I have always enjoyed watching classic movies, and Alfred Hitchcock movies in particular. My top 3 favorite Hitchcock movies are Dial M for Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954), and To Catch a Thief (1955). Because I lived in Newport, Rhode Island for a few years, another classic favorite (not by Hitchcock but a favorite none-the-less) is High Society (1956). What do all these movies have in common? They starred the Oscar winning actress and the (then) future Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly.
Over the years since her tragic death in 1982, I have added two Grace Kelly biographies to my library (see the photo in the title box above). I purchased The Bridesmaids: Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, and Six Intimate Friends (New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1989. ISBN 1-555-84-067-1), written by a close friend of Kelly, Judith Balaban Quine. My mother-in-law indulged my book collecting habit and gave me a copy of Robert Lacy’s Grace (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1994. ISBN 0399-13872-2). Both books give a very detailed look into the life and career of Kelly.
More recently, several novels have been published related to the life of Grace Kelly. In Meet Me in Monaco: A Novel of Grace Kelly’s Royal Wedding, by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb (New York: William Morrow, 2019. ISBN 978-0-06-288536-4), Grace is almost a secondary character and her wedding is more of a backdrop to the main story. Sophie Duval is a perfumer in the South of France, desperately trying to keep her family business from closing. While hiding Grace from the paparazzi, Sophie meets photographer James Henderson. This wonderful story spans three decades and reveals the intertwining relationships of friendship, love, and heartbreak (not necessarily in that order!) of these three characters.
These next two novels were published earlier this year. I was to attend a book event to be held at a local theater, which was going to show To Catch a Thief, and then have a signing and meet and greet with the authors. Alas, the event was cancelled, but I did receive my copies of the books. The Girl in White Gloves: A Novel of Grace Kelly, by Kerri Maher (New York: Berkley, 2020. ISBN 978-0-451-49207-4), follows Grace throughout her life and shows how she was determined to win independence from her parents, and at the same time win their approval. I admit while reading this book I sometimes forgot I was reading a work of fiction.
The second book from this event was The Grace Kelly Dress: One Dress, Three Generations of Women. A Lifetime of Love by Brenda Janowtiz (Toronto: Graydon House, 2020. ISBN: 978-1-525-80459-5). This very enjoyable book is also less about Grace Kelly and more about the lives of the women who were inspired by Grace’s wedding dress.
If you like The Grace Kelly Dress, you may want to check out another novel about a different royal wedding dress. The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson (New York: William Morrow, 2018. ISBN 978-0-06-267-495-1), is historical fiction based on the women who created the wedding gown for Queen Elizabeth II. I’ve never been disappointed when reading any of her books, as Robson is a superb storyteller.
I hope you get a chance to read and enjoy these books. If you’d like more information about the authors of these featured books, please click on the links below:
Hazel Gaynor – https://www.hazelgaynor.com/
Brenda Janowitz – http://www.brendajanowitz.com/
Kerri Maher – http://www.kerrimaher.com/
Heather Webb – http://heatherwebbauthor.com/
Jennifer Robson – http://www.jennifer-robson.com/
If you would like more information about the Princess Grace Foundation, please go to this website – https://pgfusa.org/
For more information on The Principality of Monaco, please visit this website – https://www.monte-carlo.mc/en/