Monday, 4 August 2014

Pink Suit by Nicole Mary Kelby

"ON A SUNNY MORNING IN NOVEMBER 1963, President and Mrs Kennedy were greeted by ecstatic crowds in Dallas, Texas. By the end of the day, Mrs Kennedy was a widow, and her pink suit, bloodstained and battered, had become the emblem of a country's horrified grief.

Kate Quinn is an Irish immigrant, working as a seamstress at Chez Ninon, an exclusive Manhattan atelier responsible for much of Mrs Kennedy's wardrobe. Kate and the First Lady share roots on Ireland's west coast, and although their lives could not be more different, Kate cannot but feel they have a connection - a connection she savours as she uses the toiles of each garment she sews for Mrs Kennedy to create a garment in a different fabric for her niece.

Then comes the dreadful day when pictures of Kate's handiwork, splattered with the president's blood, are beamed across the world, and Kate finds that ideals of all kinds can be hard to live up to.

The Pink Suit is an engrossing, elegant novel about clothes, history and the tiny stitches that anchor our lives and our dreams."

The Pink Suit is not at all what I had expected.  I expected it to feature the Kennedy's story more heavily rather than it being a backdrop to an almost entirely different story.  

struggled with the beginning, with all its detailed talk of behind the scenes fashion.  In contrast, it is the beginning that my mum enjoyed most.  The story then delves deeper into the life of Kate, an Irish seamstress working in an American fashion house.  This element I enjoyed more, although I would have liked a bit more of Ireland.  But that is a purely personal choice, and cannot really be a criticism of the book itself.

Personally, I found the ending rushed and unsatisfying.  All in all, it was ok, but unfortunately, not a book I adored.

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