Book: The Pink Suit: A novel of hope, heartbreak and the American Dream
Author: Nicole Mary Kelby
Available: 5th June 2014
If you enjoy this book you might like: Girl with a Pearl Earring – Tracy Chevalier
Summary: Kate is an Irish seamstress working in the back room of Chez Ninon, an exclusive Manhattan atelier entrusted with creating much of Jackie Kennedy’s wardrobe. As Kate creates pieces for Mrs Kennedy, she starts fashioning identical garments for her niece, and finds her life becoming intertwined with the First Lady’s iconic wardrobe.
I escaped the dreary weather this week and headed off for a mini break, taking Nicole Mary Kelby’s The Pink Suit along with me.
One thing I love as much as books is fashion, so I was excited to read some fiction based around Jackie Kennedy’s iconic pink suit. While I did really enjoy the novel, on the fashion side I was a bit disappointed. I think if you’re interested in the technical side of how clothes are put together, it’s a brilliant novel. There’s a lot of detail in how Kate creates the pieces, and it was really interesting but sometimes it took me out of the story a bit.
What I did really love about the book was Nicole’s writing – she’s wonderfully descriptive. Without giving too much away, there’s a particularly dramatic scene involving a fire, and Nicole creates so much chaos you find yourself panicking alongside the characters. She knows how to set the scene, but she also has a great way of presenting her characters. For example, Kate’s bosses are known as ‘The Ladies’, and while we do get to see some of their individuality, the way Nicole writes about them as one unit gives you a real sense of how they run their business: they work together, make the decisions together, and ultimately, they have the final word. They were my favourite characters – really vibrant and powerful!
The way Nicole presents Jackie Kennedy was particularly brilliant. Throughout the novel, she is simply referred to as ‘The Wife’. For a novel focusing so heavily on this fashion icon and her famous clothing, I loved that we still get a sense of mystery around the First Lady. We see her so much in the story, and yet when I thought about it, there aren’t actually that many passages in which she features. I love that about Nicole’s writing – you get so much information and detail, but it doesn’t take over – she leaves enough room for some mystery, so the plot isn’t predictable.
I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who loves the technical side of fashion, or who is interested in what goes on behind the iconic clothes we see celebrities wearing! Have you read a great book about a fashion icon? Let me know!
Have a lovely weekend,