The Gown

The Gown

eBook - 2018
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One of December's most anticipated reads from InStyle, HelloGiggles, Hypable, Bookbub, and Bookriot! One of Real Simple's Best Historical Fiction novels of 2018! 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. 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.
Publisher: [United States] : Harper Collins Publishers, 2018
ISBN: 9780062674968
Branch Call Number: eBook hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file
Additional Contributors: hoopla digital


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Jul 15, 2019

I loved the book. The characters were believable and I could see them in my mind. The story moved quickly with enough detail to allow the reader to share the experience. It took place essentially during my lifetime which may have been part of the appeal. My first adoptive parents were British and some of my earliest memories are a scrapbook of pictures of Princess Elizabeth the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles and Princess Anne . Now I will have to read more of MS Robeson's books and hope they are as compelling.

Jun 22, 2019

2018; William Morrow Paperbacks/HarperCollins Canada
(Review Not on Blog)

This is my first novel by Jennifer Robson, although I have read her novella/short story in the Fall of Poppies: Stories of Love and the Great War. So going in I was expecting a bit of love and war and Robson does not disappoint. The novel weaves from present day, 2016 to 1947 with three main characters. We have Ann and Miriam in 1947, having survived the war in London and France, the two women now work at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell – designer to the British Royalty. As they work on Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown, the two women become closer friends. In 2016, we have Heather who has been let go from her job and decides to use her time to uncover her grandmother’s past. I found the historical story more interesting and found myself reading the present day quickly to get back to 1947 and then take my time. I loved the descriptions of the clothes of the time, and with the historical events, mixed with fictional characters. Miriam and Ann’s past stories with their “romances” make the story come alive and really sucks the readers into their lives. This was one of my last books of 2018, and it was one I read I stayed up to finish in one sitting!

***I received an eARC from EDELWEISS***

Jun 12, 2019

A behind-the-scenes story of the creation of Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown in 1947 austerity Britain told through the eyes of two embroiderers and a grand-daughter of one of them in 2016.

Have enjoyed other of Jennifer Hobson’s page-turning historical fiction and this is no different. Her blending of fact and fiction seems true to the times; although some of the latter day plot stretched my credibility. Good companion for watchers of Netflix’s ‘The Crown’ and those who never tire of a royal wedding!

Apr 22, 2019

Interesting book about behind the scenes making of Princess Elizabeths's wedding gown after WW2. I don't think people realize how long it took England to recover from the war, how long people there still had rationed food, low wages, poverty and shortage of housing from the Blitz, not to mention losses of another generation of soldiers so soon after WW1. I enjoy reading anything by this author. I wonder why so many novels have unwed mothers?

Apr 17, 2019

4 1/2 - 5 star read. To be upfront about it, I have read all of Robson's books and really like them. But this was by far the best so far. Robson takes us inside the fashion house of Norman Hartnell. We meet a lovely group of seamstresses and embroiderers and share their excitement when the house wins the commission to make the wedding dress of Princess Elizabeth for her wedding to Philip Mountbatten. Two of the young women are the focus of the book, Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, two top embroiderers in the house. Ann is a local girl and Miriam is a refugee from WW II occupied France. We learn about their experiences of war time and living in the ration and austerity filled time after the War. We also meet, Heather who lives in present day Toronto and is very close to her Nan. When her Nan dies, she leaves some exquisite embroideries for Heather and Heather ends up going to London looking for clues to her Nan's very secretive past. This was such a wonderful read. Robson has a gift for immersing the reader in her characters and their lives and this was no exception. I loved it.

Mar 03, 2019

This was an enjoyable read. My first Jennifer Robson book, and it did not disappoint. Great characters in all three storylines; Ann and Miriam were particularly compelling. A couple of mysteries that were pieced together nicely, and a satisfying ending.

Feb 21, 2019

While Jennifer Robson's writing is good, this story is very predictable in its story lines. Especially if you are a fan and have read, books that go between the past and present. Overall a good book, but could have been a lot more interesting.

Jan 29, 2019

Historical fiction with characters that I wanted to befriend-a great story. Couldn’t wait to get back to it each time I put it down!

Jan 26, 2019

Really enjoyed this book, the first I've read by this author.
It seems a shame that with all the hours of work that goes into this wedding gown, it's only worn for a few hours and then put away where no one can see it until it's put on exhibition many decades later.

Jan 12, 2019

No waiting for the book if you a Hoopla user. The E-book and E-Audio available for immediate borrowing. What a great service!!

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