Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

The Gown is marvelous and moving, a vivid portrait of female self-reliance in a world racked by the cost of war.”–Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network

From the internationally bestselling author of Somewhere in France comes an enthralling historical novel about one of the most famous wedding dresses of the twentieth century—Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown—and the fascinating women who made it.

“Millions will welcome this joyous event as a flash of color on the long road we have to travel.”
 —Sir Winston Churchill on the news of Princess Elizabeth’s forthcoming wedding

London, 1947: Besieged by the harshest winter in living memory, burdened by onerous shortages and rationing, the people of postwar Britain are enduring lives of quiet desperation despite their nation’s recent victory. Among them are Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Together they forge an unlikely friendship, but their nascent hopes for a brighter future are tested when they are chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime honor: taking part in the creation of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown.

Toronto, 2016: More than half a century later, Heather Mackenzie seeks to unravel the mystery of a set of embroidered flowers, a legacy from her late grandmother. How did her beloved Nan, a woman who never spoke of her old life in Britain, come to possess the priceless embroideries that so closely resemble the motifs on the stunning gown worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her wedding almost seventy years before? And what was her Nan’s connection to the celebrated textile artist and holocaust survivor Miriam Dassin?

With The Gown, Jennifer Robson takes us inside the workrooms where one of the most famous wedding gowns in history was created. Balancing behind-the-scenes details with a sweeping portrait of a society left reeling by the calamitous costs of victory, she introduces readers to three unforgettable heroines, their points of view alternating and intersecting throughout its pages, whose lives are woven together by the pain of survival, the bonds of friendship, and the redemptive power of love.

my thoughts:

I am a huge fan of anything having to do with the Royal family. I think it stems from when I lived in England and seeing how excited everyone would get over Kate and Prince William, HRH, and Prince Harry. It was crazy fanatical and you just couldn't help but get carried away with all the excitement.  I found myself turning into a bit of a fangirl. So, of course I was thrilled to get the chance to read a new book about Queen Elizabeth's wedding gown - how exciting!! Especially, as it was written by Jennifer Robson - an author whose historical fiction texts are always such treats to read ( I LOVED Somewhere in France ).  I just knew that I was in for a great story.  And let me say, Robson did not disappoint.  She has created a story about history, friendship, romance, and Royalty that will have you transported to London in 1947 and present day Canada - a journey that will show you what hope, true friendship, and new beginnings is all about.

This is the story of Ann, Miriam, and Heather.  Ann and Miriam meet in 1947 London when they are both embroiderers at the House of Hartnell.  They are both tasked with helping to create Princess Elizabeth's wedding gown - a secret the fashion house has sworn to keep.  As they work hard to create a stunning piece of fashion, they find their friendship deepening. They also manage to find themselves a couple of fellas to fall in love with.  As for Heather, we meet her in present day Canada when she finds a box her grandmother Nan has left her. A box with embroidered flowers...hmm...a piece from the Royal wedding gown perhaps? Intrigued by the items in the box, Heather sets out to find out how her grandmother got a hold of these priceless embroideries.  Talk about a history lesson, eh?  And, that is all I will say about this lovely story.  Suffice it to say, Ann, Miriam, and Heather wind up becoming fascinating characters that you won't want to leave behind. I just loved getting to know them all. They were strong, capable ladies who found themselves through their work, art, and history. Such an amazing group of characters!

I absolutely LOVED The Gown by Jennifer Robson. Her writing is top notch - strong, rich with vivid details, and engaging.  You can't help but get swept away into the story and enjoy every minute you spend with it. I would absolutely recommend this book to fans of Jennifer Robson and fans of the Royal family - you will LOVE this book!!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: The Gown
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!


bermudaonion said...

I got this for my mom because she's crazy about the Royals too. I don't think she's read it yet, though - I'll have to ask her.

Lark said...

I heard the past story line was better and more compelling than the present-day story line in this novel. What did you think?

Nadia said...

Kathy, your mom will enjoy this one :)

Lark, I have to admit that I always seem to enjoy the stories set in the past compared to the ones set in present day - they just have more depth and history :) So, yeah, the story involving Ann and Miriam was way better than Heather's story.

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

This sounds like a fabulous read! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for being on the tour.