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The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  18,233 ratings  ·  2,724 reviews
From the internationally bestselling author of Somewhere in France comes an enthralling historical novel about one of the most famous wedding dresses of the twentieth century—Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown—and the fascinating women who made it.

"Millions will welcome this joyous event as a flash of color on the long road we have to travel."

—Sir Winston Churchil/>
Hardcover, 388 pages
Published December 31st 2018 by William Morrow
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Jane Harris I hope a reference to the Holocaust did not keep your friend from reading this wonderful book. Although one the of main characters had lived through…moreI hope a reference to the Holocaust did not keep your friend from reading this wonderful book. Although one the of main characters had lived through and been affected by the Holocaust, the horrors of this period were not detailed. The story was ultimately triumphant.(less)

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Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  18,233 ratings  ·  2,724 reviews

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I won The Gown in a Goodreads giveaway.

4.5 Stars

I'm going to be perfectly honest with you. The Gown is a great book and I loved it for its entertainment value. Its a beautifully written story and the characters are so alive that they just suck you in.

But I also loved this book because it was my first time winning a giveaway. So that definitely did get factored into my rating. I'm just being honest. It felt good to win a free book that I was actually really interested in
Katie B
Even though this historical fiction book revolves around the making of Queen Elizabeth's wedding gown, there surprisingly is a fair amount of depth to the story. I actually picked this one up because I thought it would be a nice escape from some stressful life events and while it certainly provided a welcome distraction, I did find myself feeling more emotionally invested in some of the characters than I initially had predicted. Sometimes a book finds a way into your hands at the perfect time an ...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
5 stars to this story of strength and friendship! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Happy New Year to all my Goodreads friends! 🥳 🎉 🥂

Told in three voices over two time periods, The Gown is a stunning story.

In 1947 London, knee deep in a harsh winter with heavy rationing, the war has left its indelible mark. Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin are embroiderers working at the famous Mayfair owned by Norman Hartnell. Why is Hartnell famous? For designing clothing for the princesses. And what is the assignment of the 20th century that has
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Matt by: BAM The Bibliomaniac
Shelves: audiobook, buddy-read
Jennifer Robson appeals to those who love all things ‘British Royals’ as well as fans of historical fiction with her latest piece. How something like the wedding gown worn by Princess Elizabeth could garner so much attention may confound some, but it all becomes clear by the end of this novel. Ann Hughes is employed by Norman Hartnell , a high-end couturier that has recently been asked to make some dresses for the Royal Family. So busy is the shop that when Miriam Dassin arrives from France, her ...more
Kate Quinn
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had a chance to read this for a cover quote, and devoured it! My quote:

"Jennifer Robson embroiders life, friendship, and hope into the somber gray world of post-war London every bit as skillfully as her seamstress heroines embroider crystal flowers into the folds of a royal wedding dress. Miriam and Ann are both battling inner demons when they meet in the backroom of England's most famous couture house, but the chance of a lifetime--the task of embroidering Princess Elizabeth's gown for the w
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Goodreads Giveaway, author Jennifer Robson, and HarperCollins Publishers for a print copy of this book

Jennifer Robson rarely disappoints me and I always look forward to seeing where she is going to take her readers next.  The Gown is referring to the wedding dress of the young Princess Elizabeth that she wore when she wed Philip Mountbatten in 1947. But this is not told from Elizabeth's point of view, rather, Robson, decides to focus on the women that worked on the young royal's dress.
The Hook I was going to skip this as I thought it was a story about the younger generation of the royal family but when I realized it was historical fiction about Queen Elizabeth's wedding gown, I decided to try it.

The Line - ”The Queen gave you a pot of heather?”

The Sinker - The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding is told in dual timelines, 2006 in Canada, and 1947 in Great Britain as the Princess readies to marry.

In 2016, Heather Mackenzie's grandmother dies, leaving her a box of embroidered pieces of cloth
Jennifer Robson’s novel is rich in details about the society and culture of England post WW11 and the country’s efforts to regain its footing in a tough new economic and political era. The people are just getting by and many things such as sugar, butter, bacon, meat, and tea are being rationed. Hardships and the grief of loss abound, but Robson will focus on the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Philip Mountbatten, an exciting event that helps to lift the country from its despair. She does ...more

Let me start by saying I'm a devoted,"Royal Watcher." It all started when I was 11 years old and saw Lady Diana Spencer marry Prince Charles. Watching it felt like a fairytale coming true. The beautiful, young, bride with the long flowing "Princess" gown displayed in its full glory along the steps of St. Paul's Cathedral took my breath away. That started my interest and it grew into the whole British Royal Family and then eventually to all European Royal Fam
Stephanie (Stephanie's Novel Fiction~on hiatus))
I admit that I requested The Gown because I was struck by that stunning cover and the title! I'm admittedly an enormous anglophile and lover of the British monarchy so when I saw the picture of the then Princess Elizabeth in her gorgeous wedding gown, I knew this book would blow me away. Did it ever! But not for any of the reasons that I thought it would! I expected to mostly read about the young lovestruck princess and her handsome soon to be husband but instead, Jennifer Robson has carefully crafted a ver ...more
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 lovely historical stars
It was for England in 1947 and the world longed for a bit of time when they could forget their troubles and revel in the beautiful fairly tale wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Philip Mountbatten. Englanders was ready for some happiness, some joy in their lives, and this wedding, this dress, this occasion would be just the ticket for some hours of gaiety after the long hard won war.

Told with a well thought out, well researched background, we are led into
The Gown is such a beautiful novel where Robson has written a story for the ladies that created Queen Elizabeth's wedding gown! The story is so perfect in every dimension and I love Jennifer's style of writings so much! The book is told from three viewpoints!
The book is so evocative and enchanting, I love historical fictions merged with royal Families within, the drama and the plot gets very interesting and intriguing in different angles, reading this will give you mixed emotions an
Cindy Burnett
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While The Gown is a heartfelt tale about the creation of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown, it is also ultimately the story of three women who strive to find their place in the world and how each deals with love, loss, and family. The book is told in a dual timeline format with Miriam’s and Ann’s stories taking place in 1947, and Heather’s in 2016. In the midst of the harshest winter in memory and shortages still resulting from the war, England welcomes the engagement of Princess Elizabeth to Li ...more
Overall: An engaging story focused on the embroiders who created Princess Elizabeth's wedding dress. Told from three perspectives (one current and two post WWII), this story is interesting and offers some insight onto those who are often overlooked at the time of the Royal Wedding. I would have enjoyed less romance, not so much drama added for the sake of increasing depth, and more focus on the history of these women who created the dress. All in all though, an interesting and positive story I w ...more
I enjoyed listening to THE GOWN written by Jennifer Robson and read by Marisa Calin. This novel is about one of the most famous wedding dresses of the twentieth century, Queen Elizabeth's wedding gown, and the fascinating women who made it.

This historical fiction is told from three points of view, and two time periods. In some books one time period or point of view is much better developed than another, but that is not the case here.

THE GOWN held my attention and I was equally immersed in each
MaryBeth's Bookshelf
Thank you TLC Book Tours for gifting me a copy of The Gown in exchange for an honest review.

It is no secret that Historical Fiction is my favorite genre to read and The Royal Family are my favorite people to obsess over. So, of course, I would have to read The Gown, a fictionalized account of the Norman Hartwell's fashion house as they created Princess Elizabeth's wedding gown in 1947. The story focuses on Ann Hughes and Miriam Dessin, two young girls working for Mr. Hartwell. The st
Chanel Cleeton
A moving story of life after the end of World War II centered on the women behind the scenes of the joyous occasion of Queen Elizabeth's wedding. A celebration of strength, resilience, and friendship, The Gown transports readers as Robson offers a richly detailed and meticulously researched glimpse of daily life in post-war Britain. An enchanting must-read for historical fiction fans!
Maja  - BibliophiliaDK ✨

✨ Popsugar Reading Challenge 2019✨
✨✨A book by an author whose first and last name start with the samme letter✨✨

I have been sitting on this review for a while because I was waiting for lightning to strike, for me to suddenly figure out what this book was all about and how I felt about it. But, in all honesty, it just didn't happen. Yes, it was a nice book and all. The story was decent, the characters likable and the setting was inter
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Gown takes place in two time periods: 1947 in post war London where people are trying to deal with the war’s brutal aftermath and the embroiderers of the Norman Hartnell fashion house, particularly Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, are tasked with making the wedding gown for then Princess Elizabeth; and Toronto, 2016, where Heather Mackenzie finds a box marked with her name with embroidery samples that match Princess Elizabeth’s gown and photos from an earlier time, left to her by her beloved “N ...more
Susan Meissner
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lucky me got to read this all in one day while sitting poolside on a mini getaway. I love a good dual time periods tale, where the melding of past and present is believable and refined. This is that kind of book. And oh, that cover...
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Evocative, enchanting, and beautifully written!

The Gown is a captivating, sentimental tale predominantly set in London post-WWII, as well as present day, that follows the lives of three main characters.  Ann, a young talented embroider employed by the esteemed Norman Hartnell; Miriam, a Holocaust survivor and émigré from France who becomes Ann's coworker and close friend; and Heather, Ann's granddaughter who after discovering embroidered flowers in her grandmother's possessions after
Jennifer Robson was written a beautiful story of the ladies that created Queen Elizabeth's wedding gown. I have always been fascinated by the monarchy and loved reading The Gown. The story is told from three viewpoints. In 1947, Ann and Miriam are young embroiderers and have been chosen to work on Queen Elizabeth's wedding gown. There is a bit of intrigue as the details of the gown are top secret and the press is constantly hounding them for details. As the story unfolds, we learn more about Ann ...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
So, what makes a story about a gown so special? In this case, it's the wedding gown that Princess Elizabeth wore at her wedding. Jennifer Robson has woven together a fascinating tale about two women that worked on the gown and a young woman that discovers her grandmother has some skeletons in her closet...

Pam Jenoff
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Already heralded by The Washington Post, People, USA Today and numerous others, this is the incredible story of the making of Queen Elizabeth's gown and the remarkable women who made it. And it is out today!
World War II is just over and the citizenry of London need something to lift their spirits, a diversion. How about a royal wedding, something that still today can bring the nation together with hope and harmony. What better way to tell this story but through the eyes of two women who worked on making then Princess Elizabeth's bridal gown, one an English woman, Ann Hughes whose brother was killed in the Blitz, and the other French, Miriam Dassin, who survived Ravensbrück and had also worked for C ...more
The Library Lady
This is the second book I've read by this author, and I won't be fooled again. She has a talent for drawing me into a story and then,having spent an hour or two reading 200+ pages, I am left wanting that time back to read someone else's books.

Aside from the Nazis in France, no one here is mean, petty, or developed in any other way, they are all nice-nice and bland. Everything in the plot fits as neatly together as a jigsaw puzzle--too neatly.

In sum, a fascinating subject and great m
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book hit all my buttons - historical fiction, female friendships, transcending decades, and the Royals. The story follows Ann and Miriam, embroiderers who worked on the wedding dress for the current Queen Elizabeth. Ann’s granddaughter begins a quest to piece together things of her Nan’s that don’t make sense and a beautiful story of friendship and survival unfold. My grandmother was a seamstress by trade so I thoroughly enjoyed all the intricate discussion of the dress assembly and embroid ...more
Laura G (lauralovestoread)
I have wanted to read The Gown for a long time, and finally took the plunge as a bookclub pick!

I was so fascinated by the three different women’s stories that took place throughout this novel, and discovering how their stories would connect.

London 1947. Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin become embroiderers at the Mayfair fashion house, befriending one another and forming an unlikely friendship as they are chosen to help take part in the creation of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, 2019-read

The Gown by Jennifer Robson tells the stories of three women: Ann and Miriam, who are embroiderers working quietly behind-the-scenes to make a Royal wedding gown in 1947, and a young woman named Heather who is working to piece together her grandmother’s mysterious past in 2016. The alternating time periods worked really well here to build up the story as a whole and to make the complete picture more robust.

Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin are working for the famous desig
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've poo-poo'd a lot of historical fiction as of late for being heavy on the "women's fiction," light on the "historical," but I really enjoyed this. The author takes a singular moment in time and captures its historical layers of past, present and future. Well-researched and delightful, the plain-spoken telling fits the story and kept me wrapped up. Portions of the plot could be convenient and therefore a stretch to embrace, but it didn't turn trite, nor did these tendencies deflate the read's ...more
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Jennifer Robson first learned about the Great War from her father, acclaimed historian Stuart Robson, and later served as an official guide at the Canadian National War Memorial at Vimy Ridge, France. A former copy editor, she holds a doctorate in British economic and social history from the University of Oxford. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and young children.
“Worrying about what would become of her work once it was finished was a waste of time, she told herself. The act of creation was what mattered.” 1 likes
“It was her own fault, as simple as that, and fussing over it or letting herself feel sad wouldn't do a whit of good. It was a shame she wouldn't see him again, for she had truly liked him, and in a different world...
Enough. Enough. It was done, and over, and she'd forget him soon enough, because she had never been the sort of girl to sit around and lick her wounds and moan about how life was unfair. That's what her mum taught her. "Chin up," she'd always said when Ann had come to her in tears about something awful that had happened. A teacher had been cruel at school, her cat had run away, awful Billy from round the corner had pulled her pigtails and said no one would ever kiss her because of her ginger hair. "Just keep your chip up, Ann, and you can face anything," Mum had said. "And don't look back, no matter what you do." Her mum had never been one for hugs or soft words, but she had been honest, and most of the time she'd been right, too. So chin up it was, and no looking back.”
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