Friday, April 22, 2016

A GOWN OF THORNS - Natalie Meg Evans

Hidden within the wardrobe’s embrace, she rifled through the folds of cloth until her fingers stopped at a gown of violet, lavender and silver-grey pleats. She lifted it off its hanger and turned towards the mirror…

Shauna Vincent arrives in the little French village of Chemignac after accepting an offer to be an au pair to the grandchildren of an old family friend. As she begins to explore her new home at the ancient Chateau de Chemignac with it’s beautiful vineyards, she discovers a locked tower room where she unearths a treasure trove of exquisite vintage dresses. One gown feels unsettlingly familiar. When Shauna falls asleep one afternoon in a valley full of birdsong, she has a strange dream of a vintage aircraft circling threateningly overhead. So when she suddenly awakes to find charming local landowner Laurent standing over her - Shauna wonders if he might be just the person to help her untangle this unexpected message from the past. A Gown of Thorns draws you into a richly evocative world steeped in secrets that will mesmerize fans of Rachel Hauck’s The Wedding Dress, Kristen Hannah’s The Nightingale and Adriani Trigiani.


MODERN GIRLS is a novel that takes place in New York City in the 1930's. It evokes the struggles faced by a Russian Jewish mother, Rose, and her daughter, Dottie who both find themselves pregnant at the same time. She keeps her pregnancy secret from her daughter.

Dottie becomes pregnant by a young man named Willie with who she had slept with only once, despite the fact she is engaged to another young man named Abe. When all attempts to arrive at a solution fail, her mother steps in and convinces her to have an abortion. But plans often go awry and for both these women, the answer to their problems arise unexpectantly and is not what they had originally planned. Their plights in the restrictive era in which they live rendered this tale poignant and heart-wrenching.

The first third of the story is definitely interesting, but a little slow paced. Once the groundwork was laid, however, the plot became engaging and interesting and I was fully immersed, eager to read on to learn what came next.

The story is based on the Jewish religion and adds a strong flavor to the story. The use of Yiddish words in italics sometimes pulled me from the story to look up their meanings, but added learning and authenticity. A glossary would have been helpful and I hope the publisher has added it to the final sale version of the book.

Rosie and Dottie portray a profound love for each other, one in which will bind them forever. The ending is only the finale of part 1 of the story. It will obviously be continued with a sequel. I eagerly look forward to it as it will take reader into Europe and the dangers of World War II and the risks Dottie will face.

Definitely a 5 star read - wonderful Women's Historical Fiction. I recommend it for mothers and daughters and for book clubs.

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for visiting my blog,, where the greatest historical fiction is reviewed! For fascinating women of history bios and women's fiction please visit

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