The Magic Room: A Story about the Love We Wish for Our Daughters

The Magic Room: A Story about the Love We Wish for Our Daughters

3.9 25
by Jeffrey Zaslow, Sandra Burr
     
 

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Thousands of women have stepped inside Becker’s Bridal in Fowler, Michigan, to try on their dream dressesin the Magic Room, a special space with soft lighting, a circular pedestal, and mirrors that carry a bride’s reflections into infinity. The women bring with them their most precious expectations about romance, love, fidelity, permanence, and tradition.… See more details below

Overview

Thousands of women have stepped inside Becker’s Bridal in Fowler, Michigan, to try on their dream dressesin the Magic Room, a special space with soft lighting, a circular pedestal, and mirrors that carry a bride’s reflections into infinity. The women bring with them their most precious expectations about romance, love, fidelity, permanence, and tradition. Each bride who passes through has a story to tell — one that carried her there, to that dress, that room, that moment.

Illuminating the poignant aspects of a woman’s journey to the altar, The Magic Room tells the stories of memorable women on the brink of commitment. Run by the same family for four generations, Becker’s has witnessed transformations in how America views the institution of marriage: some of the shop’s clientele are becoming step-mothers, some are older brides, some are pregnant. Shop owner Shelley has a special affection for all the brides, hoping their journeys will be easier than hers. Wall Street Journal columnist Jeffrey Zaslow tells their true stories using a reporter’s research and a father’s heart.

The stories Zaslow shares from within the Magic Room are at times joyful, at times heart- breaking, and offers with insights on marriage, family, and the lessons that parents — especially mothers — pass on to their daughters about love. Weaving together secrets, memories, and family tales, The Magic Room explores the emotional lives of women in the twenty-first century.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This tender, intimate study of the changing nature of wedlock by journalist Zaslow (The Girls from Ames) traces the many generations of devoted customers at a Michigan bridal shop. Once upon a time, when Becker’s Bridal shop in the tiny middle-class town of Fowler, Mich., first opened during the Depression, it took the bride-to-be and her mother an average of an hour to try on three or four of matriarch Eva Becker’s modestly priced dresses; now it takes at least 30 tries and numerous hours to seize on the right gown—at a cost of to ,600 per. The current owner, Eva’s granddaughter Shelley Becker Mueller, a 45-year-old divorcée whose daughter, Alyssa, works with her in the store, is “in the magic business,” selling bridal gowns among mostly knowing Midwestern families, who line up for the chance to try on lovely specimens and model them in the so-called Magic Room (formerly the bank vault of the building), rimmed by mirrors, and graced by soft lighting and Sinatra tunes. Naturally, the Detroit-based author, now a columnist at the Wall Street Journal, with three daughters of his own, elicits personal stories from worthy brides-to-be captured at the store, such as the Baptist-raised local daughter who along with her three sisters swore “a vow of purity” until marriage; the 40-year-old marrying for the first time; and the young lady maimed in a car crash whose fiancé stood by her. (Jan.)
The Minneapolis Star Tribune
The Magic Room has all the makings of a cozy, nostalgic wedding read. Tulle, check. Satin and organza, check. Bridezillas, drama and tears? Yes, yes, yes….the highlight of the book is the comings and goings of bride after bride through Becker's, Zaslow also details the excitement and joy of getting married and the commitment and dedication it takes to stay married.
The Washington Post
Interesting, rewarding and heartbreaking
The New York Times
Shows the poignancy in everyday love stories.
People Magazine
A tenderhearted portrait of a bridal store in a small Michigan town... In a handful of their stories, Zaslow gently delineates the changing lives of women and finds—in among the mishaps, misunderstandings and tragedies that derail many relationships—ample evidence of the enduring power of marriage.
Detriot News
The book itself — to use the manliest possible term — is lovely. As lovely as a bride.
Columbus Dispatch
Anyone looking for happily-ever-afters will find plenty of them here.
Bookpage
“Zaslow captures the joy, hope, love and magic.”
Library Journal
In the small town of Fowler, MI, Becker's Bridal has served over 100,000 brides-to-be since the mid-1930s. Along the way, fashions and customs have changed as brides have visited the store's so-called Magic Room to gaze at endless mirrored images of themselves in their wedding gown, an apt metaphor for Zaslow (columnist, Wall Street Journal; The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women and a Forty-Year Friendship) as they reflect on their lives, relationships, and dreams for the future. Zaslow shadows half a dozen of the women who go to Becker's Bridal, listening to their stories and writing a compelling and sincere chronology of the experiences, tragedies, and love that led them to the shop. His narrative is sprinkled with fascinating statistical information concerning marriage and divorce, as well as his cultural analysis and observations concerning family and spousal relationships and insights into the lives and relationships of the four generations of Becker women who have worked at the store. VERDICT Not an examination of today's marriage industry but a study of individual lives and dreams, this is recommended for casual readers and those with an interest in cultural and social customs concerning marriage, women's roles, and parent-child relationships.—Jennifer Harris, Mercyhurst Coll. North East Lib., Erie, PA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781455829064
Publisher:
Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
12/27/2011
Edition description:
Unabridged
Sales rank:
1,443,155
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 5.60(h) x 0.80(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"The Magic Room has all the makings of a cozy, nostalgic wedding read. Tulle, check. Satin and organza, check. Bridezillas, drama and tears? Yes, yes, yes….the highlight of the book is the comings and goings of bride after bride through Becker's, Zaslow also details the excitement and joy of getting married and the commitment and dedication it takes to stay married."—Minneapolis Star Tribune “Interesting, rewarding and heartbreaking”—The Washington Post “Shows the poignancy in everyday love stories.”—The New York Times “Forget bridezillas. A best-selling journalist visits a small-town wedding shop to uncover the poignant dreams of real women on the verge of commitment.”—O, the Oprah Magazine “A tenderhearted portrait of a bridal store in a small Michigan town... In a handful of their stories, Zaslow gently delineates the changing lives of women and finds—in among the mishaps, misunderstandings and tragedies that derail many relationships—ample evidence of the enduring power of marriage.”—People Magazine “The book itself — to use the manliest possible term — is lovely. As lovely as a bride.”—Detriot News Anyone looking for happily-ever-afters will find plenty of them here.”—Columbus Dispatch “Zaslow’s profile of the bridal shop, from the geopolitics of dressmaking to the effects of TV shows like Bridezillas, is almost as riveting as the bridal tales. The author plucks at the heartstrings as he relates all the yearnings of the brides-to-be and the travails they encounter on the way to the altar.”—Kirkus Reviews “Tender and intimate.”—Publishers Weekly “Zaslow captures the joy, hope, love and magic.”—Bookpage “A compelling and sincere chronology of the experiences, tragedies, and love that led them to the shop. His narrative is sprinkled with fascinating statistical information … and insights into the lives and relationships of the four generations of Becker women who have worked at the store … A study of individual lives and dreams, this is recommended for casual readers and those with an interest in cultural and social customs concerning marriage, women’s roles, and parent-child relationships.”—Library Journal

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