The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
Ah, the stuff that fairytales are made of: a handsome young prince, overbearing parents who seek to marry off the heir to the throne, a glittering ballroom filled with all manner of royalty, and a shy young commoner with a heart of gold.
But wait. Things take an unexpected turn. The prince, it seems, enjoys wearing gorgeous gowns. He covertly employs Frances, a lowly young dressmaker with a flair for the spectacular to create custom creations for him. When she learns the identity of her employer, the dressmaker is nonplussed and continues her work, making stunning works of couture for her client.
Eventually his private passion for dazzling attire becomes public and his parents must come to terms with this aspect of their son's identity. Wang injects a humorous conclusion at the story’s reveal that is fanciful and immensely satisfying.
Cross-dressing is only one aspect of The Prince and the Dressmaker story line. For me, the development of the relationship between the prince and the dressmaker is at its heart.
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I finished reading the fairytale romance with a satisfied sigh and turned what I assumed was the final page. Not so. Wang gives the readers a glimpse into her process. The bonus material is instructive and inspirational. She describes in detail the tools that she uses. A step-by -step guide chronicles her approach as well as offering a glimpse into her decision-making thinking. This peek into the method used to spin the story’s magic is a superlative bonus. Thanks Jen for this most excellent back matter.