The Secret Lives of Dresses

The Secret Lives of Dresses

Book - 2011
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Dora's easy and rather dull life becomes much more interesting when she moves to North Carolina to run her grandmother's vintage clothing store.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : 5 Spot, 2011.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780446555722
044655572X
Branch Call Number: F
Characteristics: viii, 292 pages ; 21 cm

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s
SterlingAngel
Sep 16, 2013

A cute and fast read. Most of the characters are very likeable, though don't have much depth. I would recommend it to someone who wants a fun, quick, book with a happy ending.

A patron review from the Adult Summer Reading Game: Very good book, interesting concept. Great for a book club.

m
macroom6
Jun 03, 2013

An easy read. I liked the characters and relationships. A good book to bring on a vacation.

asbookchick Feb 08, 2012

A very enjoyable read that makes you think differently about clothes and what kinds of stories they might all tell.

spomincica Aug 26, 2011

Cute, a joy to read!

lilmisslibrary Jul 18, 2011

Now I want to go and buy vintage...

r
redwallflower
Jul 04, 2011

A good read for a hot summer weekend, but not a book that I would rave to a friend about.

n
nwilcox
Apr 05, 2011

This book is wonderful. Dora is a character that is easily liked and one you root for in the later half of the book.

AnneDromeda Mar 07, 2011

<p>As the full weight of winter grinds down one last time, finding a fun, light book to lift us up is sometimes all we need to make it through to spring. Does it need to be literary? Well, no - there are enough dark thoughts about heavy truths lurking as is, thanks very much. Does it need to be absorbing and silly and leave you feeling better than you did before you cracked it? Absolutely. Bonus points if it's so simple it basically reads itself. So, I was thrilled to discover a little first novel by author Erin McKean called <i>The Secret Lives of Dresses.</i></p>

<p>Shy, tomboyish Dora is a shiftless arts major at a decent school in North Carolina - killing time working at a coffee shop and trying not to fall for her boss while she waits for the future to pan out - when her grandmother, Mimi, unexpectedly falls ill. Raised by her grandmother since her parents died in her infancy, Dora puts her aimless life on hold to make the short trip home and care for Mimi and her vintage clothing store. There, she makes three key discoveries: she loves the vintage clothing she's known all her life more than she thought; Mimi has been writing short stories about the dresses' previous lives as a brilliant (if labour intensive) marketing gimmick; and her grandmother has <i>conveniently</i> befriended a hot young local contractor named Con. But will meddling relations put the brakes on the whole thing by stealing the store out from under Dora and Mimi? You'll just have to read it to find out.</p>

<p>The plot may be simple, but it's a classic construction for a reason, and McKean does some interesting things within it. Fans of rockabilly culture and vintage clothing, for example, will surely love all the little details McKean gets right in her descriptions of the store and its wares. Readers who enjoy books set in the American south will also find lots to love, here: McKean has built Dora a full extended family of southern characters, and she uses them to humorous advantage throughout the book. The romantic tensions are well-maintained throughout the novel, but they do not overtake the plot - Dora's career considerations and relationships with friends and family are given equal airtime, and the novel is refreshingly clear of steamy scenes and strong language. This is a book built to engage, not challenge. Is it high literature? No, definitely not. Is it fun, distracting and charming? Absolutely. <i>The Secret Lives of Dresses</i> will give you all the means and reasons to escape you’ll need until spring.</p>

p
princess555
Feb 26, 2011

a great book! Started off a bit slow, though.

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AnneDromeda Mar 07, 2011

<p>As the full weight of winter grinds down one last time, finding a fun, light book to lift us up is sometimes all we need to make it through to spring. Does it need to be literary? Well, no - there are enough dark thoughts about heavy truths lurking as is, thanks very much. Does it need to be absorbing and silly and leave you feeling better than you did before you cracked it? Absolutely. Bonus points if it's so simple it basically reads itself. So, I was thrilled to discover a little first novel by author Erin McKean called <i>The Secret Lives of Dresses</i>.</p>

<p>Shy, tomboyish Dora is a shiftless arts major at a decent school in North Carolina - killing time working at a coffee shop and trying not to fall for her boss while she waits for the future to pan out - when her grandmother, Mimi, unexpectedly falls ill. Raised by her grandmother since her parents died in her infancy, Dora puts her aimless life on hold to make the short trip home and care for Mimi and her vintage clothing store. There, she makes three key discoveries: she loves the vintage clothing she's known all her life more than she thought; Mimi has been writing short stories about the dresses' previous lives as a brilliant (if labour intensive) marketing gimmick; and her grandmother has <i>conveniently</i> befriended a hot young local contractor named Con. But will meddling relations put the brakes on the whole thing by stealing the store out from under Dora and Mimi? You'll just have to read it to find out.</p>

<p>The plot may be simple, but it's a classic construction for a reason, and McKean does some interesting things within it. Fans of rockabilly culture and vintage clothing, for example, will surely love all the little details McKean gets right in her descriptions of the store and its wares. Readers who enjoy books set in the American south will also find lots to love, here: McKean has built Dora a full extended family of southern characters, and she uses them to humorous advantage throughout the book. The romantic tensions are well-maintained throughout the novel, but they do not overtake the plot - Dora's career considerations and relationships with friends and family are given equal airtime, and the novel is refreshingly clear of steamy scenes and strong language. This is a book built to engage, not challenge. Is it high literature? No, definitely not. Is it fun, distracting and charming? Absolutely. <i>The Secret Lives of Dresses</i> will give you all the means and reasons to escape you’ll need until spring.</p>

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ADick_2
Jun 15, 2015

"Harvey's parent must think I'm a pig-but it was so good!"

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