A powerful memoir of friendship and marriage, childhood and motherhood.
Nyna Giles, twenty-nine, was in line at the supermarket when she looked down and saw the headline: ‘Former Bridesmaid of Princess Grace Lives in Homeless Shelter’. Nyna was stunned; her family’s private ordeal was front page news.
The woman on that cover was her mother. The truth was, she barely knew who her mother had been before marriage. She knew Carolyn had been a model – arriving in New York in 1947, where she’d met the young Grace Kelly, and that the two had become fast friends. Nyna had seen the photos of her mother at Grace’s wedding, wearing the 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 told her she was too ill to go to school and kept her isolated at home?
In her journey to uncover her mother’s past Nyna relives a story as classic, familiar, dark and dangerous as any fairy tale.
Nyna on the Beach, Long Island 1964
NYNA GILES is the co-author of the mother-daughter memoir, The Bridesmaid's Daughter published by St. Martin's Press in 2018. In her book, she opens up about her life as the youngest daughter of Carolyn Scott Reybold, a Ford model best known as one of Grace Kelly's bridesmaids, whose life was derailed by untreated mental illness. She has since traveled the globe to share her story, revealing the challenges brought on by her mother’s untreated mental illness and her own lost childhood and education. Having had a successful, 20-year career in advertising, digital marketing and sales, Nyna now serves as Chief Operating Officer for Giles Communications, a leading public relations company. Nyna is a board member of NAMI Westchester.
Nyna lives in Ridgefield, CT and has three grown children and three stepchildren.
Eve Claxton is a writer, editor, and Peabody award-winning radio producer. Since 2006, she’s worked as an editor or co-writer on popular non-fiction books for major publishers including the memoir "He Wanted the Moon," co-written with Mimi Baird, described by The New York Times as “utterly impossible to put down” and currently being adapted for Brad Pitt's Plan B with a screenplay by Tony Kushner. Eve is also the editor of The Book of Life an anthology of the best memoir writing throughout the ages.
“Here is the heart-rending story of two beautiful and glamorous women, and the spirals of disaster into which one of their lives tumbled. As daughter and detective, Nyna Giles writes with moving sensitivity about the dazzling Grace Kelly and her best friend — Nyna’s own mother. The book unfolds like a novel — a tragic and deeply moving saga. Read it and weep.”
“Straight from the heart, and told with great bravery, The Bridesmaid's Daughter is a fascinating and powerful story of a daughter’s love for a flawed parent and the struggle to understand a tumultuous
NEW YORK TIMES
BEST SELLING AUTHOR OF
“Nyna Giles’s courageous and moving memoir of her mother provides a heartrending account of the fall from grace of a beautiful woman from a small Ohio town into the abyss of madness and homelessness, and its devastating impact on her family. One of the best personal accounts of the horror of mental illness unchecked since Susan Sheehan’s "Is There No Place on Earth for Me.”
BEST SELLING AUTHOR OF
GRACE: HER LIVES – HER LOVES
JEFFREY LIEBERMAN, MD,
CHAIR OF PSYCHIATRY
AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
MEDICAL CENTER, PAST PRESIDENT OF THE APA, AND AUTHOR OF SHRINKS:
THE UNTOLD STORY OF
“With great courage and compassion, Nyna Giles shares a profoundly moving account of her relationship with her mother and her mother’s downward spiral into the dark world of psychotic illness. In doing so, she sheds a much needed light onto the heartbreak and treachery of untreated maternal mental illness on family, and especially on children.”
DIANA LYNN BARNES, PSY.D,
AUTHOR OF WOMEN'S
HEALTH ACROSS THE
“The narrative celebrates a lifelong female friendship while shedding light on a powerful, if at times painful and complex, mother-daughter bond. A poignantly compelling memoir about family, mental health, and revisiting the past.”
“A poignant and courageous account of a dysfunctional family, with the focus on the author's mother, who was a friend of Grace Kelly and a bridesmaid at her historic wedding.
NEW YORK BEST SELLING
AUTHOR OF HIGH SOCIETY: THE LIFE OF GRACE KELLY
“My mother’s illness went untreated for so many years. Had she been diagnosed and properly treated, I believe her life and mine would have turned out very differently.
For those who are facing mental health issues today—either of their own or within their families—I strongly encourage you to seek out the following organizations offering vital information and support.”
Contact Nyna Giles:
For any press and publicity inquiries, please contact agent
For Eve Claxton go to Eve-Claxton.com
or Contact Emma Parry:
UK Contact: Sue Amaradivakara
07786 626492 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Join The Conversation:
Add Nyna's Book to your GoodReads List: