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A daughter’s moving search to understand her mother, Carolyn Scott—once a bridesmaid to Princess Grace and one of the first Ford models—who later in life spent years living in a homeless shelter. 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 Ho A daughter’s moving search to understand her mother, Carolyn Scott—once a bridesmaid to Princess Grace and one of the first Ford models—who later in life spent years living in a homeless shelter. 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. Edit


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A daughter’s moving search to understand her mother, Carolyn Scott—once a bridesmaid to Princess Grace and one of the first Ford models—who later in life spent years living in a homeless shelter. 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 Ho A daughter’s moving search to understand her mother, Carolyn Scott—once a bridesmaid to Princess Grace and one of the first Ford models—who later in life spent years living in a homeless shelter. 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. Edit

30 review for The Bridesmaid's Daughter: From Grace Kelly's Wedding to a Women's Shelter - Searching for the Truth About My Mother

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jon Vincek

    Goodreads Giveaway Winner-This is an engrossing story of a two women looking for something. There is the story of the mother who was searching for her past life and glories. There is also a story of her daughter searching for her mother. Both stories are filled with triumphs and tragedies. It is easy to get caught up in the story of the friendship between Carolyn and Grace but the true story is the author's relationship with her mother. The relationship between mother and daughter is what keeps Goodreads Giveaway Winner-This is an engrossing story of a two women looking for something. There is the story of the mother who was searching for her past life and glories. There is also a story of her daughter searching for her mother. Both stories are filled with triumphs and tragedies. It is easy to get caught up in the story of the friendship between Carolyn and Grace but the true story is the author's relationship with her mother. The relationship between mother and daughter is what keeps the story moving. The author's honesty about her childhood and her mother is refreshing. She approaches the subject with care and a loving touch. It could be easy to paint her mother into a corner of mental illness but she goes beyond that. She is able to show her mother as a human that had goals, fears and the want for something that made her happy. I would recommend this title for anyone that is interested in seeing how to write about a loved one without making it one dimensional. I was pleasantly surprised with how both authors were able to handle the history and relationships of Carolyn and Nyna.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nenah Muniz

    Nyna Giles has written something extremely wonderful, and has honored her mother in a beautiful way. The Bridesmaid's Daughter Is a biography unlike any I've read, the narrative jumps between Nina's (Nyna) childhood growing up, and her mother Carolyn's life in New York as an up and coming model, and befriending a pre-actress, pre-princess Grace Kelly. I felt so many emotions reading this book. From Carolyn's adventures and early career, to living with her best friend Grace at the all female Barb Nyna Giles has written something extremely wonderful, and has honored her mother in a beautiful way. The Bridesmaid's Daughter Is a biography unlike any I've read, the narrative jumps between Nina's (Nyna) childhood growing up, and her mother Carolyn's life in New York as an up and coming model, and befriending a pre-actress, pre-princess Grace Kelly. I felt so many emotions reading this book. From Carolyn's adventures and early career, to living with her best friend Grace at the all female Barbizon Hotel, it had me longing to live in a different time and be a part of the life Carolyn and Grace lived. The confusing and disfunctional childhood that Nina experienced, often left me feeling confused, and heartbroken for a young girl who didn't understand why her life was the way it was, and her mother, while she silently struggled with something she herself didn't quite understand. This book gives light to the topic of mental health, and while we are nowhere near where we need to be as far as knowledge and the stigma around it, we sure have come a long way from where we once were. The Bridesmaid's Daughter is ultimately a story of friendship, of love, of sisterhood, and of forgiveness. I'm sure this wasn't an easy story for Nyna to tell, but I'm so glad she did. Her Mom's story deserved to be told, not just for her, but for everyone who is or has gone through something similar. Your illness does NOT define you, you don't have to suffer in silence, like many felt they once did. You are loved, and there are people ready to help. This is a very special book, and will be one I always recommend.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Linda C

    I won this as a GR giveaway! Easy quick read and a good story. Very sad, demonstrates how few choices women had in "the good old days." No matter how bright, talented or educated they were, the goal was always to find a husband. Once that husband was found, he was in charge. No matter how miserable the marriage might be, the woman was always told to "go back to your husband and do what he says." The book also demonstrated how often mental illness was misdiagnosed and hidden away. If the bridesmaid I won this as a GR giveaway! Easy quick read and a good story. Very sad, demonstrates how few choices women had in "the good old days." No matter how bright, talented or educated they were, the goal was always to find a husband. Once that husband was found, he was in charge. No matter how miserable the marriage might be, the woman was always told to "go back to your husband and do what he says." The book also demonstrated how often mental illness was misdiagnosed and hidden away. If the bridesmaid had a husband who viewed his marriage and parenthood as a partnership, then he might have pushed harder for a diagnosis and treatment, thus sparing the family from the pain of living with mom's undiagnosed illness and an absentee father. Dad spent more time hanging out with his friends and drinking than he did taking care of his girls. The third daughter, author of the book, basically raised and educated herself since neither parent knew how to be one. Any parenting that she received came from her older sisters. The book also speculates about how happy Grace Kelly was in her marriage, despite the wealth and glamour of her life. She really didn't know Prince Rainier very well when they were married, she had to give up her career and, prior to announcing the engagement, she had lamented that she was losing her chance to get married because she would be too old (at the ripe old age of 26!!!) Quite a contrast to the upcoming royal wedding of Megan and Harry who are clearly marrying for love. Anyone who says that we should go back to those days, my response is: No thanks.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Piepie

    This is a highly interesting book. It's the story of two friends, one named Carolyn and the other named Grace ... and how one of them sank into depression and postpartum psychosis and how the other rose from an ordinary upbringing in Philadelphia to cross the ocean to marry the prince of Monaco. Carolyn was one of the bridesmaids in Grace Kelly's wedding, and it's one of her daughters who makes an incredible journey in finding out more about her mother and intertwines her mother's life with that This is a highly interesting book. It's the story of two friends, one named Carolyn and the other named Grace ... and how one of them sank into depression and postpartum psychosis and how the other rose from an ordinary upbringing in Philadelphia to cross the ocean to marry the prince of Monaco. Carolyn was one of the bridesmaids in Grace Kelly's wedding, and it's one of her daughters who makes an incredible journey in finding out more about her mother and intertwines her mother's life with that of Grace's career and wedding. I would recommend this book if you're intrigued by mental health and steps you can take if you or someone in your life is in need.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Westminster Library

    I enjoyed this book, especially the way it goes back and forth between the mother’s life and the memories of Nyna, her daughter. It helped show the disconnect between who Carolyn was as a young woman and who she was as her youngest child grew up. When Nyna was a child mental health wasn’t talked about which created a troubled childhood as her mom struggled with reality. I admire Nyna for searching for the truth about her mom, accepting what she learned, and then sharing it with the world. It cou I enjoyed this book, especially the way it goes back and forth between the mother’s life and the memories of Nyna, her daughter. It helped show the disconnect between who Carolyn was as a young woman and who she was as her youngest child grew up. When Nyna was a child mental health wasn’t talked about which created a troubled childhood as her mom struggled with reality. I admire Nyna for searching for the truth about her mom, accepting what she learned, and then sharing it with the world. It couldn’t have been easy, yet by sharing this story Nyna Giles has helped the world learn more about mental illness and its effect on loved ones. Find The Bridesmaid's Daughter at the Westminster Public Library! If you enjoy this title, you might also enjoy The Glass Castle.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    I found this one browsing at my local library and I'm so glad it didn't otherwise slip by me. This true story has a bit of everything that makes memoir great. I found this one browsing at my local library and I'm so glad it didn't otherwise slip by me. This true story has a bit of everything that makes memoir great.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    This is a story of two women. Nyna, the author, and Carolyn, her mother. They both have an engaging story to tell. The chapters alternate between the two women, which adds intrigue to the story in the early chapters. I was riveted as I read through the chapters to find out how Carolyn, the young lady who left Steubenville, Ohio by herself and became an Eileen Ford model and budding socialite, became Nyna's mother - a troubled woman whose story we know will not have a happy ending. I loved readin This is a story of two women. Nyna, the author, and Carolyn, her mother. They both have an engaging story to tell. The chapters alternate between the two women, which adds intrigue to the story in the early chapters. I was riveted as I read through the chapters to find out how Carolyn, the young lady who left Steubenville, Ohio by herself and became an Eileen Ford model and budding socialite, became Nyna's mother - a troubled woman whose story we know will not have a happy ending. I loved reading about young Carolyn and her life in New York City, making her way on her own along with a then-unknown Grace Kelly. The early chapters about Carolyn reminded me of what I loved about the book Summer at Tiffany. There is something inspiring about that generation of women who moved to New York City to seek independence, while carefully trying not to go too far outside the convention of what it meant to be a "lady". They walked a fine line to seek adventure and independence, while also feeling pressure to focus on being virtuous and respectable. The alternating chapters where Nyna described her own childhood and Carolyn as she knows her, are an emotional juxtaposition between chapters about Carolyn as a brave young woman finding success in New York. I was fully engaged in the story, eager to learn what happened in Carolyn's life that led to her life in a homeless shelter. The alternating story lines become less compelling as the timelines begin to merge, and toward the end of the first section of the book, there were times where it was repetitive. The second section of the book is only Nyna's story, and her search to learn about her family's history. There were times when I became frustrated reading Nyna's story, and I can't separate my own experience having recently lost a parent slowly to dementia. There were times when I was astounded by how little she knew about her mother's life in the shelter. She talked to so many people who had tried to help her mother and were unable to find her at the time, as her name had changed and there was not yet an information super-highway to connect us all. I found myself asking. "How could you not know this..." or "How could you not have saved every artifact from your mother's relationship with Princess Grace..."?! But if I'm honest, this frustration has more to do with my own feelings about myself and wishing I had done more for my dad. None of us are perfect, and I appreciate that Nyna Giles has shared her mother's story with us. I think it is an important one, not only to bring awareness to mental health issues, but to tell the stories of trailblazing women who helped break the norm of women's expectations they they can only be wives and mothers. Carolyn was ahead of her time, but with limited options available to her. I received a free copy of this ebook from a Goodreads giveaway. Thank you to the author, publisher, Goodreads, and everyone who makes these treasures available.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joan Mitchell

    An adult daughter searches for answers to why her mother has become homeless and seems to be satisfied with that life. Over many years talking with people who knew her mother she finds her answer. I recommend this book to people who like memoirs. I received this book from Goodreads for free.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amy Ingalls

    I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. This book was an interesting, touching story about the relationship between a mother and a daughter, and how we never truly know why our mother's are the way they are. The author, Nyna Giles, looks back on her mother's life and the choices (or lack of choices) that caused her to go from a successful model to a homeless, mentally ill woman. I could draw parallels between Carolyn and my own mother, since (view spoiler)[I lost my brother due to a car accident I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. This book was an interesting, touching story about the relationship between a mother and a daughter, and how we never truly know why our mother's are the way they are. The author, Nyna Giles, looks back on her mother's life and the choices (or lack of choices) that caused her to go from a successful model to a homeless, mentally ill woman. I could draw parallels between Carolyn and my own mother, since (view spoiler)[I lost my brother due to a car accident when he was about the same age as Robyn, and his death affected her similarly. My mother also lost her best friend mere months after my brother died. (hide spoiler)] My mother is still living, but she is not the same person, and our relationship is strained. So memoirs about mothers and daughters can be tough. While reading this, my heart broke for Nyna, and I hope the journey of writing this book has brought her some peace.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Suz

    I enjoyed reading this book. The format flows easily and keeps your attention throughout the book. i liked how the author intertwined the story of present day, the author's childhood, and her mother's life before the author was born throughout the entire story line. Very effective. I enjoyed reading this book. The format flows easily and keeps your attention throughout the book. i liked how the author intertwined the story of present day, the author's childhood, and her mother's life before the author was born throughout the entire story line. Very effective.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tracie Gutknecht

    I came across this book while looking for a quick non-fiction book that I could read while waiting for some others on hold at the library. The title captured my interest right away. How could one of the iconic women of the 20th century, Grace Kelly, have a bridesmaid that ended up in a homeless shelter? The book is written by Nyna Giles, the daughter of Carolyn Reybold--Grace's bridesmaid, and Eve Claxton, a co-writer. The narrative is told from Nyna's remembrances and research about her mother's I came across this book while looking for a quick non-fiction book that I could read while waiting for some others on hold at the library. The title captured my interest right away. How could one of the iconic women of the 20th century, Grace Kelly, have a bridesmaid that ended up in a homeless shelter? The book is written by Nyna Giles, the daughter of Carolyn Reybold--Grace's bridesmaid, and Eve Claxton, a co-writer. The narrative is told from Nyna's remembrances and research about her mother's life. It is split narrative between Carolyn and Nyna. Carolyn grew up in Ohio. She led a sheltered life as her step-father was very strict. She earned money as quickly as possible, so that she could escape to New York City. In NYC, she lived at the famous Barbizon Hotel in a room right next to Grace Kelly. They became good friends while Grace took acting lessons and Carolyn sought out jobs as a model. Even though, Carolyn was petite, she was able to get jobs as a junior model and actually became one of the first models signed by Eileen Ford and the Ford agency. The girls led a glamorous life, going out, meeting all kinds of famous people. According to Nyna, Carolyn was responsible for changing Grace's look and having her take up modeling. Carolyn gets married and starts having children, while Grace goes on to make films. Grace gets nominated and wins an academy award and Carolyn struggles with two young girls and losing her career. Grace meets and marries Prince Ranier of Monoco, but her and Caroline's friendship continues. So much so, that Nyna implies that Pricess Caroline was named for her mother as well as another relation. Nyna is born quite a bit later than her other sisters. At this time, Carolyn, her husband and their other two girls have moved to Long Island and are a bit isolated. Their house was build on 5 acres of land given to them by Sherman Fairchild. Nyna's father has been living his own glamorous life and pays little to no attention to Nyna and Carolyn. Carolyn seems to be suffering from some kind of mental illness, but is not allowed to seek psychiatric help. She devolves to the point, where she keeps Nyna out of school for years, claiming that Nyna is too ill. Eventually, Nyna grows up and moves away and her parents divorce. The money runs out and Carolyn chooses to live in a homeless shelter located in the New York neighborhood where she was the most happy. After some amount of time, Carolyn develops a heart condition and is forced to leave the shelter. She gets placed into an assisted living/senior center, where she finally get some health care. She is diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. In researching this book, Nyna consulted with other doctors and was told that her mother was most likely miss diagnosed. Carolyn's symptoms sounded more like Post-partum psychosis. The book is an interesting look into a life that went off the rails. Carolyn had so much going for her and a few small choices along the way, as well as a lack of proper health care turned her life into a cautionary tale. I found Carolyn's story very interesting. I felt that there was too much focus on Nyna's story and the writing was just so-so.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lafourche Parish Library

    Growing up on Long Island, New York, Nyna Giles knew little about her mother Carolyn Scott’s background. Curiously, she understood that her mother was good friends with former actress and now Princess, Grace Kelly. She also realized that something was not quite right about her mother and their insulated world where Carolyn kept Nyna home from school, stating she was too ill to attend, among other odd behaviors. Years later, while in line at the grocery store, Giles sees the headline from a tabloi Growing up on Long Island, New York, Nyna Giles knew little about her mother Carolyn Scott’s background. Curiously, she understood that her mother was good friends with former actress and now Princess, Grace Kelly. She also realized that something was not quite right about her mother and their insulated world where Carolyn kept Nyna home from school, stating she was too ill to attend, among other odd behaviors. Years later, while in line at the grocery store, Giles sees the headline from a tabloid, “Princess Grace bridesmaid living in N.Y. shelter for homeless.” The family secret was out. Yes, her mother was living in a women’s homeless shelter, and how and why she got there is the basis of this book. In the late 1940’s, Carolyn Scott left a small town in Ohio and moved to New York City to become a model . One of the first models to sign with the Ford Modeling Agency, she became close friends with the actress Grace Kelly and was one of her bridesmaids when she married Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1957. The two friends kept in touch over the years even as Carolyn showed increasing signs of suffering from mental illness. Grace’s sudden death in 1981 seemed to be the catalyst for a complete break in Carolyn’s mental status. Divorced and alone, Carolyn chose to live in New York City where she had first found fulfillment in her life. Doctors said she suffered from schizophrenia, but she refused treatment. Although she became homeless, she was not alone. Her family always kept in touch and always tried to convince her to live another way. But, Carolyn’s illness told her something different and she seemed, if not happy, at peace with her decisions. For the last ten years of her life, Carolyn lived in a nursing home, finally succumbing to a heart ailment. After her mother’s death, Nyna Giles went on a search to uncover what really happened during her mother’s life. What she discovers about her mother’s mental disorder is heartbreaking and shocking. After consulting with multiple doctors about her mother’s condition, she finally finds the truth. Carolyn had a traumatic child-birth experience with the birth of Nyna, her final child and became fragile and distant, with worsening symptoms. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, Carolyn had in fact suffered from postpartum psychosis, a condition that had deteriorated over time. Giles is now an advocate for the mentally ill. She feels that with a proper diagnosis and care, her mother and her family could have lived a normal life—something that is often not an option for those suffering with a mental illness. A sad and poignant memoir that shows how the tragedy of mental illness affects everyone, not just the sufferer. ARE YOU AND THIS BOOK A GOOD MATCH? DISCOVER MORE WITH NOVELIST APPEALS! GENRE: Autobiographies & Memoirs; Life Stories WRITING STYLE: Compelling TONE: Moving LOCATION: New York City SUBJECT: Nyna Giles; Homeless Women; Mothers & Daughters; Postnatal Depression; Carolyn Scott; Women with Mental Illness - Helen, Technical Services Librarian

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jill Meyer

    I think most people who write memoirs are searching for something. Usually it's "the truth" about a part of their life or a person in their life that lies previously unexamined. The process of taking out the past. and trying to piece together "the truth" can be painful, but I'd guess it can also be liberating. Certainly Nyna Giles's memoir about her mother, Carolyn Shaffer Scott. "The Bridesmaid's Daughter", must have been both painful and yet emotionally freeing to research and write. Nyna Giles I think most people who write memoirs are searching for something. Usually it's "the truth" about a part of their life or a person in their life that lies previously unexamined. The process of taking out the past. and trying to piece together "the truth" can be painful, but I'd guess it can also be liberating. Certainly Nyna Giles's memoir about her mother, Carolyn Shaffer Scott. "The Bridesmaid's Daughter", must have been both painful and yet emotionally freeing to research and write. Nyna Giles's memoir is subtitled "From Grace Kelly's Wedding to a Women's Shelter - Searching for the Truth About My Mother". Aside from being a mouthful, that subtitle pretty much sums up Giles's book. It's just that the progression from rags to riches and then back down again includes some very interesting and well-known people and events. "Grace Kelly" is, of course, Princess Grace of Monaco. She and Carolyn Shaffer become close friends when they came to New York City in their late teens seeking fame and glory. Grace wanted to become an actress and Carolyn wanted to be a model. They lived in adjoining rooms at the Barbazon Hotel for Women in the late 1940's. Carolyn was spotted by Eileen Ford and made a good living modeling junior clothes for a few years. The pictures Giles includes in the book shows how pretty she was and how much the camera loved her. Grace studied acting and turned to modeling - though she'd been turned down by Eileen Ford - until she met and married Rainier of Monaco. Carolyn was asked to be a bridesmaid in Grace's wedding and soon became part of the wedding lore. But Carolyn Shaffer Scott's life went downhill after the wedding. She had married a man who was old enough to be her father and had three daughters. The husband, not a sympathetic figure, couldn't figure out why his wife was losing her sanity and he turned away from her and his daughters. Nyna basically raised herself as her mother grew less and less able to cope. Carolyn was given a diagnosis of schizophrenia; later that was amended. The bottom fell out of Carolyn's life and she lived in - and out - of a homeless shelter. Nyna and her sister tried to deal with Carolyn's problems. Nyna Giles's book (written with Eve Claxton) is the story of the search for her mother. What made her tick and what disturbed that "tick"? Who was influential in Carolyn's life and how much did her friendship with Grace Kelly affect her? Giles's research for her book is astounding and she does an excellent job at bringing the story of her mother's troubled life to the reader.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marcia

    Nyna Giles and Eve Claxton's The Bridesmaid's Daughter: From Grace Kelly's Wedding to a Women's Shelter - Searching for the Truth About My Mother  is a fascinating story of a mother and daughter, who at different points in their lives were searching for the same thing-why. Both women were in search of a different why-Carolyn, was in search of why she felt this way, while Nyna was in search of why her mother had become the way she did after living the life she had lived in New York as a model and Nyna Giles and Eve Claxton's The Bridesmaid's Daughter: From Grace Kelly's Wedding to a Women's Shelter - Searching for the Truth About My Mother  is a fascinating story of a mother and daughter, who at different points in their lives were searching for the same thing-why. Both women were in search of a different why-Carolyn, was in search of why she felt this way, while Nyna was in search of why her mother had become the way she did after living the life she had lived in New York as a model and friend of Princess Grace of Monaco. Giles and Claxton go back and forth between Nina  (Nyna)'s dysfunctional childhood years and Carolyn's life as a model, mother, and friend of the socialite turned actress turned Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly. When you think of Grace's friends and acquaintances you'd think glitz and glamour of Hollywood, New York, Philadelphia and Monaco...right? Wrong. According to Giles's touching memoir of her mother's life, Carolyn Scott Reybold spent her final years in a women's shelter after decades of battling with undiagnosed mental illness. Nyna goes back and forth between her mother's former life and her childhood and teen years, trying to fit pieces of the puzzle of her mother and her own life back together.  This book gives light to the topic of mental health, and while we are nowhere near where we need to be as far as knowledge and the stigma around it, we sure have come a long way from where we once were.The Bridesmaid's Daughter is ultimately a story of friendship, of love, of sisterhood, and of forgiveness. If you were ever curious as to what happened after Princess Grace's "Happily Ever After" and her friends' lives afterwards, definitely get your hands on this book.  **This review also appears on laruedubac.fr**

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    The book's title covers it all : a middle-aged woman sets out to find out more about her mother, whose life zigzagged from a joyless upbringing in Ohio to a brief stretch as a single woman, successfully building a modeling career, in New York City, to a frustrating life as wife to a "Mad Men" type advertising executive, and eventually the exhausted mother to three daughters. At some point in her life she befriended Grace Kelly and was part of her life, to the point of being invited to the weddin The book's title covers it all : a middle-aged woman sets out to find out more about her mother, whose life zigzagged from a joyless upbringing in Ohio to a brief stretch as a single woman, successfully building a modeling career, in New York City, to a frustrating life as wife to a "Mad Men" type advertising executive, and eventually the exhausted mother to three daughters. At some point in her life she befriended Grace Kelly and was part of her life, to the point of being invited to the wedding and being godmother to Princess Caroline. But at another, later point in her life, she was diagnosed with psychosis and after much to-ing and fro-ing between her two surviving daughters, she eventually chose to live in a women's shelter. The book was a good reconstruction of a mid-century life, and there were plenty of glimpses of glamour and style. What it fell a bit short on was an exploration of mental illness. The author's mother was in her sixties before she was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, and later on, another mental health expert (who had never met the patient in question) changed the diagnosis to post-partum psychosis. It is true that the strange behaviors started after the birth of the third daughter (the author), but it sounded to me like the real questions about mental health took a backseat to the glamour of Monaco.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mimi

    Nyna Giles' was in line at the grocery store when she glanced at a tabloid and saw a photo identifying her mother, Carolyn, as a former Princess Grace bridesmaid but now living as a homeless person. Nyna was in shock! She vaguely knew her mother had lived in NYC when she was young and had become friends with Grace Kelly while they were both residents at the famous Barbizon Hotel. To Nyna, Carolyn was just her mother. She had never met Grace Kelly herself, although Kelly was her older sister's go Nyna Giles' was in line at the grocery store when she glanced at a tabloid and saw a photo identifying her mother, Carolyn, as a former Princess Grace bridesmaid but now living as a homeless person. Nyna was in shock! She vaguely knew her mother had lived in NYC when she was young and had become friends with Grace Kelly while they were both residents at the famous Barbizon Hotel. To Nyna, Carolyn was just her mother. She had never met Grace Kelly herself, although Kelly was her older sister's godmother. Once Nyna saw the headline, she decided to do an in depth exploration of her mother's life. Her mother had left Steubenville, OH after graduating from high school to pursue a modeling career in NYC. Carolyn had worked hard and did establish a burgeoning modeling career. When she was twenty years old she ended up meeting an older man and marrying him. Nyna had a difficult time aligning that information with the mother she had known growing up. This is an eye opening but slightly depressing book about how untreated mental illness can end up ruining lives. The author is the third daughter of her mother and has become an advocate for the mentally ill.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Carolyn Scott Reybold arrived in NCY in 1947. She lived on the same floor of the Barbizon Hotel as young Grace Kelly and the two became close friends. Carolyn was one of the first models to sign with the Ford Agency and had a successful career. Carolyn was a bridesmaid in the wedding of Prince Rainier of Monaco and Grace, and the two continued their friendship (largely through letters). Flash forward to 1989. Nyna Giles is checking out at the grocery store and sees a tabloid article about her mot Carolyn Scott Reybold arrived in NCY in 1947. She lived on the same floor of the Barbizon Hotel as young Grace Kelly and the two became close friends. Carolyn was one of the first models to sign with the Ford Agency and had a successful career. Carolyn was a bridesmaid in the wedding of Prince Rainier of Monaco and Grace, and the two continued their friendship (largely through letters). Flash forward to 1989. Nyna Giles is checking out at the grocery store and sees a tabloid article about her mother’s current situation living in a homeless shelter. Nyna realizes that she knows very little about her mother and sets out to reconcile the life of the young model, the truth about the mother who raised her and the woman living in a shelter. The story alternates between Carolyn’s story and Nyna’s research and recollections of her childhood. Switching between narrators and jumping back and forward in time yields a, sometimes, jerky narrative, but both points of view are important to the story.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Not only the story of her mother's life, but of her own acceptance & forgiveness of her mother. I felt as though the author became closer to her mother by writing this book, which is a shame, since it would mean so much more if it had happened while her mother was still alive (not that she did not love her mother, which is proven throughout the book). One scene in the book stands out for me. When she went to Monaco & stood in the place where the photos of Grace & her attendants were taken - the Not only the story of her mother's life, but of her own acceptance & forgiveness of her mother. I felt as though the author became closer to her mother by writing this book, which is a shame, since it would mean so much more if it had happened while her mother was still alive (not that she did not love her mother, which is proven throughout the book). One scene in the book stands out for me. When she went to Monaco & stood in the place where the photos of Grace & her attendants were taken - the photos were in black & white & she had studied them often. She made it sound as though a light went on in her brain, making the gray tones of the photos from the past turn into the brilliant colors of the present.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Stella Fouts

    This is a sweet little story about one of Grace Kelly's bridesmaids, Carolyn Reybold, who also happened to be Grace's very good friend when they were in their late teens and early twenties. They both lived in the Barbizon Hotel in New York and were very close. Grace became a movie star. Carolyn became a successful model working for Eileen Ford's agency. As we all know, Grace became a princess when she married the Prince of Monaco. Unfortunately, Carolyn's life became a disaster. Author Nyna Gile This is a sweet little story about one of Grace Kelly's bridesmaids, Carolyn Reybold, who also happened to be Grace's very good friend when they were in their late teens and early twenties. They both lived in the Barbizon Hotel in New York and were very close. Grace became a movie star. Carolyn became a successful model working for Eileen Ford's agency. As we all know, Grace became a princess when she married the Prince of Monaco. Unfortunately, Carolyn's life became a disaster. Author Nyna Giles does not dwell on the worst of her mother's story even though the bigger picture of Nyna's life comes into sharper focus once you know that story. Carolyn and Grace's friendship while working in New York so many years ago is truly a sweet story.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Carolyn Schaffer grew up in Steubenville, Ohio and traveled to New York City after her high school graduation in 1947. She lived at the Barbizon Hotel where she met Grace Kelly: the girls became best friends. Carolyn modeled and Grace attended school and became an actress. Both women married and had children. Their relationship continued across the water mostly by letters. This story describes more than their friendship -- it is written by one of Carolyn's daughter as she delves into the family Carolyn Schaffer grew up in Steubenville, Ohio and traveled to New York City after her high school graduation in 1947. She lived at the Barbizon Hotel where she met Grace Kelly: the girls became best friends. Carolyn modeled and Grace attended school and became an actress. Both women married and had children. Their relationship continued across the water mostly by letters. This story describes more than their friendship -- it is written by one of Carolyn's daughter as she delves into the family dynamics and mental illness of her mom. A moving account of the devastating impact on her family.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Mcbroom

    Nina Giles is in the grocery store when she reads the headline of a magazine that says Former Model and Bridesmaid at Grace Kelly's wedding in homeless shelter. Giles writes of her beautiful model mother Carolyn who arrives in NYC in 1947 and becomes best friends with Grace Kelly. This was a sad fairy tale of a determined young woman (Carolyn) from Ohio whose will and determination and ambition becomes a successful model in New York. When she marries and has children she falls into a post partum Nina Giles is in the grocery store when she reads the headline of a magazine that says Former Model and Bridesmaid at Grace Kelly's wedding in homeless shelter. Giles writes of her beautiful model mother Carolyn who arrives in NYC in 1947 and becomes best friends with Grace Kelly. This was a sad fairy tale of a determined young woman (Carolyn) from Ohio whose will and determination and ambition becomes a successful model in New York. When she marries and has children she falls into a post partum depression which affects her daughter. Told alternately in chapters marked Carolyn and chapters marked Nina a memoir of a daughter trying to understand a mother's history.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Woodman York

    I received an ARC of this book in a giveaway on Goodreads. It is a story of a woman who had a confused, complicated childhood with a famous mother, who attempts to rediscover who her mother had been. It gives great insight into the tragedy that mental illness was in the 1960's and 70's. It was a taboo subject, and treatment was either horrific or non-existent. Which resulted in so many innocents slipping through the cracks. It leaves the entire family bereft. This book is heartwrenching, as well I received an ARC of this book in a giveaway on Goodreads. It is a story of a woman who had a confused, complicated childhood with a famous mother, who attempts to rediscover who her mother had been. It gives great insight into the tragedy that mental illness was in the 1960's and 70's. It was a taboo subject, and treatment was either horrific or non-existent. Which resulted in so many innocents slipping through the cracks. It leaves the entire family bereft. This book is heartwrenching, as well as uplifting, as Nyna Giles struggles to discover who her mother truly was, and works her way through the many nuances.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Conny

    I was a First Read Winner of this book, the title really caught my eye and I was curious what might have happened to the Authors Mother, I could not wait to get started. Mental illness is such a difficult disease sometimes it is subtle changes and other times more severe but its extremely difficult to find a way to help especially if the affected person does not want the help. I found the book very touching and very interesting, especially the early years of Carolyn and Grace Kelly, and I know i I was a First Read Winner of this book, the title really caught my eye and I was curious what might have happened to the Authors Mother, I could not wait to get started. Mental illness is such a difficult disease sometimes it is subtle changes and other times more severe but its extremely difficult to find a way to help especially if the affected person does not want the help. I found the book very touching and very interesting, especially the early years of Carolyn and Grace Kelly, and I know it will stay with me long after I have finished reading it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Keith Newberry

    This book was a very interesting story. It gave a brief glance into the modeling scene in New York in the early 1950's. The story of a top model, befriending a young Grace Kelly and their friendship over many years. The author's mother was in the lime light of society and later years falling into mental illness-with the final result being homeless. Nyna Giles is the author who had know to why and how her mother went from one extreme to the other. Through her research she learned the why and how, This book was a very interesting story. It gave a brief glance into the modeling scene in New York in the early 1950's. The story of a top model, befriending a young Grace Kelly and their friendship over many years. The author's mother was in the lime light of society and later years falling into mental illness-with the final result being homeless. Nyna Giles is the author who had know to why and how her mother went from one extreme to the other. Through her research she learned the why and how, and became a advocate for mental illness.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne Grace

    I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from the publisher through Goodreads giveaway for my honest opinion. I did enjoy this tragic story which I struggled to get through. I understand that formatting issues will be fixed before publishing. For me, the formatted version I received was so out of whack, it was hard to keep the story straight in my head. I think there is a great book here but if the formatting issue is not fixed along with some story gaps this book will be moved to the dis I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from the publisher through Goodreads giveaway for my honest opinion. I did enjoy this tragic story which I struggled to get through. I understand that formatting issues will be fixed before publishing. For me, the formatted version I received was so out of whack, it was hard to keep the story straight in my head. I think there is a great book here but if the formatting issue is not fixed along with some story gaps this book will be moved to the discount rack quickly.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lynne Ezell-Beery

    This is a fascinating book about a daughter's moving search to understand her mother who was one of Eileen Ford's first models & also a very close friend of Grace Kelly who became Princess Grace when she wed. The narratives go back and forth telling the history and somewhat tragic story of her Mother's simple upbringing, her grand adventure to New York and her later life living in a Homeless shelter due to an undiagnosed mental illness. Heartbreaking and poignant in so many ways but I was still This is a fascinating book about a daughter's moving search to understand her mother who was one of Eileen Ford's first models & also a very close friend of Grace Kelly who became Princess Grace when she wed. The narratives go back and forth telling the history and somewhat tragic story of her Mother's simple upbringing, her grand adventure to New York and her later life living in a Homeless shelter due to an undiagnosed mental illness. Heartbreaking and poignant in so many ways but I was still unable to put it down.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Blizzard

    This memoir raised my awareness of what it’s like to search for answers to life’s most difficult issues, especially when your loved ones are unable to cope with life on life’s terms. This author is my hero. She tenaciously sought answers from knowledgeable sources, no matter what she might discover. I highly recommend this book for its style and substance. The chapters are staggered with a most readable format: one chapter highlights the mother, when she was in her prime, and the next one highli This memoir raised my awareness of what it’s like to search for answers to life’s most difficult issues, especially when your loved ones are unable to cope with life on life’s terms. This author is my hero. She tenaciously sought answers from knowledgeable sources, no matter what she might discover. I highly recommend this book for its style and substance. The chapters are staggered with a most readable format: one chapter highlights the mother, when she was in her prime, and the next one highlights the daughter growing up in the stifling atmosphere.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Crane

    What a fascinating read! I loved reading about the authors mother's life in New York as a successful model in the 1940's and her friendship with Grace Kelly. I felt like I was sitting with the author as she told me her mother's story and her search to understand her mother's life and down turn into mental illness. An amazing and well-written book! Thank you Goodreads Giveaway for a fascinating read. What a fascinating read! I loved reading about the authors mother's life in New York as a successful model in the 1940's and her friendship with Grace Kelly. I felt like I was sitting with the author as she told me her mother's story and her search to understand her mother's life and down turn into mental illness. An amazing and well-written book! Thank you Goodreads Giveaway for a fascinating read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Vincent

    tragic story of both carolyn and grace. lives so full of hope and promise. too depressing fir me to read at times. glad i pushed through and finished. nyna resolves the mysteries by looking deeper and gaining a better understanding from looking at the past situations and people from the perspectives of the people themselves and seeing the humanness in all. her resolution is mine. all things are not as they seem on the surface.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

    Dreary, dull and disappointing. I guess there is no way to write about mental illness without leaving the reader depressed. Most of this material is repetitive. The narration could have contributed to the over cast feelings of depression. The gist of the story was covered in the first hour. I felt the remainder of the story was written to meet a publisher and/or editor's requirements. I wish I had avoided this book. Dreary, dull and disappointing. I guess there is no way to write about mental illness without leaving the reader depressed. Most of this material is repetitive. The narration could have contributed to the over cast feelings of depression. The gist of the story was covered in the first hour. I felt the remainder of the story was written to meet a publisher and/or editor's requirements. I wish I had avoided this book.

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