The Gown

The Gown by Jennifer Robson

The Gown is a moving piece of historical fiction. It is about the lives of two women, Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin and their involvement in embroidering the wedding gown of Princess Elizabeth. But it is not just about them, the story also explores Heather Mackenzie, the grand-daughter of Ann Hughes, and her journey in finding out about why her grandmother possessed the embroideries that were similar to the images on the Princess’ wedding gown. She travels from Canada to London to explore her grandmother’s past and her friendship with Miriam, a Holocaust survivor. Along the way she meets interesting characters. I love how the author describes how the working-class were treated and what their lives were like. In a way she is giving a voice to the working-class and is showing us, the readers, how much work went into creating the gown, how hard it was to keep it a secret and what that involved. The author also introduced us to the group of women, particularly the embroiderers, who were involved. Ann and Miriam are fictional characters, but they represent the seamstresses that worked on the gown. The author does an amazing job in going back and forth between the past and present and I love how she describes Miriam’s embroideries. If you love The Crown or love to read anything to do with the Royal Wedding in 1947 or are a fan of historical fiction then I would highly recommend this book.

Submitted by Denise