#BookReview: The Pink Suit by Nicole Mary Kelby

Reviewer: Leah

I received a review copy

the pink suitSummary:

On November 22, 1963, the First Lady accompanied her husband to Dallas, Texas dressed in a pink Chanel-style suit that was his favorite. Much of her wardrobe, including the pink suit, came from the New York boutique Chez Ninon where a young seamstress, an Irish immigrant named Kate, worked behind the scenes to meticulously craft the memorable outfits.

While the two never met, Kate knew every tuck and pleat needed to create the illusion of the First Lady’s perfection. When the pink suit became emblematic, Kate’s already fragile world–divided between the excess and artistry of Chez Ninon and the traditional values of her insular neighborhood–threatened to rip apart.

Moving from the back rooms of Chez Ninon to the steps of Air Force One, The Pink Suit is an enchanting, unforgettable novel about hope and heartbreak, and what became of the American Dream.

Review:

The Pink Suit is a look into the world of Jackie Kennedy and the rich socialite women of New York, through the eyes of seamstress Kate Quinn. Jackie Kennedy, wife of John F. Kennedy, became famous for her fashion sense, in particular her pink Chanel suit. But what about the people who actually stitched the designs together? The heroine of this novel is Kate Quinn, Irish immigrant and worker at Chez Ninon. She and the owners, the pirates of French fashions, create the sensational designs that the upper crust wear, their best patron being “The Wife”, Jackie Kennedy. Kate finds herself torn between the pride of Inwood, her Irish neighborhood; and the beauty and elegance of the world of debutantes and “The Wife”. Kate is courted by the butcher, Patrick Harris, who she loves, but is this love stronger than her love to design and create? Her love of the pink Chanel suit?

I really enjoyed this book as it gave a real in depth view into the world of fashion, all the way into the bobbins, threads, buttons, etc. I enjoyed the poetic descriptions the author gave of the fabric, the creation process, and the overall love expressed for the final product. The characters were realistic, as Kate deals with trying to balance her intense work week, her family and relationships, her dreams and desires: all amidst the changing times of the 1960s. There are certain moments when the book drags a bit, but on a whole the novel was extremely enjoyable and I found it difficult to put down.

4.5 stars

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