FICTION

The Grace Kelly Dress

Graydon House. Mar. 2020. 336p. ISBN 9781525804595. pap. $16.99. F
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When actress Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco, her wedding dress was made of four pieces: a bodice, a skirt, a cummerbund, and an underskirt. This made for a dress that could fit very well—and be easily reworked by a seamstress to keep up with changing fashions. In 1958, Rose is working as the protégée of a couture wedding dress designer, sewing a “Grace Kelly” dress for a bride who would rather just elope. In 2020, Rachel, aka Rocky, is a game-app developer who is getting married to her perfect man. She just wishes she didn’t have to wear her mother’s passed-down “Grace Kelly” dress, unfortunately modified with once fashionable “Princess Diana” sleeves. In the 1980s, we see Joan, Rocky’s mother, coming to terms with wearing her own mother’s wedding dress.
VERDICT Janowitz’s (The Dinner Party) fun, frothy tale of women falling in love and dealing with family and tradition is tied up in the symbolism of an heirloom wedding dress that each bride tries to make her own. That iconic dress is a starring character as each woman finds her happiness. [See Prepub Alert, 9/16/19.]

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