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The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  3,386 ratings  ·  713 reviews

The Gown is marvelous and moving, a vivid portrait of female self-reliance in a world racked by the cost of war.”--Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network

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’

Kindle Edition, 379 pages
Published December 31st 2018 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,386 ratings  ·  713 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 reading.

I, like a lot o
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 centu
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

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 Families. (Prin
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 c ...more
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
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 story jumps ah
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!
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
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
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 her passing
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!
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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 designer Normal Hartnell in t
Susan Peterson
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jennifer Robson has written a very touching novel about the women who made the glorious wedding gown that Princess Elizabeth wore when she married in 1947. This historical novel gives us intimate details of not only the gown, but also of what it was like in post-war Europe. What I loved most about the book was the friendship between Ann and Miriam; I was very moved by their story. This is the perfect book for anyone who is enthralled by the Royal Family!
Lynn Horton
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was hesitant to read The Gown. The hullabaloo about Markle and Harry put me off the premise, although their wedding probably helped the author sell some books.

However, I enjoyed this story, in no small part because in my younger years, I sewed. Robson nailed the fabric characteristics, dressmaker environment, and hand-embroidery process. When she talks about satin slipping and fraying, she's right. When she talks about being blinded by looking at the same color all day, she'd right.

The charac
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truly a beautiful, moving story of the women that worked on Queen Elizabeth's wedding gown.
The story focuses on 3 young women, two in the 40s that are working on the gown, Ann and Miriam and one in present time, Heather who is Ann's granddaughter.
I found the book hard to put down and very immersive. I felt in the moment with the story. Loved all the details of how one embroiders a wedding dress and the many hours of hard work that goes into it.
I would recommend this book to all that love histori
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this book. I couldn’t put it down and read it in one day. I don’t know if it is because I am a big Royal watcher, or because Harry and Meghan’s wedding happened earlier this year, or because I have been lucky enough to hear Jennifer Robson talk about this book twice this year, but I felt like I knew these characters and this story. It was familiar and captivating at the same time.
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
This book, written by Canadian author Jennifer Robson, is the belle of the literary ball, y'all! Ev-er-y-one is talking about this book! And rightly so.

You guuuys!! I did so love this book.

As an avid reader of Historical Fiction, getting my hands on a copy of this book was a no brainer. But I think this book would appeal to more than just Historical Fiction buffs or fans of the Royal family. The focus isn't on Princess (now Queen) Elizabeth and her royal peeps but on three unknown women. Miriam
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an advanced reader copy from the publishing house. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Gown is going to be one of those buzz books this winter that everyone will be talking about, I guarantee it.

Instead of exploring the story of the royal family and all of its mystery, Robson decides to explore a royal wedding through a different set of eyes. These eyes she chooses to tell her story through are those of the women that made and embroidered the dress of Princess Elizabeth when sh
Julia (jaylamm.reads)
Thank you to @william morrow books for the free review copy

Wow what a beautiful way to tell this story. I was immediately drawn in to the lives of Ann, Miriam, and Heather. The Gown alternates between three perspectives.

The first story line is from two perspectives; Ann and Miriam. Ann and Miriam are a part of something huge in London in 1947- making the wedding dress for the Royal wedding. As they create the wedding dress, you see their friendship develop.

The second story line is about Heather'
Helen Drake
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had heard so many positive comments about this book, I had to read it for myself. It was so informative to read about what life was like in England after WWII had ended. After seeing several royal weddings in my lifetime, I found it fascinating to get some insight into what went into all the intricate embroidery on then Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown.

The characters in this book were richly developed. I enjoyed the way the book was constructed with the three main characters taking turns tel
Steve Donoghue
A warmly thoughtful multi-layered historical novel - here's my full review:
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this interesting historical about two women tasked with helping to do the complicated embroidery on Princess Elizabeth's wedding gown for her 1947 marriage. The dressmaking details are fascinating, but they don't overwhelm the story, which is really about the friendship between the two main characters, Ann and Miriam. Plotwise, the novel is very straightforward and thus, predictable. I would have liked more depth from the story and the characters. Overall, though, THE GOWN is an easy, ...more
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: january-2019
No surprise that I loved The Gown so very much. It reminded me a lot of Dear Mrs.
Bird, another British historical fiction novel set around war time.

The Gown is set in post war England when Princess Elizabeth announces her wedding and chooses Norman Hartwell to design the dress. Ann has been working for Mr. Hartwell since she was 14 and is chosen to do much of the embroidery for the dress. Miriam is a relatively new addition to the designer but she did some work in France and has come to England
Eden Church | The Required Reading List
To read THE GOWN is to be transported back in time. Robson’s new book is so rich with detail, the 21st century seemed like a distant memory. Jennifer Robson's best book yet, at once utterly transporting and profoundly relatable, THE GOWN tells the story of Ann, Miriam, and Heather, three women separated by countries, religion, and sometimes decades.

Ann and Miriam work as embroiderers for beloved English fashion designer Norman Hartnell during the 1940s when he was commissioned to create the the
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 materials tha
Linda Zagon
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lindas Book Obsession Reviews “The Gown” by Jennifer Robson
Kudos to Jennifer Robson, Author of “The Gown” for vividly writing and describing the enchanting, emotional, exciting, heartbreaking, enthralling and intriguing novel about one of the most famous Royal wedding dresses in history and the workers who created it. The Genres for this story are Historical Fiction, and Romance. The timelines for this story are in the past after World War Two, and in the present. The story goes further in the p
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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.