The Grand Design

A Novel of Dorothy Draper

by Joy Callaway

On Sale: 2022-05-17

Price: $9.99

Book Summary

The Grand Design, set at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, in both 1908 and 1946, tells the story famed interior designer Dorothy Draper and how the historic retreat and the love she found there as a young woman influenced her bold shift from illustrious New York socialite to world-renowned decorator.

About the Book

Dorothy Draper has one last chance to prove she chose the right course for her life. With the restoration of The Greenbrier resort at her fingertips, Dorothy aspires to give new life to a place that’s sentimental to her, and to bring a new spark to interior design.

In 1908, young Dorothy Tuckerman chafes under the bland, beige traditions of her socialite circles. Only the aristocracy’s annual summer trips to The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia spark her imagination. In this naturally beautiful place, an unexpected romance with an Italian racecar driver gives Dorothy a taste of the passion and adventure she wants. But her family intervenes, sentencing Dorothy to the life she hopes to escape.

Thirty-eight years later, as World War II draws to a close, Dorothy has done everything a woman in the early twentieth century should not: she has divorced her husband—scandalous—and established America’s first interior design firm—shocking. Now, Dorothy returns to The Greenbrier with the assignment to restore it to something even greater than its original glory. With her beloved company’s future hanging in the balance and brimming with daring, unconventional ideas, Dorothy has one more chance to give her dreams wings or succumb to her what society tells her is her inescapable fate.

Based on the true story of famed designer Dorothy Draper, The Grand Design is a moving tale of one woman’s quest to transform the walls that hold her captive.

“Five Stars!” —Carleton Varney, president of Dorothy Draper & Company, Inc.

“As captivating and confident as the heroine at its center.” —Kristy Woodson Harvey, New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Veil

“Full of luscious details of fashion and luxury!” —Kelly O’Connor McNees, author of The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott

“A dazzling, intimate portrait.” —Louise Claire Johnson, author of Behind the Red Door

“Historical fiction at its finest!” —Elyssa Friedland, author of Last Summer at the Golden Hotel

  • Historical novel centered around America’s first female interior designer
  • Stand-alone novel
  • Book length: 109,000 words
  • Includes discussion questions for book clubs


'The story is a thoroughly enjoyable read with the characters, including The Greenbrier, coming vividly to life. It is well-paced, with twists and turns in the plot and notable guests like President Taft woven into the storyline to anchor the reader in history. Dramatic details make readers believe they can almost smell the rhododendron and magnolias.'

Joy Callaway's The Grand Design is a high-society drama and a deep dive into the life of Dorothy Draper, an interior decorator who refused to play it safe. It is an ode to the beauty of West Virginia and an exploration of a woman determined to follow her own path--both illuminating and lyrical.

Moving between the two story lines, Callaway's latest showcases the glamour of the Gilded Age as well as Dorothy's real-life postwar design for the resort. A treat for historical fiction fans.

Real-life interior designer Dorothy Draper and her renovation of West Virginia's Greenbrier Resort anchor this transportive historical from Callaway (Secret Sisters) . . . Callaway's dialogue captures the cadences and concerns of the American upper crust, and the society drama is sure to please fans of such aristocratic historicals as The House of Mirth and The Gilded Age. The result is an elegant testament to succeeding on one's own terms.

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781400234387
  • ISBN 10: 1400234387
  • On Sale: 2022-05-17
  • Pages: 400
  • List Price: $9.99
  • Publisher: Harper Muse
  • Category 1 : FICTION / Historical
  • Category 2 : FICTION / Southern
  • Category 3 : FICTION / Biographical
  • Category 4 : FICTION / Contemporary Women