27 Jul 2015


Book Review/ The Dress by Kate Kerrigan

Lily Fitzpatrick loves vintage clothes - made all the more precious because they were once owned and loved by another woman. Thousands follow her vintage fashion blog and her daily Instagram feed. But this passion for the beautiful clothes of the past is about to have unforeseen consequences, when Lily stumbles upon the story of a 1950s New York beauty, who was not only everything Lily longs to be, but also shares Lily's surname.

Joy Fitzpatrick was a legend. But what was the famous dress which she once commissioned - said to be so original that nothing in couture would ever match it again? What happened to it - and why did Joy suddenly disappear from New York high society?

Kate Kerrigan's enthralling novel interweaves the dramatic story of Joy, the beautiful but tortured socialite and that of Lily - determined to uncover the truth and, if possible, bring back to life the legendary dress itself.

Published:     10th September 2015
Publisher:  Head of Zeus
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher

Now this book was one that really surprised me.  For those who know me, I am not a fashion person.  I am not into fashion and really just wears what I like despite that it currently the 'in' thing to wear.  I have to be honest and say that I did think that maybe I wouldn't read this as this wasn't my thing but I am really glad that I decided to give it a chance.  I started off the year with the resolution that I would try to read more books that are 'out of my comfort zone' and this was definitely one of them.

This book is split into three different character perspectives.  First you have Lily who is in the present day.  She is the one that discovers a picture of the dress and becomes obsessed with finding out more about it.  Next you have Joy who we see in the 1950s.  She is the person who has the dress commissioned and wears the dress. We follow her story with her husband Frank and her story of the Dress.  Lastly you have Honor who is also in the 1950s.  She is the seamstress who made The Dress.  We follow her story making the dress and so much more as the story goes on.  I really enjoyed following each of these three character's stories but if I had to choose a favourite (or favourites) it would have to be the story of Joy and Honor.  There are a lot of ups and downs and definitely a few surprises that I never saw coming.  Another character who plays a key part in the 1950s story is Frank, Joy's husband.  He definitely has a lot of secrets in his past and in the present 1950s as well.

This is such a beautiful story that captured my imagination from the very first page.  Even if you are not keen on fashion, do give this a go.

Kate Kerrigan is an author living and working in Ireland. Her novels are Recipes for a Perfect Marriage, The Miracle of Grace, Ellis Island, City of Hope, Land of Dreams and The Lost Garden.

Kate began her career as an editor and journalist, editing many of Britain’s most successful young women’s magazines before returning to her native Ireland in the 1990’s to edit Irish Tatler. 

She writes a weekly column in the Irish Mail about her life in Killala, County Mayo – and contributes regularly to RTE's radio's Sunday Miscellany.