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The Gown

The Gown, January 2019
by Jennifer Robson

William Morrow Paperbacks
400 pages
ISBN: 0062674951
EAN: 9780062674951
Kindle: B071JLP5Z7
Paperback / e-Book
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"A fascinating tale about two women who worked on Princess Elizabeth wedding gown..."

Fresh Fiction Review

The Gown
Jennifer Robson

Reviewed by Magdalena Johansson
Posted December 13, 2018

Women's Fiction Time Slip | Historical

So, what makes a story about a gown so special? In this case, it's the wedding gown that Princess Elizabeth wore at her wedding. Jennifer Robson has woven together a fascinating tale about two women that worked on the gown and a young woman that discovers her grandmother has some skeletons in her closet...

It's 1947, and London is facing a tough winter after the War. Despite the victory, people are still feeling the pinch from rationing. Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin both work as embroiderers at the famous Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell and develop a strong friendship, especially with the huge challenge of working on the wedding dress of Princess Elizabeth.

In present-day Toronto, Heather Mackenzie is sad to learn that her beloved grandmother has died. Finding a set of embroidered flowers that her Nan left to her makes her very curious. Why does Heather's grandmother have embroideries with the motif that strongly resembles the motif of the wedding dress worn by Queen Elizabeth II almost seventy years before?

THE GOWN is the latest novel by Jennifer Robson and it's a fabulous story about the making of a beautiful, important gown. The book is well written and I found the characters to be fully developed. The dual storylines are equally interesting to read and I enjoyed getting to the bottom of the mystery about the embroidered flowers; I was really surprised by this ending.

Learn more about The Gown

SUMMARY

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.


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