Gina McKinnon’s What Would Grace Do? promises to teach the reader “How to Live Life in Style like the Princess of Hollywood,” none other than the beautiful Grace Kelly.
I’m a huge fan of Grace and was excited to win this book waaaay back in December 2013 from a holiday giveaway at The Lady Eve’s Reel Life. Having read it in January and revisited it a couple of times since then, I’ve decided to highlight some of my favorite themes of the book — “Grace-ful” tips for living, if you will. (I couldn’t resist that pun!)
Graceful Tip #1: Dare to Dream
Page 23: “Take a tip from Grace here. When you are following your dreams, don’t give up as soon as you encounter that first hurdle. Fight for what you want and don’t be afraid to take it to the top, where you can work your charms face-to-face. Remember, they can only say no, and who knows, they might just say yes.”
Page 39: “If something seems like your Big Break into your dream career and then it doesn’t pan out that way, do your best to simply shake it off and get on with the next task at hand. Think of Grace after High Noon and remember that if you work hard and have talent, opportunity might just knock twice.”
Graceful Tip #2: Have fun
Page 52: “Never be afraid to have fun. You might be hitting the heights in your dream career, you might even have your job’s equivalent of an Oscar (round of applause!), but don’t think that means you have to come over all earnest Country Girl Grace. Imitate her pleasure in filming To Catch a Thief: put on your metaphorical sunglasses, put down the roof on an open-top car, hook up with a cat burglar (optional), and throw caution to the wind.”
Graceful Tip #3: Be stylish
You had to know that fashion was going to come up at some point in a book about how to live like Grace Kelly. To this day, she remains a style icon. Here are McKinnon’s tips for developing a Grace-ful style in the modern world (pages 81 – 99):
- Find a style that works for you and stick with it
- Have good posture so you’ll wear your clothes well
- Know when to dress up and when to dress down
- Buy good-quality pieces that suit you perfectly and don’t be afraid to outfit repeat! (The book notes that even when she knew she’d be photographed and her outfits scrutinized, Grace re-wore her favorite pieces.)
- A good, structured handbag should be a key element of your wardrobe.
- Choose sunglasses to suit your face shape.
Graceful Tip #4: Make friends and keep ’em!
McKinnon offers up three lessons for fostering healthy, long-lasting friendships, and they’re pretty simple: make friends from all walks of life, remember birthdays and keep in touch.
Quick Review of What Would Grace Do?
As you may have guessed from its title, What Would Grace Do? is not a typical biography. It is full of biographical information about the actress-turned-royal, but it presents that information in a way that makes it useful to the viewer beyond just satisfying curiosity about Grace’s life. Lessons can be learned from her successes, failures, habits and philosophies, and McKinnon makes those lessons apparent to the viewer. The book’s a bit quick to believe rumors about Grace and it does pit her against Marilyn Monroe and Princess Diana in little battles of who is the best, but these were the only aspects of the book I didn’t enjoy. A fun, light read for fans of Ms. Kelly.