The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding

Written by Jennifer Robson
Review by Linda Harris Sittig

This novel spins the unusual story of how Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown was embroidered by a group of English workers in 1947. The story alternates between the 1940s and 2016 and is told through the three voices of Ann, Miriam, and Heather.

As the plot unfolds, the reader learns that Ann and Miriam were friends in London in 1947, both working as embroiderers for the prestigious Hartnell House, embroidery workroom to the Royal Family. Both Miriam and Ann have their private secrets, but bond with each other through the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of embroidering the wedding veil for Princess Elizabeth.

Heather enters the story in the present day as Ann’s granddaughter, who knows nothing of her beloved Nan’s English past. As the story progresses, Heather travels to London and is able to piece together the behind-the-scenes story of the Royal Wedding in 1947, as well as uncover unknown details about her grandmother’s life. While Ann has passed away, Miriam is still alive and finally brings closure to the family secret.

I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, most probably because of my interest in textiles. While the author provides a multitude of historical details and a well-paced plot, some readers might become bogged down with the over-abundance of details concerning the embroidery. I believe The Gown will resonate with readers who enjoy reading about the Royal Family. Recommended.