Title: The Wedding Dress
Author: Danielle Steel
Published: April 28th 2020
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Romance
Rating: 3 stars
The Deveraux family were among the most important members of 1920s San Francisco society, and the wedding of their daughter, Eleanor, to wealthy banker Alexander Allen would be the highlight of the 1929 social calendar. The wedding, held in the family’s magnificent Pacific Heights mansion, was everything they’d hoped, and Eleanor’s dress was a triumph. Designed by one of the most famous fashion houses in Paris, it was exquisite in every way. But the dream life was about to come to an end, along with the most perfect honeymoon in Europe, when Alex received news of the Wall Street Crash. It seemed that the family was about to lose everything . . .
In the years that followed, the Deveraux lived through periods of huge social and political change, not only in America but in the rest of the world. What brought them together was the beautiful wedding dress, first worn by Eleanor, which remained a family heirloom and continued to hold a special place in the hearts of a family desperate to survive the turmoil and changing fortunes of the times.
‘This was her moment, when she was finally going to wear The Dress! And in a few hours she was going to be a bride.’
I’m sure in these trying times of a world pandemic, escapist reads such as those offered by number one bestseller Danielle Steel have the ability to provide some solace in a time of uncertainty. The Wedding Dress features a stunning cover and the story inside is pleasant. It covers over four generations of a family and their link to a beautiful French couture wedding dress.
Danielle Steel returns with a new family saga, covering decades of change. Travelling through social, economic and political changes, Steel covers a great deal of historical ground. Steel’s focus family is the Deveraux clan, a wealthy and influential set of the San Francisco area. The story begins with the high society wedding of Eleanor Deveraux to Alex Allen, a man with strong connections to the banking world. This wedding of the year is based at the stunning Deveraux mansion and the pinnacle of this event is Eleanor’s amazing dress, which comes straight from an exclusive French fashion house. With their dreamy wedding behind them and an unforgettable honeymoon to celebrate their nuptials, the newlyweds soon find they are tested to their limits. The big stock market crash in 1929 puts this couple’s family wealth at risk, as they grapple with uncertain times. This is the first storm among many Eleanor and Alex must weather, along with their descendants. Despite these trials and tribulations, Eleanor’s treasured dress remains a prized piece, passed down to each new generation. This signature dress represents hope, love, endurance and beauty, across the ages.
The Wedding Dress is international bestselling author Danielle Steel’s latest release. It is a historical family saga, delving into decades of change, upheaval, economic downturns and political movements. The constant fixture through all these transitions is an exquisite one of a kind wedding dress, first adorned by Eleanor Deveraux, a young woman who comes from wealthy stock. What follows is a story that spans many years, covering plenty of historical events and expansions to the Deveraux name. The Wedding Dress was a quick and easy read that I found to be a good distraction piece.
Steel fills The Wedding Dress with a handful of good and bad characters. There are heroes, heroines, villains and black sheep in this novel and all are characterised well by Steel. Eleanor and Alex, the principal couple of the tale, were a genuinely nice twosome to follow. I also enjoyed the romance aspect between Alex and Eleanor. As Alex and Eleanor’s family tree grows, it was nice to follow along with their offspring. I also took a liking to Eleanor’s beloved granddaughter Ruby, who occupies a fair chunk of this novel with her trials and tribulations. Steel ends this family’s story with a glimpse into the life of Eleanor’s great granddaughter Kendall, who finds her family loyalty tested when unexpected events surface. The Deveraux family fortunes are dramatic, heartbreaking and emotional.
Steel sprinkles plenty of surrounding world history around this family saga. Touching on the impact of the Spanish Flu, both wars, the Great Depression, the Wall Street Crash, Pearl Harbour and the rise of technology. The Wedding Dress bears witness to many significant events. I felt these were all very important, but many were surface glances only. While some areas Steel goes into quite in-depth and she seems to take an almost repetitive tone where she spills out many facts, while other aspects are glossed over. There were gaps felt in this novel and I had questions about the characters during some intermittent times. The bones were there, it just wasn’t executed to its highest degree.
Carrying this novel is the strength and symbolic power of the wedding dress. I loved the cover and synopsis The Wedding Dress. I was keen to see how a beautiful wedding dress could span time, place and family generations. I loved how the dress hailed from an exclusive fashion house in France. I tried to conjure an image in my mind of what this exquisite set piece would look like. It was nice to dream about this magical dress!
Steel’s novels always tend to have a touch of glamour, glitz, luxury and a cosmopolitan feel to them. The Wedding Dress is no exception to the rule. Expect to be whisked away on private boats, jets and fast cars to picturesque locales. While the stunning Deveraux mansion looms over many of the key events of this book, it is a symbol of wealth and status. Steel wraps everything up in three hundred pages, closing her story off with an expected happy ending, despite the anguish experienced by her cast.
The Wedding Dress is a book that provides a light getaway for readers. It is a story of family heirlooms, legacies, love, bonds, loyalty and endurance. Women’s fiction readers, romance fans and those who enjoy family sagas with a touch of history may gravitate to Steel’s latest.
The Wedding Dress was published on 28th April 2020 by Pan Macmillan. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of The Wedding Dress, Danielle Steel, visit here.
*Thanks extended to Pan Macmillan for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.