Monday, February 9, 2015

The Dress Shop of Dreams

The Dress Shop of Dreams
Menna Van Praac

The Dress Shop of Dreams

Genre: Fiction, Magical Realism

Summary (from Goodreads): For fans of Alice Hoffman, Sarah Addison Allen, and Adriana Trigiani, The Dress Shop of Dreams is a captivating novel of enduring hopes, second chances, and the life-changing magic of true love.

Since her parents’ mysterious deaths many years ago, scientist Cora Sparks has spent her days in the safety of her university lab or at her grandmother Etta’s dress shop. Tucked away on a winding Cambridge street, Etta’s charming tiny store appears quite ordinary to passersby, but the colorfully vibrant racks of beaded silks, delicate laces, and jewel-toned velvets hold bewitching secrets: With just a few stitches from Etta’s needle, these gorgeous gowns have the power to free a woman’s deepest desires.

Etta’s dearest wish is to work her magic on her granddaughter. Cora’s studious, unromantic eye has overlooked Walt, the shy bookseller who has been in love with her forever. Determined not to allow Cora to miss her chance at happiness, Etta sews a tiny stitch into Walt’s collar, hoping to give him the courage to confess his feelings to Cora. But magic spells—like true love—can go awry. After Walt is spurred into action, Etta realizes she’s set in motion a series of astonishing events that will transform Cora’s life in extraordinary and unexpected ways.

Review: I enjoyed watching the various love stories intersect and converge, and I was satisfied that all the characters managed to find their own happy endings.  I would have liked more stories about how Etta's magic dress-making changes women's lives, and I would have found Cora's transformation more believable if it had taken place over a longer period of time.  This was a fun, light book with beautiful glittery descriptions of fabric and dresses.

Rating: 3 stars

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