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The Gown

Updated: Aug 3, 2020

A Novel of the Royal Wedding

Three compelling women, two timelines and a delightful historical fiction story of friendship, dedication and survival.



London 1947 - Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin are talented embroiderers who work for fashion designer Norman Hartnell and have be chosen to create the intricate stitching that will adorn Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown. It’s an extraordinary opportunity for a working class English girl and a French émigré who survived the Nazis.

Toronto 2016 - Heather Mackenzie has inherited a silk set of exquisitely embroidered flowers samples from her recently deceased grandmother, Nan. Heather learns that the flower samples actually matched Queen Elizabeth’s 1947 wedding gown. She also finds an old photo of her grandmother standing next to Miriam Dassin, a celebrated London artist.

How did Nan, a yarn shop owner, come to possess these treasures and what is her connection to Miriam Dassin? To unlock the secrets about her Grandmother’s connection to the embroidered flowers and Miriam Dassin, Heather travels to London, a journey leading her to her discovery of her grandmothers past and her own destiny

“Just keep your chin up, Ann, and you can face anything,” Mum had said. “And don’t look back, no matter what you do.” Her mom had never been one for hugs or soft words, but she had been honest, and most of the time she’s been right, too. So chin up it was, and no looking back..

“Swirls of tiny gold beads, translucent crystals, and matte copper sequins would cover nearly all the bodice by the time she was finished, the design continuing onto the skirt in irregular waves.”


The Gown is captivating from the very first stitch. It’s a beautiful woven story of dedication, friendship and survival told through the eyes of three compelling women.

Author Jennifer Robson’s writing is seamless and her descriptions made me feel as if I was sitting next to Ann and Miriam in the stress-filled Hartnell workroom creating a masterpiece and sharing secrets. Robson effortlessly blends the timelines and stories of 1947 and present day, making the read most enjoyable. This delightful read is recommended for readers who enjoy emotionally engaging historical fiction. Despite being a work of fiction the story is as rich as the satin embroidered wedding gown.

Author Jennifer Robson lives in Toronto with her husband and young children. She is the best-selling author of Somewhere in France, After the War is Over, Moonlight Over Paris Goodnight from London. She holds a doctorate from Saint Anthony’s College, University of Oxford.

“Worrying about what would become of her work once it was a finished was a waste of time, she told herself. The act of creation was what mattered.”

Publisher William Morrow/Harper Collins

Published December 31, 2018

Narrated Marisa Calin

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