THE GIRL IN WHITE GLOVES
A Novel of Grace Kelly
By: Kerri Maher
Published: February 25, 2020
I grew up in the generation of watching the life of Princess Diana. I remember waking up in the middle of the night just to watch her wedding and then being completely devastated as I learned that she was killed in a car accident. The lives of Princess Diana and Princess Grace Kelly are eerily similar in some ways. I was only ten when Princess Grace Kelly died in a car accident and I remember really nothing about her life, her career, or her marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco. Because I love historical fiction based on real events and people, I was intrigued to learn more about Grace Kelly’s life.
Maher admits to taking liberties with Grace Kelly’s story adding fictionalized characters, changing up the timelines of events in some cases, and obviously making up conversations and even letters to add to the details of the story. Maher obviously did solid research and took great care to tell Grace Kelly’s story.
I found Grace Kelly’s story to be one that we assume is greener, but unfortunately, it’s a reminder that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. She never felt “good enough” for her parents even though she was gorgeous, a talented Academy-Award-Winning actress, and then a princess. She tried to find happiness with men that were too old or too needy or too demanding. Eventually, finding her prince that ended up not being as princely as she had dreamed. Her husband ended up being eerily similar to her father…which is really no surprise.
Grace Kelly’s story saddened me and I wish she had confided more in her closest friends about how she felt. She was a strong woman and stood up for herself at times, but when she really needed to, she found herself “in too deep” and had to just accept her life as it was. Her parents angered me as did her marriage. Her true joy was found in her children and I hope they knew how much she loved them as it was clear in the story.
My only disappointment with this novel was the timeline jumping. This happens in a lot of novels, especially historical fiction ones, where the story flashes back in time after starting in the present to take the reader through the events that led to a present-day situation. This one jumps around from the 1950s to the 1940s to the 1960s and then up to the 70s and 80s and Kelly’s death. I think since I knew very little about her story, the jumping around in time was more confusing. Plus, since I knew very little, I felt like reading ahead in the timeline was spoilers for what I would get to later in the story.
What I loved were the details that Maher took to explain the fashion, the life of Hollywood actors and actresses, and Kelly’s life in Monaco. She vividly painted pictures of lavish parties, gorgeous dresses, and beautiful scenery to put the reader in the scene.
Reading this story interested me enough in the life of Grace Kelly to do more of my own research. I loved finding pictures of Grace Kelly and her family and hope to watch one of her movies as well.
Kerri Maher holds an MFA from Columbia University and founded YARN, an award-winning literary journal of short-form YA writing. A writing professor for many years, she now writes full-time and lives with her daughter and dog in a leafy suburb west of Boston. Check out her website, HERE.
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