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Posted July 9, 2011
Do you have to believe in magic for it to happen?
This story is told in two distinctive parts from two unique points of view. You have Evie telling the life and times of her rocky relationship with her sister Anna. We follow this progression in the time frame of the 1950's and read the lives of these two sisters and how events and decisions made by one can direct the life of the other. While Evie is steady and calm there is Anna who wants to run away and live her life to the fullest anywhere but in the small town, they are stuck in.
The other story is told from the perspective of Evie's daughter Antonia, a wedding planner trying to find her happily ever after while creating one for everyone else. Her life is not perfect but she has tried to make it good and living away from her mother has made it bearable or so she tells herself.
Everyone is brought together when Evie has a stroke. The last person Toni is worried about is herself so she rushes home to find her mother holding on to find her way back. Toni discovers while staying in her mother's house the past that will not go away and the present that is knocking on the door, literally.
All of these events, people, and happenings are brought together by a little black dress that changed everything from the moment of its purchase. When each of the women wear it they see visions of their lives and a chance to grab the happiness they each want but are afraid to obtain. Relationships are such a tight rope to walk regardless of whom they are with and when you throw in something that change the path you are walking will you take it or stay the course?
You do not have to believe in magic or the power of a little black dress to like this book it stands alone on the characters. You may figure out details faster than they are written but this is more about the power of life and less about secrets and life.
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Posted August 16, 2011
A Summer Must Read
Every woman deserves to have the perfect little black dress. McBrides' newest release is about a magical black dress, which enhances the figure of any and every woman's body who slips it on. But the magic of this special black dress doesn't stop there. Sisters Evelyn and Annabelle couldn't be any more different, but when they each slip on the magical black dress from the gypsy shop they both get a glimpse of their future. Antonia Ashton gets word her mother, Evie, has had a stroke and is in the hospital in a coma. Leaving her successful wedding coordinator business and boyfriend Greg behind in St. Louis she returns home to Blue Hills. Having not been back since her father's death two years earlier she begins to see how her mother's life was beginning to spiral out of control. As she begins digging into her mother's affairs she unearths questions about her mother's past and finds a mysterious little black dress at the heart of it all. The novel shifts chapters between Evie and her daughter, Antonia. Evie's stories are first person accounts from the past leading the reader to the present, while Antonia's story is what is currently going on and in third person. I loved going back and forth getting to know Evie in a way her daughter, Toni doesn't know her, while at the same time getting to see Toni realizing some her own mistakes and seeing her mother in a new light. I wasn't sure about the whole idea of a future seeing black dress, but it worked! This is a story about how three women respond when getting a glimpse, how it can change everything in a moment. More than that it's a story of family and sisters and the love they have for one another. It was heartwarming and beautifully written. I'd love to go on and on about this book, but I don't want to say too much and ruin the story! This was one of my favorite books I've read this summer. I am definitely recommending you go and buy a copy!
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Posted August 12, 2011
a whimsical drama
Owner of Engagements by Antonia, Toni Ashton diligently works as a party planner who focuses mostly on weddings. She meets her boyfriend Greg McCallum for dinner hoping he asks her to marry him. Instead he points out she is late, ordered for them, and he gives her a key to his place so they can have a trial run. She is disappointed, but before she reacts, her cell phone rings; a Blue Hills Hospital nurse informs her that her mother Evie suffered a crippling stroke.
Without a goodbye, Toni heads to her hometown of Blue Hills, Missouri for the first time since her dad died. Toni moves into the family house she grew up in and begins to organize her mom's affairs amidst the crammed home. Thinking her mom was a hoarder, Toni finds clues and truths about her mom and her maternal Aunt Anna, who vanished long before she was born back in the 1950s after the purchase of a Little Black Dress in which the siblings both put on and saw their respective futures.
Little Black Dress is a whimsical drama that looks deeply at relationships especially broken ones between loving family members. The story line contains two subplots as readers follow Toni in the present and the two sisters five decades ago. The Eisenhower Era segue is especially fascinating as the siblings are polar opposites who will have the audience wondering what each saw. This engaging tale will leave the reader looking at their relationships especially the troubled ones as time is short to mend estrangements.
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Posted August 29, 2011
Fraught with secrets, disappointment, and unspoken love!
A little black dress spills more than a little magic and mystery on three generations of wearers....Told in the alternating voices of 46-year-old Toni and 71-year-old Evie, this...well-told tale of a mother-daughter relationship is fraught with secrets, disappointment, and unspoken love. Adding to the friction is the disappearance of renegade aunt Anna, who first bought the mysterious little black dress from a gypsy, unleashing a wild chain of events after she ditches her fiancé and leaves Evie and their parents to follow the vision the devilish frock unfurls. Though Evie tries to shed the distressing dress, she falls under its trance as well, finding the love of her life and then the child of her dreams. Finally, Toni falls into the rabbit hole after trying the magic dress on for size and discovering her long-lost aunt, a cache of her mom's secrets, and just who and what she loves....Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
--Publishers Weekly (June, 2011)