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Diamonds and Scoundrels: My Life in the Jewelry Business
by Adrienne Rubin

Published: 2019-09-17T00:0
Paperback : 296 pages
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When Adrienne Rubin enters into the jewelry business in 1970s Los Angeles, she is a maverick in a world dominated by men. She soon meets a young hotshot salesman who doesn’t seem to struggle at all, and when he asks her to be his partner, she is excited to join him. She doesn’t know ...
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Introduction

When Adrienne Rubin enters into the jewelry business in 1970s Los Angeles, she is a maverick in a world dominated by men. She soon meets a young hotshot salesman who doesn’t seem to struggle at all, and when he asks her to be his partner, she is excited to join him. She doesn’t know him well, but she does know his father, and she believes he is as trustworthy as the day is long . . .

Diamonds and Scoundrels shows us how a woman in a man’s world, with tenacity and sheer determination, can earn respect and obtain a true sense of accomplishment. Following Rubin’s experiences in the jewelry industry through the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s?with the ups and downs, good guys and bad?this is a tale of personal growth, of how to overcome challenges with courage and resilience. It’s a story for the woman today who, in addition to a rich family life, seeks a self-realized, fulfilling path toward a life well lived.

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Excerpt

Set up: This is a scene from Diamonds and Scoundrels. I am examining the books of a successful jewelry company in which I am a 10% shareholder. The president of the company, Dan, isn’t happy that the court allowed me full access to company records, and he is hoping he might offer me something to make me go away. He called me into his office to talk. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

From the author:

1. what makes the jewelry business so vastly different from other endeavors?

2. In chapter 9, the author philosophizes existentially about that indescribable thing that remains forever beyond her grasp. Is she on the right track? Does it seem she will ever get there? She believes she alone is in charge of defining her personal development toward leading a meaningful life. What does this reveal about her character?

3. How does the author feel about the theft of her precious merchandise while it was under her husband’s care? Why doesn’t she reprimand him? How does she feel about the men in her life who take over because they think it is in her best interest? What does this say about women in general?

4. What are the character flaws of Dan, Sergei, Yefim, and the author? What are their strengths?

5. The author briefly describes her early years and life before going into business. How has her past shaped her character?

6. When the author’s business partners try to buy her out, should she take the money and walk away? Would you have done so in her place? What does her refusal show about her character? Does she suffer as a result?

7. The author weighs the importance of devoting herself to her family against creating a successful career. Did she make a choice?

8. When speaking of women in the workplace, what are the major differences between the last decade of the 20th century and the first decades of the 21st century?

9. What life lessons can you take with you after reading this book?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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by MJ R. (see profile) 12/20/23

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