Book Club Questions for The Gown by Jennifer Robson

by Heather Caliendo
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The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson is a beautifully-written novel about love and friendship. The following book club questions will have spoilers so if you haven’t read the novel yet, check out my preview and review first.

The story begins in London 1947 where the announcement of a royal wedding is a much welcomed distraction from a city still suffering post-war. We follow Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell. The novel then takes readers to Toronto 2016, as Heather Mackenzie seeks to unravel the mystery of a set of embroidered flowers from her late grandmother, who never spoke of her old life in Britain. For more about the synopsis, click here.

Let’s get into the book club questions.

  • The story is told from the perspectives of Ann, Miriam and Heather. At the beginning we find each one at a crossroads of sorts. Let’s talk about how each woman evolved through the book.
  • The author Jennifer Robson really paints a picture of how bleak London was post-war. Why do you think the royal wedding seemed to boost morale for the citizens?
  • There’s an interesting dynamic of how each person views the royals. Ann’s sister-in-law is not impressed and Miriam doesn’t quite understand the fascination with them when she moves to London. Whereas Ann is a fan and is proud to work on the clothing for the women of the royal family. How do you think you would have felt about the royal family during that era? How do you feel about them now? Have you ever watched any of the royal weddings?
  • What did you think about the scenes involving making the embroidery for the gown?
  • Even though it’s post-war, the people of that era lived with the horror of the war for the rest of their lives. Let’s talk about how the war impacted Miriam and Ann.
  • Why do you think Ann never talked about her past in London and working on Queen Elizabeth II’s gown with her family?
  • What do you think was the defining motivation for Ann to leave behind the embroideries from the gown and address it to Heather?
  • Why do you think Heather was so persistent in finding out more about her grandmother’s past? What did she discover about herself as well?
  • Do you agree with Ann that her only choice for that era was to leave London and move to Canada for a clean break?
  • Why do you think Ann never tried to get in touch with Miriam?
  • Miriam becomes a famous artist, marries Walter and has a big family. What did you think about how her life turned out?
  • Let’s talk about the romance between Heather and Daniel! Will they last?

Book club must-haves

Alright, book friends—you simply must throw a London theme when you discuss The Gown! Here’s some fun items to get:

Check out this festive table runner!

You can purchase it on Amazon here.

These London cupcake toppers are super cute.

You can purchase it on Amazon here.

You simply must have tea when discussing this one. Why not some ‘royal palace’ tea?

You can purchase it on Amazon here.

The perfect tea mug to go with it.

You can purchase it on Amazon here.

Next on my TBR (to-be-read)

In Another Time by Jillian Cantor is next on my list. Check out my preview here.

Also, feel free to discuss your thoughts on The Gown below!

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2 comments

Sarah C Bell March 6, 2019 - 4:26 am

In the Gown how did Jeremy know Ann worked at Hartnells? Thanks I missed something….

Reply
Heather Caliendo March 6, 2019 - 4:02 pm

Hi Sarah! It’s been a while since I read it but I believe he found out the first time he met Ann when all the women went out dancing. I think it was one of the other girls who revealed it. And he singled out Ann because he thought he could manipulate her. Thank you for visiting the site and commenting!

-Heather

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