Hi Savvy Readers! Any historical fiction fans out there? Stop what you’re doing and get ready for your next great read: The Gown by Jennifer Robson.
Internationally bestselling author Jennifer Robson returns with another captivating novel, and it is everything we could ever dream of. This time, she is taking readers back to the 1940s into the workrooms where one of the most famous wedding gowns in history was created.
“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
It’s 1947. Burdened by shortages and rationing, the people of England are still reeling from the war. But when the the engagement of Princess Elizabeth to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten is announced, spirits are lifted.
Ann Hughes and Mariam Dassin, two embroiderers from the Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell become unlikely friends when they are chosen to create the beautiful stitching of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown. For Ann, an ordinary working-class English girl, and Mariam, a French émigré who survived the Holocaust, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Toronto, 2016: More than half a century has passed since the wedding. Heather Mackenzie is curious about the delicate and beautiful hand-stitched flowers her late grandmother left to her. Heather discovers that the embroideries match those decorating Queen Elizabeth II’s wedding gown, and also finds an old photo of Nan with Miriam Dassin, a celebrated artist and Holocaust survivor. What is Nan’s connection to Miriam Dassin, and why did she never talk about her old life in Britain? Intrigued by the mysteries surrounding her grandmother’s past and the embroideries, Heather travels to London.
Told in alternating points of view, The Gown is an immersive and sweeping portrait of a society left reeling by the war. With strong female characters, exquisite details of the royals, and a stunning story of love, survival and redemption, The Gown is a phenomenal book.
The amount of research and detail that Jennifer Robson put into the book is fascinating. She even met with Betty Foster, a seamstress who had worked on the Queen’s wedding gown in 1947 (!!!)