Thursday 5 December 2019

The Gown by Jennifer Robson

Paperback, 406 pages
Published February 21st 2019 by Headline Review (first published December 31st 2018)
Historical fiction

I am always weary of books with different timelines, because I always like the historic more. And sure it began like that here too, but then at the end I actually liked them both.

Ann works as an embroider, she meets Miriam and they become friends and coworkers. I did feel like maybe there should have been more Miriam. She had too much of a background for that backgrund not be be experienced. She had hid in plain sight, she had been in the resistance, she had been to Ravensbruck, her entire family was dead. But that is all we learned, those words. Too me that is an entire book.

They work for the man chosen to make Princess Elizabeth's wedding dress. Ann meets someone, Miriam meets someone...

And then it is 2016 and Ann is dead and her grand daughter decides to learn more as she knows nothing about her gran's past. Shaky beginning, but then I got into it (cos yes she meets someone, I guess that pulled me in, I am all for romance.)

It is not the most exciting book, they work on the dress, they fall in love, the gran daughter goes to London. But at the same time it made me want to watch the Crown for some reason, cos here I was behind the scenes so to say.

But it was good and Miriam totally deserves a background book.

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?


  1. Oh yes this is something I know I would love it's going on my list!! well if it's available in US :) thanks Blodeuedd

  2. I know a lot of people who would love this!

  3. This does sound really interesting. I like that the book is focused on the making of an important gown. I may have to check this one out.

    1. It was an interesting concept with that background

  4. I enjoyed this one, a bit different but worth reading, imagine all the work on that gown.

  5. Yeah I am not big on multiple timelines either, I think I would struggle with this one!

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

  6. I end up liking one history time better than the other in these kinds of stories, too. Glad to hear you enjoyed both this time. :)

    1. I wonder why that is one is always more interesting

  7. Hmmm.. not my thing, but glad you ended up liking it.

  8. I end up liking the current timeline better lol

    Karen @ For What It's worth

  9. Sound like a good one, I ma the same, I prefer the historic timeline better than the current day one.

  10. I usually like the historic more too



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