Friday, April 10, 2020

Review: The Grace Kelly Dress by Brenda Janowitz

The Grace Kelly Dress
by Brenda Janowitz
Release Date: March 3rd 2020
2020 Graydon House
Kindle Edition; 336 Pages
ISBN: 978-1525804595
Genre: Fiction / Contemporary / Historical
Source: Review copy from publisher

3 / 5 Stars

In Paris, 1958, Grace Kelly’s royal wedding dress is still all the rage in fashion circles. Rose, a seamstress at a famous atelier, has just been entrusted with sewing another gown in its image. An orphan, she needs her job to survive. But when Rose finds herself in love with the bride’s handsome brother, she must decide what matters most: love or security.

Sixty years later, Rocky is thrilled to be marrying the love of her life. He truly is her perfect fit. But there’s just one problem: her family’s heirloom wedding dress isn’t. Rocky knows this admission will break her mother’s heart. What she doesn’t know is why her mother is so set on the dress—or about the shocking secret that changed her mother’s life decades before, as she prepared to wear the dress herself. As the wedding day approaches, the mother-daughter pair will finally confront long-buried heartaches, and it might just be the dress that brings them closer than ever.

My Thoughts
The Grace Kelly Dress is one of those books that I needed to read during this self-isolation phase; something light, interesting, multi-generational, predictable, but sweet.  The deep secrets were quite easy to figure out, there wasn't a lot of depth to the characters, although the overall style of the novel gave you the warm and fuzzies.

While I enjoyed this novel, I think I resonated quite a bit with Rocky as I'm not really the sentimental type, and while I do value tradition to a certain point, I definitely like to do things my own way and I definitely am not sentimental over objects and knickknacks (in fact, can't stand them), so perhaps I was a little jaded while reading this book.  However, I can relate to the mother/daughter relationships in this book as well as to the excitement of a wedding and the fears and joys of an approaching nuptials.  And while I definitely connected with Rocky and her independence, I also liked the story about Joan as we got to see her both when she was young and as a mother of the bride. It is so hard for young women to realize that their mothers were once young and crazy, and often did things and made decisions that were not always the best, and had to learn from their mistakes too.  This is one of the things that I did like about this book.  That awareness.  

Told in three alternating POV, the story focuses on a dress created by Rose inspired by Grace Kelly's wedding dress, and to be honest, I thought the design of the dress was the most interesting part of the book.  While the story moves along quickly, it is very predictable, and I don't really feel like the characters were developed fully.  In fact, I feel like all three stories just kind of abruptly ended because we were getting close to the ending of the book and everything just wrapped up nicely.  Sweet and sentimental, but not my thing. And while there was supposed to be a plot twist, it was really nothing, and as soon as you read about so-and-so's death, you could kind of figure it out by reading between the lines.

The Grace Kelly Dress was definitely sentimental and almost had this lectury feel about tradition and the importance of tradition in family.  I know at one point, I was really annoyed at Rose for the way she approached weddings and her views towards those who didn't like a big, showy wedding as if that was the only thing that mattered.  I guess it's just  perspective and what you think is important on that big day.  And while I enjoyed the book, I did think the characters were not fully developed, and the plot was quite predictable.  For those of you who like sentimentality, this book is definitely for you. It's just not for me.


  1. don't think this is for me, but i appreciate you sharing it. happy reading
    sherry @ fundinmental