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The gown : a novel of the royal wedding
2019
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Summary

One of the most anticipated reads from InStyle, HelloGiggles, Hypable, Bookbub, and Bookriot!

One of Real Simple's Best Historical Fiction novels of the year!

"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.

Trade Reviews
Booklist Review
*Starred Review* The announcement of Princess Elizabeth's wedding is a balm to the austerity of postwar London. It is even more to Ann Hughes, an embroiderer at the fashion house of Norman Hartnell, who is charged with the delicate embellishment of the gown. Working alongside her is Miriam Dassin, a recent French émigré who doesn't speak much about her past. In 2016 Canada, Heather mourns the death of her Nan, who similarly never spoke about her life before moving to Toronto. Nan left Heather a sample of beautifully embroidered fabric, and Heather heads to London to uncover its meaning. Ann's, Miriam's, and Heather's narratives mingle in an orderly but artful fashion, piecing together the full story of how the samples and Nan ended up in Canada. Robson (Goodnight from London , 2017) deftly weaves issues of class, trauma, romance, and female friendship with satisfying details of Ann and Miriam's craft. This unique take on the royal wedding will be an easy sell to fans of Netflix's The Crown and a sure bet for readers of women-centered historical fiction by Kate Morton, Kate Quinn, or Susanna Kearsley.--Susan Maguire Copyright 2018 Booklist
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