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Book Review: The Secret Lives of Dresses by Erin McKean

The Secret Lives of Dresses by Erin McKean

This is a heart-felt and beautifully written book that will charm any reader. The Secret Lives of Dresses centres on Dora who returns to her home town when her grandmother has a stroke. Devastated that her grandmother is now comatose in the local hospital, Dora nonetheless decides to open her grandmother’s vintage clothes store each day and keep the business going while they wait to see what happens next. It is like stepping back in time for Dora, a world away from her busy student life and job working in a coffee shop – and Gary, the graduate student she is smitten with.

It’s not long before Dora discovers that some of the vintage dresses in her grandmother’s store have stories to go with them – and each of the stories helps Dora her examine her life now she is back home, and they provide her with a way of coping with the seriousness of her grandmother’s condition – and even the loss of her parents when she was young. It soon becomes clear that the dresses are helping put her on another pathway in life. Perhaps she is finally going to find happiness – and maybe even true love?

The Secret Lives of Dresses is pure delight from opening page to the riveting end. The dress stories in the book are all short and simple, but highly effective – and add layers to a novel that surprises. Original, slightly quirky but satisfying, this is an outstanding read.

#bookreviews #fiction