Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Book Review: The Girl in White Gloves by Kerri Maher

Pages: 384
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Pub. Date:  February 25, 2020
Publisher: Berkley
Other Books By Author: The Kennedy Debutante
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads say, "A life in snapshots…  Grace knows what people see. She’s the Cinderella story. An icon of glamor and elegance frozen in dazzling Technicolor. The picture of perfection. The girl in white gloves.  A woman in living color…  But behind the lens, beyond the panoramic views of glistening Mediterranean azure, she knows the truth. The sacrifices it takes for an unappreciated girl from Philadelphia to defy her family and become the reigning queen of the screen. The heartbreaking reasons she trades Hollywood for a crown. The loneliness of being a princess in a fairy tale kingdom that is all too real.  Hardest of all for her adoring fans and loyal subjects to comprehend, is the harsh reality that to be the most envied woman in the world does not mean she is the happiest. Starved for affection and purpose, facing a labyrinth of romantic and social expectations with more twists and turns than Monaco’s infamous winding roads, Grace must find her own way to fulfillment. But what she risks--her art, her family, her marriage—she may never get back."

Grace Kelly comes for an affluent family in Philadelphia, but unlike some of her Main Line counterparts, her father's family comes from Irish immigrants and Jack Kelly has made a name for himself in bricklaying and construction; in fact, he's a millionaire   Even though some high society circles don't fully accept the Kellys, they are still an incredible family destined for greatness if Grace's father, a former Olympian, has anything to say about it.  As Grace gets older, she leaves behind her family's tight grip on her and follows her dream to New York City and then Hollywood to become an actress, but things aren't always easy for her.  All the while, she is always trying to impress her parents and seek their approval deep down inside.  Readers are taken on a wild ride of the ins and outs of the movie business, contracts, Hollywood's starlets, and all of her love interests.  Things really pick up for Grace when Alfred Hitchcock starts to cast her in his movies and then her love life becomes the forefront of it all when she meets the Prince of Monaco.  The Girl in White Gloves by Kerri Maher will tug on your heartstrings and fans of Grace Kelly, as well as stories about Royals, will especially enjoy this fictional biography.  

I have always adored Grace Kelly and The Girl in White Gloves further solidifies my appreciation.  I love that she grew up outside Philadelphia and vacationed at the Jersey Shore. Although her family is wealthy, readers are always reminded that not only are they Irish Catholics, but they worked hard to get where they are at now.  Not only did her father build a successful business and compete in the Olympics for rowing, her mother made a name for herself as a teacher and a the first female coach at University of Pennsylvania.  Grace's uncle was a Vaudeville star and a famous actor. Her other uncle won the Pulitzer Prize for drama. So, obviously, the Kelly family is used to high-acheivers and that was a lot of pressure for Grace who preferred to stay inside and preform plays. Her story takes us through her years of struggling to find a place in the world of acting all the way to her success on the big screen.

I really like how Maher brought us behind the scenes in all of her big films, like High Noon, How to Catch a Thief, and Rear Window.  If you love Old Hollywood, like me, then you will especially appreciate all of the famous actors and actress of the time making appearances in The Girl in White Gloves.  

Once Grace meets the Prince of Monaco things really start to change in The Girl in White Gloves. I never knew that she corresponded with the Prince for quite sometime after their initial meeting.  I love how Maher brought this aspect of their relationship to life.  Once Grace becomes a Princess, I also think Maher did a wonderful job of showing how complicated that life can be. Being a princess isn't some always like a day at Disney World. There are responsibilities and all that glitters isn't gold.  Sometimes the life can be depressing and difficult. Given the recent drama within the British Royal family, I think readers who enjoy stories about the Royals will make that connection and appreciate this aspect of the novel.  

Even though we all know about Grace's untimely death, it still broke my heart. It really made me think about what if she didn't die that day? What did her future hold?  I find Grace Kelly's life to be inspiring, beautiful, challenging, but always very intriguing. If you feel the same way, pick up a copy of The Girl in White Gloves. After reading Maher's The Kennedy Debutante, I thinks she has become my new favorite author of fictional biographies. I can't wait to see who she focuses on next.  I love how her fictional biographies inspire me to learn more about the person, which is a sign of an excellent read! 

Are you a fan of Grace Kelly? Will you be reading The Girl in White Gloves? Do you enjoy fictional biographies? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 


  1. I like the sound of this one!

    1. I hope you get your hands on a copy! Let me know your thoughts if you do! Thanks for visiting, Marg!

  2. I want to know more about Grace Kelly, and this book seems like a good place to start (even though it's fiction!). I love books about royalty.

    1. Me too! I think you'd like this one! Thanks for visiting, Angela!


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