Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Royal Review - Grace Kelly: A Life in Pictures

I found the book quite by mistake. Surfing, I was looking for new royalty books and I came up with this. Without thinking twice, or bothering with reviews, I ordered it. Receiving the confirmation email made me one step closer to owning this book. The estimated delivery date reassured me that it would arrive soon and I eagerly checked my doorstep for the familiar cardboard box. After a day or so of waiting, I went to check the superbox (neighborhood mailbox) and there it was, wedged into the oversized bin. Tossing dignity aside I braced myself against the box with my foot, pulled the book out, taking care not to destroy the box or the hinges on the door. Yes, finally, here it is!

Can you tell I love books like this?

So much so, that I actually own several other books by the same author. Of the seven books in the series, I own the ones on John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and John F. Kennedy Jr. Will I buy the Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg version? Probably, I love anything to do with the Kennedy family.

But I digress.

Grace Kelly: A life in pictures covers her life from infancy to her death. Like the other versions, this book has several pages in front of the book with biographical information. If you're familiar with her life story you, like myself, can skip these pages and go directly to the beautiful photographs. While the book can be enjoyed just for the photographs themselves, care has been taken to not make her appear as just a pretty face or a fairytale princess. The quotations by her, indispersed throughout the book, remind us that there was a real person behind whatever idealistic image we may continue to hold of her.

We see Grace as a baby and a somewhat awkward little girl in a family of over achievers. We see her in all her glamour shot glory, and at the pinacle of her success as she wins an Academy Award. Then we see her transformation to a princess on her wedding day. She is shown with her husband and children at work and at play. As she grows older, some of the photographs aren't necessarily flattering, but this makes her more human. If I have any complaint about this book, it's the title. While she may be more familiar to people as a movie star, she spent more of her life as a princess. Also, some of the photographs aren't always chronologically organized. Several years into her life as a princess, for no inexplicable reason, pre-wedding photos during her engagement period show up.

While the book claims to have never before seen photos, Princess Grace fan that I am, I've actually seen almost all of them. Still, I was not disappointed. Whether you're a Grace Kelly/Princess Grace fan, I recommend this book for encapsulating a fascinating life and for the sheer beauty of the photographs.

© Marilyn Braun 2007

To order this book, click here.

1 comment:

s.w. vaughn said...

Hi Marilyn! Stopping over from AW for a visit. :-) A fascinating blog you have! I am not big on non-fiction, but this book sounds interesting (and the photo of Grace Kelly is just gorgeous!)

Thanks for the review -- I'll have to check it out!