The Bridesmaid's Daughter
Book Feature - The Bridesmaid's Daughter by Nyna Giles
HBL Note: I get so excited when books I read overlap, even in small ways. The author’s mother lived at the Barbizon hotel and became friends with Grace Kelley during that time. Remember when I read and reviewed Fiona Davis’ book The Dollhouse about the Barbizon Hotel? Unlike Fiona’s book, The Bridesmiad’s Daughter is a memoir about the author’s mother who went from being a bridesmaid in Grace Kelley’s wedding to living in a homeless shelter. This book looks absolutely remarkable and I can’t wait to hear what you think of it!
From the publisher:
Nyna Giles was picking up groceries at the supermarket one day when she looked down and saw the headline on the cover of a tabloid: “Former Bridesmaid of Princess Grace Lives in Homeless Shelter.” Nyna was stunned, shocked to see her family’s private ordeal made so public―the woman mentioned on that cover, Carolyn Scott Reybold, was her mother.
Nyna’s childhood had been spent in doctor’s offices. Too ill, she was told, to go to school like other children, she spent nearly every waking moment at her mother’s side at their isolated Long Island estate or on trips into the city to see the ballet. The doctors couldn’t tell her what was wrong, but as Nyna grew up, her mother, who’d always seemed fragile, became more and more distant. Now Nyna was forced to confront an agonizing realization: she barely knew the woman on the magazine in front of her.
She knew that her mother had been a model after arriving in New York in 1947, living at the Barbizon Hotel, where she’d met the young Grace Kelly and that the two had become fast friends. Nyna had seen the photos of Carolyn at Grace’s wedding, wearing the yellow bridesmaid gown that had hung in her closet for years. But how had the seemingly confident, glamorous woman in those pictures become the mother she knew growing up―the mother who was now living in a shelter?
In this powerful memoir of friendship and motherhood, Nyna Giles uncovers her mother’s past to answer the questions she never knew to ask.