Title: The Grace Kelly Dress
Author: Brenda Janowitz
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Graydon House Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: March 3, 2020
Paris, 1958: Rose, a seamstress at a fashionable atelier, has been entrusted with sewing a Grace Kelly-lookalike gown for a wealthy bride-to-be. But when, against better judgment, she finds herself falling in love with the bride’s handsome brother, Rose must make an impossible choice—one that could put all she’s worked for at risk: love, security, and of course, the dress.
Sixty years later, tech CEO Rachel, who goes by the childhood nickname “Rocky,” has inherited the dress for her upcoming wedding in New York City. But there’s just one problem: Rocky doesn’t want to wear it. A family heirloom dating back to the 1950s, the dress just isn’t her. Rocky knows this admission will break her mother Joan’s heart. But what she doesn’t know is why Joan insists on the dress—or the heartbreaking secret that changed her mother’s life decades before, as she herself prepared to wear it.
As the lives of these three women come together in surprising ways, the revelation of the dress’s history collides with long-buried family heartaches. And in the lead-up to Rocky’s wedding, they’ll have to confront the past before they can embrace the beautiful possibilities of the future.
This story follows three perspectives. The first is a bride in 2020. She has been given the wedding dress that her mother and grandmother wore, but she doesn’t want to wear it. The second perspective is the bride’s mother in the 80s when she was going to get married. Her own mother had give her her own wedding dress, but she has some uncertainties about getting married. The third perspective is a seamstress in Paris in the 50s. She suddenly has to take over the designer’s studio when she dies, and she has to secretly design a special wedding dress under the designer’s name.
This story had a lot more tension than I expected. There were cliffhangers at the end of many chapters, so I had a hard time putting the book down. There were some shocking twists that I didn’t expect.
I loved the way the wedding dress was woven throughout three generations, yet it had very different meanings to each woman. The original dress was inspired by Grace Kelly’s famous dress, but I expected Grace Kelly to have a much bigger part of the story. The theme of marriage and the meaning behind the dress was prevalent throughout the story.
This was a great story!
Thank you Graydon House Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson
The Whispers of War by Julia Kelly
Brenda Janowitz is the author of five novels, including The Dinner Party and Recipe for a Happy Life. She is the Books Correspondent for PopSugar. Brenda’s work has also appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Salon, Redbook, and the New York Post. She lives in New York.
Have you read The Grace Kelly Dress? What did you think of it?