Book review: the alice network by kate quinn

War. Espionage. Feminism. Need I say more?

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn is a historical fictional novel, losely based on the pursuits of Louise de Bettignies, a female spy in World War I. The novel intertwines the courageous story of two women, Eve and Charlie, who essentially live parallel lives to one another. Their experiences in upholding justice and finding the truth are intertwined when the latter is searching for her missing cousin in a post-World War II era. The novel addresses topics that were considered taboo for women of that era, specifically pregnancy before marriage and a women’s role in society and war. Deliciously written, Quinn eloquently ties together themes of war, espionage and feminism all in one book. A novel that I could not put down, its no surprise to me why this is a New York Times Best Seller and a Heather’s Pick at Chapter’s Indigo. I highly recommend reading this book, especially if you are searching for something with a sense of purpose.

Book review: The Grace Kelly Dress by Brenda Janowitz

As a young bride-to-be back in 2012, the inspiration behind my dress was the lace detailing from Princess Grace of Monaco’s wedding dress. I remember being captivated by the idea of having a lace wedding dress as it reflects my personal style of classical elegance. Next to Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly’s style is one of the most iconic styles in history and this was a look I wanted to emulate when I got married.

Me as a young bride in October 2012.
Photo credit: Signature Design & Photography

Back in August, while pursuing the shelves of Indigo, the title of Brenda Janowitz’s seventh novel, “The Grace Kelly Dress,” caught my eye. When I first picked up the novel, I thought it would be about the actual Grace Kelly wedding dress, but to my surprise, it was not. To be honest, it took me a few chapters to get into this book. At one point, I would say maybe a couple of chapters in, the plot thickened! The stories of three different women from the same family were intertwined: Rocky, an unconventional bride-to-be; Joanie, a young college girl questioning her purpose in life and finally, Rose, a struggling French seamstress. The story’s main themes revolve around love, loss and the importance of family tradition.

On a broader scale, the book was just more than about a dress. It was about three women, spanning from three different generations, and their experiences with loss, love and discovery of self. It was about how the dress made each one of them question their purpose in life and look deeper into themselves. In general, the book made me think about what traditions in my family that I value and want to pass onto my children. It also made me think more about how traditions can adapt with ever changing norms and conventions.

The book had a wonderful ending, although I personally felt as if some questions left unanswered for me, specifically with Joanie, Rocky’s mother.

I could definitely see this book becoming a film at some point. This book is definitely a weekend reader over a glass of wine! Despite a slow start, I highly recommend reading this novel as it will leave you curious to learn more about the dress that bonds three generations of women together.

Wine pairing: I enjoyed reading this book it over a glass of Peller Estates Private Reserve Gamay Noir 2018. You can find this at your local Wine Shop.