THE GRACE KELLY DRESS by Brenda Janowitz


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A wedding dress designed in 1958 Paris is passed along the generations in this three-part story about the women who wore it to walk down the aisle.

This is the tale of one wedding dress. One-third of the story follows its design and construction by Rose, a hardworking seamstress and orphan who creates the dress for Diana Laurent when Madame Michel—the head of the atelier where Rose works—suddenly dies without naming a protégé to take over the business. The daughter and granddaughter of the original woman who wore the dress adapt it in two subsequent generations to make it their own. College-student Joan inherits the dress from her mother, and one-third of the book details her ill-advised engagement in 1982 to a man she doesn’t particularly care for even though she longs for a grand wedding and the inclusion of so-called "Princess Diana sleeves" on the dress. The remaining third of the book details successful video game app developer Rocky’s wedding planning in 2020 as she prepares to marry her love, Drew, a venture capitalist, and her inheritance of the dress, which she does not want to wear. Author Janowitz (The Dinner Party, 2016) has created a frothy story where unlimited money and love flow freely. The tale touches ever so lightly on weighty issues—drug use and overdoses, death, infidelity, a quest to find a birth mother, and gay rights. Joan’s story has the most depth, but it hangs together uneasily with Rose’s and Rocky’s as a result, as it is a much earthier exploration of self, autonomy, and maturity than is offered by the other two stories.

A story for fans of happily-ever-after, where love and acceptance resolve every problem and money is no object.

Pub Date: March 3rd, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-525-80459-5
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Graydon House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2020