Girl in White Gloves by
Kerri Maher reads more like a biography than a fictional story.
It delves into the life of Grace Kelly, an iconic actress
of her time, who became a princess. Readers get a glimpse
into her childhood dreams, her rise to fame, and her eventual
royal life as Princess of Monaco.
Born into a wealthy family, Grace was encouraged to achieve
success in the things that mattered to her parents: athletics
and social status. Eventually, she followed the call to Hollywood,
and just as her star seemed to have risen, she walked away
to marry a real-life prince. Her life was snuffed out in middle
age, but readers are able to take a journey with her, filled
with love affairs, fame, sacrifices, and heartaches.
The author noted, “The scene with Josephine Baker is
true. After she and her twelve children lost their home in
Dordogne, she gave them a home near Monaco, a villa in Roquebrun,
just up the hill from Larvotto. The wedding also happened
as I wrote it. Also true is that her father and brother were
Olympic rowers, she won an Academy Award that was not a Hitchcock
film, and she almost got engaged to fashion designer Oleg
Cassini. But regarding her thoughts and conversations, as
a novelist, I had to imagine what she thought, felt, and even
had done because so much of her life was unrecorded.”
Once becoming a Princess, her independence was snatched away.
It seems that Prince Rainier was arrogant, patronizing, without
much passion, and a chauvinist. Book quotes show that she
had to bite her lip and watch her words, “Does he listen
to you when you want different things? Or “Grace felt
exhausted from the effort of constantly trying to figure out
which choice was less likely to anger Rainier.” Grace
Kelly sacrificed by giving up any hope of ever living a life
true to herself outside of her husband's whim and demands.
I wrote how their marriage was super complicated. They never
separated or filed for divorce, but toward the end, it seemed
they were leading different lives. Both wanted the best for
their children, who were the glue that held them together.
She prioritized people over-ambition. A number of sources
talked about his temper. I do not know what form it took.
It seems she did not want to make him mad. Of course, she
had some practice growing up by trying not to make her father
The story is told, alternating between Grace's years as an
actress, and her years as Princess of Monaco. It is fascinating
to read the numerous personal aspects of her life: marriage,
Hollywood actress, relationships with friends, family, and
her love, joys, and desires.