The Wedding Dress
Thomas Nelson, 2012
The first thing that caught my attention in the BookSneeze newsletter was the cover. That dress - it's gorgeous, especially when you hold the book in your hands and can really look at the lacework. I'd wear it in a heartbeat. The premise was intriguing too: four women, one wedding dress, and a mysterious connection. What I got was a beautiful story about love - the sacrifices and struggles we willingly endure in the name of Love, the power of Love, and that journey to discovery we all must travel.
When Charlotte suddenly found herself the new owner of a beat-up old trunk at an estate auction, she never expected to find a wedding dress inside. She's not even entirely sure how she ended up buying it, but feels an undeniable draw to the trunk. The dress inside is not just any dress - it is The Dress. And Charlotte knows wedding dresses (she's the owner of a chic bridal boutique). The dress, and the mysterious circumstances surrounding its acquisition, tempt Charlotte into tracing the dress's history - slowly and steadily following the threads of history, little clues, to a most unexpected source. The research is a welcome distraction, as Charlotte's own engagement dissolves, and she struggles to make sense of love - while also battling an intense longing to find her father, some sense of family identity.
But this dress has four stories to tell, and while Charlotte is slowing weaving together the clues, Rachel Hauck lets us see into the past. Beginning with headstrong, passionate Emily in 1912, the dress has a way of bringing out the best and truest in people's heart, particularly the best and truest of its brides. Emily, Grace and Hillary all have unique stories of their own: romance, discovery, growth, heartache, wrenching decisions. The dress finds them as they need it, touching their hearts, leaving a mark, and then showing them who needs it next.
I loved the intricacy of the story, the complex layering that added a touch of intrigue, a taste of the fantastic even, without overwhelming the main story - Charlotte's story. There's an attention to detail, and a sense of careful craftsmanship that fits neatly with the idea of a handmade designer wedding gown. It's a thoughtful read, without being heavy or weighty - just right for a summer evening.
Book provided by publisher for review.