The Gown by Jennifer Robson was one of my October book club reads. I was a little hesitant about reading another WWII historical fiction book. I had enjoyed the other books I’d read but wasn’t sure where this story would take me.
I wrongly assumed it would be a memoir about Queen Elizabeth II’s wedding to Prince Phillip, but found it to be a fascinating fictional story about the dressmakers and embroiderers who constructed the then-Princess Elizabeth’s gown.
Next on my reading list
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
This historical fiction story is set in post war England and is told through the eyes of three women. Two of them suffered the loss of loved ones during the war and struggle to make ends meet without any close family to support them financially or emotionally. Despite their different backgrounds they become friends, roommates and work closely together on the wedding gown.
The third woman’s tale begins many years after WWII. Heather is bequeathed a box from her late grandmother. Within the box are squares of tulle with delicate embroidered and beaded flowers. Heather is puzzled by the contents and the lack of any written information about the items. No one in the family has a clue what the story is behind the beautiful squares of fabric. Heather heads to England to uncover the meaning behind the keepsake.
This story of three working-class women struggling to find meaning in their lives is about friendship, sorrow and triumph. I would recommend it to anyone who loves historical fiction, women’s literature and a little romance.