To survive the Holocaust, a young Jewish woman must pose as a Christian farmer’s wife in this unforgettable novel from USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Robson—a story of terror, hope, love, and sacrifice, inspired by true events, that vividly evokes the most perilous days of World War II.
It is the autumn of 1943, and life is becoming increasingly perilous for Italian Jews like the Mazin family. With Nazi Germany now occupying most of her beloved homeland, and the threat of imprisonment and deportation growing ever more certain, Antonina Mazin has but one hope to survive—to leave Venice and her beloved parents and hide in the countryside with a man she has only just met.
Nico Gerardi was studying for the priesthood until circumstances forced him to leave the seminary to run his family’s farm. A moral and just man, he could not stand by when the fascists and Nazis began taking innocent lives. Rather than risk a perilous escape across the mountains, Nina will pose as his new bride. And to keep her safe and protect secrets of his own, Nico and Nina must convince prying eyes they are happily married and in love.
But farm life is not easy for a cultured city girl who dreams of becoming a doctor like her father, and Nico’s provincial neighbors are wary of this soft and educated woman they do not know. Even worse, their distrust is shared by a local Nazi official with a vendetta against Nico. The more he learns of Nina, the more his suspicions grow—and with them his determination to exact revenge.
As Nina and Nico come to know each other, their feelings deepen, transforming their relationship into much more than a charade. Yet both fear that every passing day brings them closer to being torn apart . . .
"Jennifer Robson delivers a satisfying multigenerational epic linked by the intricate embroidery used on Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown. Robson’s meticulous attention to historical details—notably the intricacies of the embroidery work—is a wonderful complement to the memorable stories of Ann and Milly, making for a winning, heartwarming tale."
“In The Gown, Jennifer Robson illuminates with her signature meticulous historical detail and sure voice the story behind Queen Elizabeth’s wedding dress... an unforgettable story of friendship, hardship and hope. Robson has managed to craft a story that is personal and universal, timely and timeless. The Gown soars!”
“Embroidering a magical moment in royal history, Robson tells a heartrending story of friendship, loss, love, and redemption.”
“Jennifer Robson embroiders life, friendship, and hope into the somber gray world of post-war London... The Gown is marvelous and moving, a vivid portrait of female self-reliance in a world racked by the cost of war.”
“Robson deftly weaves issues of class, trauma, romance, and female friendship with satisfying details of Ann and Miriam’s craft. This unique take on the royal wedding will be an easy sell to fans of Netflix’s The Crown and a sure bet for readers of women-centered historical fiction.”
“A moving story about the power of female friendship and renewal in the face of adversity. Like the good luck sprig of heather hidden amid the embroidery on Princess Elizabeth’s wedding dress, this story promises secrets and lives that bloom in unlikely ways. Perfect for fans of The Crown!”
“Jennifer Robson’s novel is a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Elizabeth’s gorgeous wedding gown and its talented embroiderers. It tells of three generations of women overcoming adversity, and honors the strengthening power of friendship and art. It’s a charming and romantic novel with style and substance.”
“Robson vividly brings to life these three women’s struggles. Historical details about fabric, embroidery, and the royal family are well incorporated into their stories, with light romance rounding out this charming work of historical fiction.”
“Told through the eyes of three compelling women, The Gown is a heartwarming story of friendship, resilience, and the power of heirlooms to connect people through generations, sometimes in the most unexpected ways.”
“A story of friendship, family bonds, and courage, The Gown is the ideal read for fans of historical fiction and royal watchers alike!”
“Robson’s novel shifts deftly between... Toronto to London in 2016... giving meticulous attention to the historical detail of post–World War II London. A fascinating glimpse into the world of design, the healing power of art, and the importance of women’s friendships.”
“...one of the most fun books you’ll read this year.”
“For fans of “The Crown,” looking for history served up as intimate drama, and those seeking another angle on royal lives, “The Gown” seems likely to dazzle and delight.