing. An enjoyable book to listen to.
About the Book: In 1978, Lizzie Morgan and Ritchie Schneider embark on a whirlwind romance on the bright beaches and glamorous yachts of Long Island. Over the years, their relationship has its share of ups and downs, including a nine-month hiatus that ends with a stunning eleven-carat ring—one that looks just like the diamond Richard Burton gifted Liz Taylor after their own separation. Like the famous couple, despite the drama that would unfold throughout the Schneiders’ marriage, the ring would be there as a symbol of their love…until it wasn’t.
Decades later, when the lost ring unexpectedly resurfaces, the Schneiders’ three children gather under one roof for the first time in years, eager to get their hands on this beloved, expensive reminder of their departed parents. But determining the fate of the heirloom is no simple task, unearthing old wounds and heartaches the siblings can’t ignore. And when the ring reveals a secret that challenges everything they thought they knew about their parents’ epic love story, they’ll have to decide whether to move forward as a family or let the ring break them once and for all.