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My Mrs. Brown

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,570 ratings  ·  387 reviews
From William Norwich, the well-known fashion writer and editor, an unforgettable novel about a woman with a secret who travels to New York City on a determined quest to buy a special dress that represents everything she wants to say about that secret…and herself.

Sometimes a dress isn’t just a dress.

Emilia Brown is a woman of a certain age. She has spent a frugal, useful, a
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 12th 2016 by Simon Schuster
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William Norwich In "My Mrs. Brown" a vintage copy of Paul Gallico's "Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris" read by Mrs.Brown very much inspires her. But the dress she wants, and…moreIn "My Mrs. Brown" a vintage copy of Paul Gallico's "Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris" read by Mrs.Brown very much inspires her. But the dress she wants, and where she ultimately wears it, I hope, are the surprises of this story...(less)

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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,570 ratings  ·  387 reviews

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Cathrine ☯️
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
For the past two days I have been in a state of reading in-joyment. How to explain? There’s the part where
"Mrs. Brown told Alice all about the lucky occurrences and blessed coincidences that had made the past forty-eight hours not only possible, but also irresistible.”
But that would spoil it for you. Simply put it’s about a magical black dress that’s impossibly irresistible.
“Hmm, I don’t know, looks like a kids’ book for grown-ups, but . . .”
So it is and I say so what? Do you want to be charme
Apr 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
When is a dress more than just a dress? When it represents one's aspirations, memories, sorrows, and secrets of the heart.

Deceptively packaged as a fairy tale-like story about a simple woman and her quest for a very special dress, My Mrs. Brown addresses very deep issues and literally left me in tears.

Emilia Brown is a simple, quiet, plain, and austere woman "of a certain age" who has lived her entire life in the tiny town of Asheville, Rhode Island. Though life hasn't given her much, she's man
Nikki (Saturday Nite Reader)
Looking for a quick, lighthearted audiobook just in time for your weekend drives to the beach? While I certainly don’t wish for anyone to get stuck in beach traffic, it may be inevitable…so get your audiobooks ready!

My Mrs. Brown, by William Norwich, was a charming story of a hardworking, simple woman who comes across an Oscar de la Renta dress and is determined to buy one of her own. She wants to work for it, earn it: it/this is very important to her.

The people in her life do not understand how
"How people endure the complexities of their lives with faith and cheer, finding their own measure of hope, is one of the constant miracles, and often surprises of life."

Emilia Brown is a drab older widow with a drab little life, a shadow cleaning lady at a beauty shop where she is awarded little respect by the young and self assured stylists. She maintains a decorous routine, avoiding judgement of others and keeps to herself. She owns a little duplex, living in one side and the other brings in
Kate ☀️ Olson
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing

If you haven’t read this book yet, you must add it to your TBR HAVE to trust me on this. This little story is the most charming, lovely and poignant book I have read in longer than I can remember and it has officially restored my faith in humanity. I’m sitting here sobbing as I write this, partially because of the story but also because it’s over. It is officially on my favorite books of all time list!

NOTE: I think the tears hit so hard because of how the en
Mar 19, 2019 rated it liked it
[3+] A touching "feel good" tale about an older woman's quest - for more than just a dress.
Mar 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Lovely little book that I'll not soon forget. And oh what a wonderful world it would be if we had more ladies like Ms Brown in it.
Jul 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
My Mrs. Brown is a modern day fairy tale in which a simple, hard-working woman leaves her small world to travel to NYC to purchase an Oscar de la Renta dress that will cost her $7000. She doesn't have the money, but will save and cut back where needed in order to buy this simple black dress that she must have, in which "it's correctness was its allure - suggesting endless possibilities and a certainty of positive outcomes if one wore this dress." To Mrs. Brown, the dress is symbolic of courage, ...more
Diane S ☔
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 Mrs. Brown is an upstanding citizen, she is old fashioned, a throwback of stalwart personality. A strong work ethic, a keen sense of responsibility, makes do with little and outside of a few treats, she does not indulge. All this changes when she is called upon to help her friend from the thrift shop, go through the clothes of a recently departed society maven, and she falls in lobe with a dress from this woman's closet. It is an Oscar de la Renta and costs about seven thousand dollars, but ...more
MaryBeth's Bookshelf
Dec 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
“If I could have changed the world,” Mrs. Brown said quietly, “I would have stopped all time so you could stay.”
Mrs. Brown was just what I needed right now; she is a woman of simple pleasures, who is there for anyone who needs anything, and who, one day, dares to want more from life and has the courage to reach for it. Absolutely the sweetest story I’ve read in a long time.
Laurie Notaro
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Not my thing. Cute cover, awesome lettering inside. But not my thing. Undercooked.
Book Concierge
Mrs Brown may be the cleaning lady at the local beauty shop, but she aspires to be considered graceful and proper in all things. Her model is the late Mrs Groton, a wealthy woman who annually opened her mansion’s gardens for the town’s Rose Festival. When Mrs Brown is called to volunteer to help inventory the contents of the deceased Mrs Groton’s mansion, she is awed, intimidated and ultimately inspired by a lone simple sheath dress with jacket she finds in a closet. She sets a goal to earn the ...more
Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-club
The reviews here pretty much parallel my book club's comments. But I just can't bring myself to say this was a "good" book. Many, many flaws, although not hard to read and will concede a number of interesting social issues were raised. I'm must also add I'm slightly offended that a male author (a fashion writer) thinks all the problems this poor sweet old woman had could be solved by obsessing over a really good dress way beyond her means. Is that not a stereotype we women want to shed?

My theory
Jess (Primrose)
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it

This book blew me away. The story description gave me the impression to expect a feel good read seemingly fitting a chic lit genre. This is woefully incorrect; is it a feel good read? Perhaps at times. However, I found the story to have multiple layers to it and ultimately a moving ending that brought me to tears. I found this book to be similar to the main character, Mrs. Brown, quietly dignified, with an appearance that hides a rich, beauty with strong emotional undercurrents. Mrs. Brown's pu
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
What a beautiful story this was. I really connected with Mrs. Brown, what a great character. I know she's one that I won't forget. I had to get out the tissues for happy tears. Then, I had to get them out again for sad tears.

There were so many people who were so mean to Mrs. Brown because they didn't really know her. They just judged her by her looks. Most of them though, really liked her after they got to know her. I smiled throughout her whole trip to New York just about. What a fabulous adve
Julie Kreun
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. It's a fast read, entertaining, and insightful. I loved the class of the main character, and this book will become one of my all-time favorites. I highly recommend it.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Ah, Mrs. Brown. You probably didn't notice her as she's quiet and modest and dresses plainly and sews and cleans up to make a small living. She's the kind of person that all the big lives run on, in short, the kind of person who relishes being good and kind and generous, the kind of person who never gets a headline or on the front page.

And so her life goes on, day after day, the object of catty remarks at the beauty shop where she works, yet she continues on, never letting the cruelties of othe
Cindy Burnett
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
What a fantastic story! Emilia Brown is one of my favorite characters that I have encountered in literature. Mrs. Brown is a hardworking, kind woman who has not lived an easy life. While working an extra job to supplement her income, she develops an interest in a simple, classic black Oscar de la Renta suit. Her decision to save enough money to acquire this suit sets off a chain of events that made me both laugh and cry. Every lucky person who encounters Mrs. Brown is the better for it, and she ...more
Diama Norris
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Elegant cream puff of a book. I just loved it. It was a pretty light read with some meaningful substance. I thought the ending was beautifully done.
Sep 09, 2018 added it
Shelves: abandoned
Abandoned before I even started. Have lost interest in the premise of the book. Plus I believe it’s past due at the library and also I have been wanting to read more fantasy lately.
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. Picked it up to just start it and didn’t put it down. The sweetness, kindness, and decency of the main character makes me waver on the 4 stars - probably more of a 5-star story for me.
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2017
A delightful book! Mrs. Emilia Brown is a non-descript woman living a small-town life. She's a widow in her sixties, polite, plain, and correct. Her life has been focused on hard work and doing what's right and necessary. But when she sees a $7,000 Oscar de la Renta suit dress, she decides - out of character - that she must save up the money for this dress and travel to New York City to buy it. The author writes and edits for fashion magazines, so he knows a lot about fashion and NYC, but he mix ...more
Robin Claire
Jun 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book, I loyally read this book but found it unsatisfying. I understand that this book had the Mrs. Arris vintage book as a hook (and I am familiar with both the book and the movie) but found that it didn't work. Mrs. Brown is portrayed as old although she is still on the early side of 70, and there is an old fashioned air that again does not make sense. I felt as if I was dragged into a time of long ago while the book is set in contemporary time. I didn't get any depth, did ...more
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this story of an often overlooked housewife who now cleans the local beauty shop to make ends meed in her twilight years. She has her friends and supporters, though, who indulge her desire to buy a finely made dress from a fashion house. I love idea that every woman needs a dress that helps her feel dignified. Mrs. Brown deserves our respect and I shed a tear as I read how Mrs. Brown wore her fine dress.

p 266: . . . a designer might forget the reason he got into it in the first place: to
Marion Hill
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
My Mrs. Brown by William Norwich is the story of an elegant, elderly cleaning lady who has a dream of buying an expensive Oscar De la Renta dress. On the surface, this improbable story would be easy to dismiss as "chick lit." But this story is more about how everybody has a dream and if you get an opportunity to pursue it...then do it no matter how old you are. Also that a material item can mean more than just the material is made of and assist in transforming a person's life. Lastly, this charm ...more
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A lovely, sweet, simple, little book. An homage to Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris, but better. Where the ending of Mrs. 'Arris tarnishes the rest of the book (it is wisely left out of the film), the ending of My Mrs. Brown ennobles perhaps even exalts the book. Occasionally a little too saccharine but just a lovely read.
Katie Taylor
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I finished this book in a day! It was so wonderful. Mrs. Brown is a character you instantly fall in love with. She has strong morals, always takes the high road, and works hard for what she wants. It's a somewhat modern day Cinderella and I couldn't put it down. Also, my mom and I went to a reading last night with the author, Mr. Norwich and he couldn't be more lovely. Read this now!
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Thank you Netgalley. What a wonderful little story. A very charming book with a glorious and beautiful ending. I'm proud to know Mrs. Brown and why she wanted the dress! Just Lovely.
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
sweet. like I got a cavity.
Mar 13, 2018 added it
What a lovely, lovely book! Mrs Brown lives a quiet life in a little Rhode Island town. She doesn't have much money, lives alone, and lives simply. One day, while helping to inventory the effects of the town matriarch, Mrs. Brown sees a beautiful black wool Oscar de la Renta that she simply must have. Although she doesn't have the finances to buy it, one thing after another happens that allows her to finally buy the dress. Like a fairy tale, Mrs. Brown heads off to New York, and just when things ...more
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“Some people grow older and more cynical. Some people become just the opposite. Life hurts without hope, and cynicism, once a luxury, becomes unaffordable.” 1 likes
“A life sustained by quietude and the energies of tolerance, kindness, courtesy, and acceptance. In a blustery world, it's courageous to move quietly, claiming few, if any, treasures except one's solitary dignity.” 0 likes
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