The Grace Kelly Dress

Written by Brenda Janowitz
Review by Julia C. Fischer

The Grace Kelly Dress tells the story of three women connected through the generations by a Grace Kelly-inspired wedding dress. In 1958 Paris, Rose is a young woman who has no family left and works for a famous designer’s atelier. There, she eventually designs a beautiful wedding dress for a wealthy bride who wants her own version of Grace Kelly’s wedding dress. Rose falls in love with the bride’s brother. In 1980s New York City, Joanie, a college student, has recently gotten engaged but her happiness is marred by her older sister’s recent death. Finally, in 2020, Joanie’s daughter Rocky is an app designer who is about to get married. Joanie wants Rocky to wear her wedding dress, which was also worn by Joanie’s mother, but Rocky doesn’t want to. Rose’s, Joanie’s, and Rocky’s stories are connected by the dress, and family drama abounds.

The title gives the impression that this book is about Grace Kelly and her wedding dress. However, Janowitz’s book should instead be titled “The Grace Kelly Knock-Off Dress,” since this is the focus. Grace Kelly is not a character, and readers will not learn much new about the iconic actress and princess. Also, this book is marketed as a historical novel, but it should be classified as chick lit or women’s fiction as readers will not learn much more about the 1950s or the 1980s. However, despite my misconceptions about this novel, I enjoyed it for what it was: a light, easy, beach or vacation read that is full of romance and family secrets. Fans of Jane Green and Emily Giffin will especially love this book.