Dressing the Dearloves / Kelly Doust
One crumbling grand manor house, a family in decline, five generations of women, and an attic full of beautiful clothes with secrets and lies hidden in their folds. Kelly Doust, author of Precious Things, spins another warm, glamorous and romantic mystery of secrets, love, fashion, families - and how we have to trust in ourselves, even in our darkest of days. One for lovers of Kate Morton, Belinda Alexandra, Fiona McIntosh and Lucy Foley.
Failed fashion designer Sylvie Dearlove is coming home to England - broke, ashamed and in disgrace - only to be told her parents are finally selling their once-grand, now crumbling country house, Bledesford, the ancestral home of the Dearlove family for countless generations.
Sylvie has spent her whole life trying to escape being a Dearlove, and the pressure of belonging to a family of such headstrong, charismatic and successful women. Beset by self-doubt, she starts helping her parents prepare Bledesford for sale, when she finds in a forgotten attic a thrilling cache of old steamer trunks and tea chests full of elaborate dresses and accessories acquired from across the globe by five generations of fashionable Dearlove women. Sifting through the past, she also stumbles across a secret which has been hidden - in plain sight - for decades, a secret that will change the way she thinks about herself, her family, and her future.
Romantic, warm, and glamorous, moving from Edwardian England to the London Blitz to present day London, Dressing the Dearloves is a story of corrosiveness of family secrets, the insecurities that can sabotage our best efforts, and the seductive power of dressing up.
'A stunning creation ... To read a story that is so fervently female, strong in its voices, stories and experiences of womanhood, is refreshing and somehow, life affirming. For all those reasons - and more - Dressing The Dearloves is not to be missed.' Better Reading
'I would highly recommend this book. It was a very entertaining and at times deeply moving read, with lots of twists and turns along the way.' Great Reads and Tea Leaves
'I highly recommend Dressing the Dearloves to those who love their novels draped in fashion, steeped in the atmosphere of old estates, with a smattering of family secrets to uncover. Brilliant, warm, witty, and beautiful!' Theresa Smith Writes