Thursday, May 24, 2012

Book Review: The Wedding Dress

Author: Rachel Hauck
Title: The Wedding Dress
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publish Date: April 3, 2012
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Book Blurb:
Four brides. One Dress.
A tale of faith, redemption, and timeless love.
Charlotte owns a chic Birmingham bridal boutique. Dressing brides for their big day is her gift . . . and her passion. But with her own wedding day approaching, why can't she find the perfect dress…or feel certain she should marry Tim? Then Charlotte discovers a vintage dress in a battered trunk at an estate sale. It looks brand-new-shimmering with pearls and satin, hand-stitched and  timeless in its design. But where did it come from? Who wore it? Who welded the lock shut and tucked the dog tags in that little sachet? Who left it in the basement for a ten-year-old girl? And what about the mysterious man in the purple vest who insists the dress had been "redeemed."
Charlotte's search for the gown's history-and its new bride-begins as a distraction from her sputtering love life. But it takes on a life of its own as she comes to know the women who have worn the dress. Emily from 1912. Mary Grace from 1939. Hillary from 1968. Each with her own story of promise, pain, and destiny. And each with something unique to share. For woven within the threads of the beautiful hundred-year-old gown is the truth about Charlotte's heritage, the power of courage and faith, and the timeless beauty of finding true love.
      The Wedding Dress
Review: This is a tale of 4 brides and one very special wedding dress. Their stories woven together like the threads that keep the gown together. This is a book that really kept me turning the pages, even when I should have been doing other things, though I have to admit, I was more interested in what happened to the previous brides than what was happening to Charlotte and Tim.

The main focus of the book is on Emily, the first bride. Emily is a character that I have mixed feelings about. I admired her courage at times, but other times I felt she was a total coward, letting too many people dictate what she was doing. I realize that in 1912 that is what happens, but sometimes I felt Emily was being a bit daft.

This book paints the picture of life after the civil war and before WWI in Birmingham, AL.  Tensions are high between the whites and the coloreds. Rachel really shines in writing about this period. She brings things to life, even if they are things that might make you angry. I hated how Emily easily went with Phillip, even though her heart belonged to Daniel, and later when she realized that Phillip was involved with another woman. It really made me wonder how she managed to hold out so long before abandoning him.

The other two brides stories were shorter but no less important. Mary Grace is the second recipient of the gown and when Charlotte finds her, through Hillary, the third wearer of the gown, Mary and her husband have been married over 70 years. Hillary's husband was killed 6 months after their marriage in Vietnam. What they do with the dress is what's important. Hillary was my favorite of the brides. She is the first one Charlotte finds. The dress doesn't bring happy memories for her. I think Rachel balances out each bride's experiences well. Mary is the only one that really had a happy tale. Emily had to struggle for the dress and with herself in choosing the man to marry. Charlotte and Tim breakup before the wedding and somehow manage to pull together in the end.

I had a hard time dealing with that relationship too. But if they stayed together and happy, the end result wouldn't be so sweet and the dress wouldn't be so important.

So many different stories and they all weave together beautifully and the dress is more than is part of Charlotte's heritage, which is something she learns as a result of Tim's sleuthing.

This was one of the most beautiful stories I've read. It's more a tale of lives than romance. If you love the novels of Debbie Macomber, then you'll want to check this one out! This is one of my favorite reads of the year.

Rating: 5 flowers


Cindy said...

I've never heard of this but it sounds like a lovely book. I am glad you enjoyed it and I can't wait to read it too. Great review :)

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