Calling all history lovers! This round up of Susan's recent reads is a look into the past. From accurate stories, looser interpretations, and pure fiction, these picks will fill up your summer with tales from a bygone era.
"The Grand Design: A Novel of Dorothy Draper" is a fictional novel that pictures the life and adventures of Dorothy Draper, a well-known American interior designer from the mid-20th century. The story follows Dorothy's journey as she rises to prominence within the interior design industry – and in the process, goes against societal norms and defies all odds along the way.
"I loved learning about Dorothy Draper's fascinating life and career journey. I was first drawn to this book because I knew Dorothy as the decorator responsible for the Greenbrier, which our jewelry is carried in. Its interiors are distinct, with bold patterns and bright colors, and have stood the test of time. Now knowing Dorothy as a person, I can better understand her design vision, and I appreciate her decorating choices even more."
“Meet Me in Monaco: A Novel of Grace Kelly's Royal Wedding,” discovers the enchanting world of Grace Kelly and her fairytale wedding to Prince Rainier III of Monaco. Grace seeks an escape from the overpowering paparazzi crews and craves a life away from the chaos. As a result, Sophie Duval shelters Kelly in her boutique in hopes to avoid a nagging British press photographer, James Henderson. Readers are captivated by the chain of events that stretch across thirty years of friendship, love, and turmoil.
"I've always been a huge admirer of Grace Kelly (who isn't?), and getting a deeper perspective of her personally was captivating. While it might not be 100% factual, I really enjoyed this read and the world it drew me into."
Patakidives deep into the life and achievements of one of America’s most prominent business women, philanthropist, and socialite, Marjorie Merriweather Post. Born into a weathy family and raised in high society, Marjorie displayed a keen interest in business ownership and entrepreneurship. After receiving a substantial fortune from her father, Marjorie uses her determined spirit to take on the male-dominated business world – and all of the unique challenges that come with it.
"The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post has been my very favorite read of late. I have recommended it to everyone. It left me inspired, fascinated, and a little bit heartbroken at times. This is a must-read!"
Written by Tessa Arlen, “A Dress of Violet Taffeta” is based on the true story of the infamous French icon Lucy who is determined to utilize her creative innovations as a way to make a living. In the midst of chaos, Lucy becomes one of 706 people to survive the sinking of the Titanic. She does not allow turmoil of this historic disaster defeat her as she continues to pursue her dream as a trailblazing, fashion sensation.
"This book is for the fashion lover. Not only is it a fascinating story of a single mother and Titanic survivor, but the author did a brilliant job communicating beautiful imagery. I could visualize the main character's designs and wished I could try them on!"
"Hepburn's Necklace: A Novel" is a heartwarming family saga presented as a standalone work of fiction. Set against a backdrop of love, loss, and resilience, the book explores the lives of multiple generations. As the plot thickens, journeys are intertwined and the enduring power of a cherished family heirloom quickly becomes a symbol of strength and connection. This heirloom links the descent and drives the storyline, and it eventually assists the characters when facing inevitable adversity.
"While this pick is pure fiction, I was nearly convinced that main characters Ruby and Ariana were real! This was a lighter read, and I loved the Lake Como setting and the intergenerational connection."
An unexpected life journey takes place when a young group of women are chosen to be the final three debutantes presented to Queen Elizabeth II. Thousands of eager mothers and self-assured daughters rush to the palace with letters in hand seeking the most valued invitation of the year – with hopes to curtsy to young Queen Elizabeth II and officially advance into society. The novel tells the story of three very different young women, Lily Nichols, Leana Hartford, and Katherine Norman.