by Alex Monroe (Bloomsbury Circus) ISBN 9781408841181
Alex Monroe is a jewellery designer. Beauty and aesthetics are of the greatest importance to him. Maybe that is why he is so successful in conveying his life’s history. Enchanting and compelling are the two words that come to mind when I try to describe why I liked this book so much.
Monroe pictures his early life with his four siblings and his glamorous, but unavailable parents in the Old Parsonage, a ramshackle house in Suffolk, where he started making ammunition and go-carts, forged coins and fixed bikes.
He then studied jewellery at the School of Art where he felt that the gap was too large between traditional jewellery, cheap imported, made-in-China stuff, and the un-wearable objects of his fellow students. He decided to design attractive jewellery that everyone could wear.
Anecdotes of his youth and details of how his collections come to life appear in alternating paragraphs. From a fleeting thought to a nature-inspired narrative, the collections of the bee, the butterfly and the turtle doves are created.
The cover is as beautiful as Monroe’s jewellery and his story. One of the best books I’ve read this year.