Five Brides

Five Brides

by Eva Marie Everson

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Overview

One dress, five women, a lifetime of memories.
Five single, fiercely independent women live together in a Chicago apartment in the early 1950s but rarely see one another. One Saturday afternoon, as they are serendipitously together downtown, they spy a wedding dress in a storefront window at the famous Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co. After trying it on—much to the dismay of the salesclerk and without a single boyfriend or date between the five of them—they decide to pool their money to purchase it. Can one dress forever connect five women who live together only a short time before taking their own journeys to love and whatever comes happily ever after?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781414397443
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date: 06/01/2015
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 970,574
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt

Five Brides


By Eva Marie Everson, Kathryn S. Olson

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2015 Eva Marie Everson
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4143-9744-3


CHAPTER 1

October 1951 Chicago

An early morning wind whipped around the right-front corner of the medieval and French Renaissance building on Chicago's south side. Once the splendid home of one of the city's most respected doctors, it now served as a temporary home for young women in transit. Women like nineteen-year-old Joan Hunt.

She stretched under the weight of a starched sheet and a thick blanket that smelled of mothballs and time, then pulled her left arm out from under the light weight. The chill in the air drove gooseflesh up and down its length. With the fingertips of her right hand, which only peeked out of the covers, she turned the Timex double-mesh banded watch to view the face, then blinked. She'd slept over ten hours.

"Well, no wonder," she mumbled, returning the covers to her chin. Squeezing her eyes shut, she whispered, "Good morning, Lord. We've a lot to do today, now, don't we?" Then, as though her life depended on it, in one movement she threw the covers to her feet and sat upright.

Up and out of bed, Joan opened the battered trunk at the end of the twin cot in the narrow room she'd been assigned the evening before. Her clothes—neatly folded in short stacks, skirts on one side, blouses on the other, lingerie in a satin case beneath them all—smelled of home, of lavender and England, and a long but exciting week on the Mauretania II.

She removed the cedar cubby shelf filled with a collection of framed photos, two of her favorite Agatha Christie novels, a small leather address book, and the paper she'd written for a contest in which the young ladies of Leigh, Lancashire, England, were to write an essay titled, "The Man of Your Dreams." It had been simple enough for her to pen. Even at sixteen.

"The man of my dreams will be able to do things," she'd written. "Lots of things. And be creative. And," she'd added, "it would be nice if he were six foot two, had blue eyes, and lots of dark hair."

Joan smiled now at the reaction her mother had given her. "I'm so sure, Joan. God is going to create some man out of clay just for you."

Joan now lowered the shelf to the industrial-white tile floor, then slipped her hand behind the skirts and withdrew a stack of correspondence bound by a wide pink ribbon. The swirl of her name in Evelyn Alexander's penmanship brought comfort, welcoming her to Chicago and her temporary home. It also helped her to know she'd done the right thing in journeying here.

"Just come," Evelyn had written from her home, which Joan had always pictured as having a wide wraparound porch dotted with wicker furniture and surrounded by lush lawns.

Come to Chicago. If your father says this is the best place to find a job here in the States, then it must be true. If you dare to board a ship and cross the Atlantic, I'll dare to take the train up the Eastern Seaboard.


Joan had dared, all right, the scariest part of her journey having been the announcement to her mother—the truest of all Brits—that she wanted to return to America, the land of her birth. She had endured Mum's shock and calmly said, "I know, Mum," after she'd reminded her that "dual citizenship is not possible, you know. You cannot belong to both the king and the president."

And Joan endured it again when her mum stoically cried, "I don't know if I can bear this."

Difficult as it was to hear Mum cry, the idea of remaining in war-ravaged England—of merely enduring her days until some poor bloke asked her to marry him—was more than she could bear. While she wanted her future groom to be able to do things, first she wanted to experience life. Then, she wanted bride and groom to do so many wonderful things together.

Joan pulled the top letter from the stack, returned the rest, and placed the shelf over her clothes. Her fingertips brushed across a photo of her family, all eleven, clustered together in their Sunday best, wide-eyed and smiling. Her index finger rested over the place where her mother's heart beat, and she closed her eyes and breathed in deeply, remembering the cries that pierced the halls of the American offices in Manchester when she boldly repeated, "I denounce the king and all his rights, and swear my allegiance to the United States of America."

She exhaled as she stood, shaking away the memory as she laid the last letter from Evelyn at the foot of the bed. She grabbed her robe from the lone black spindle-back Windsor chair and shoved her arms into the sleeves, tied the belt around her too-thin waist, stepped into slippers, and darted out the door toward the bath and showers down the hall.

Minutes later, with her teeth brushed and hair combed, she returned to her assigned room, closed the door behind her, and walked to the window.

The previous night, after a week on the ship and another twenty-four hours on a train, she'd been too tired to eat. But now, as she pulled the muslin curtains away from the room's single window, her stomach rumbled.

"There's a restaurant just down the block," the man behind the desk had said when she arrived, and she wondered how he'd known she stood there praying she wouldn't collapse in the lobby. "They're open until nine."

"I'm afraid I'm just too worn out to walk there and back." She chuckled with all the energy of a turtle at the end of his race. "Pathetic, isn't it?"

The young man—tall and lanky with a full head of dark curls—scratched along his temple before holding up a finger and saying, "Tell you what." He ambled over to the desk behind him, piled high with papers and files of all sorts. He pulled out a drawer and dipped his hand in, retrieving a candy bar. "Do you like Baby Ruths?"

She honestly didn't know, but nodded anyway. "Thank you," she'd said as he handed her what would be dinner.

"Be back down before eight in the morning and get yourself some coffee and a nice hot breakfast. We start serving at six."

Now, with her nose pressed to the cool glass and peering at the street below where cars already rolled past, her stomach declared that the meal of peanuts, caramel, and chocolate had officially worn off.

* * *

Joan dined alone in the expansive cafeteria of the YMCA. Fine by her; she wanted to read Evelyn's last letter again before the first order of business—embarking on her job search.

If you arrive on the 16th of October, you'll have to go it alone for a few days. I cannot possibly be there until the 20th. Perhaps not until a couple of weeks after that. I'd hoped to meet you in New York and we could take the train together, but I have had to handle Mama with kid gloves.


Joan understood. All too well. Though their situations were similar, they were also vastly different. Joan had to denounce the king and travel to a country she hadn't seen for years, not since the Great Depression. Her father, a fun-loving Irishman, and her mother, a gentle Englishwoman, had packed up all their belongings and their brood of children and returned to the United Kingdom from their Chicago home. Evelyn, on the other hand, had never been to the "Windy City." She'd been to Atlanta once, she'd said, but that was as far "north" as she'd traveled.

Still, if I don't do this very brave thing ... if I don't square my shoulders and tell Daddy how desperately I want to leave on this great adventure ... I just know, Joanie, that I'll regret it for the rest of my life. I can feel it in the marrow of my bones. Every morning I wake with one thought: You must do this, Evelyn. This is your one opportunity.


Indeed, Joan thought, swallowing the last of her tea and toast. Mine as well. Being the middle child of nine, she'd felt she had to come to America. Create her own adventure. Write her own story. Or simply burst from the need. For something ... something more than England could offer.

Something. Although she couldn't say quite what. And if she didn't find it here, she reasoned she would have to return across the Atlantic to seek it elsewhere.

Joan stood resolutely and brushed a few crumbs from her skirt. The time had come for her to find a job. And find it quickly. Today. She had only thirty-seven dollars to her name, and, as comfortable as her room at the Y seemed to be, it was only a room.

It wasn't home.

* * *

For her first day in Chicago, she chose a simple blue over-the-knee pencil skirt and a white shirtwaist. Her only accessories were a strand of pearls, a small hat with a net that she pulled back, and a pair of gloves the color of midnight. She'd taken stock of herself as best she could in the small mirror in her room, but now, in front of one of the wide front windows of a four-story office building, she had a better view. And, if she said so herself, she made a rather smashing reflection.

Joan adjusted the clutch she carried under her arm. It held Evelyn's letter with suggestions for employment, and her cash for safekeeping. The building she stood in front of appeared squatty in comparison to those around it. But the brass address plate indicated it contained a number of businesses within, including Hertz, which she had heard of. Seemed a good place to start.

And if you land a job, Joanie, promise me you'll save a spot for me.


No "if" about it. She would land a job.

Joan entered the lobby off of South Wabash, which was austere by every definition of the word. Only a few ordinary chairs flanked the perimeter between office doors. A receptionist's desk sat smack in the center.

"Hallo," she said to the young blonde on the other side of it.

The woman looked up from her work with wide blue eyes made bluer by the dark liner that curled from the ends of the lids. "May I help you?"

Yes, she absolutely could. Joan straightened her shoulders and smiled. "I'm here for a job."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Five Brides by Eva Marie Everson, Kathryn S. Olson. Copyright © 2015 Eva Marie Everson. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Five Brides 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Cindy-J More than 1 year ago
Five Brides by Eva Marie Everson was well named. The title is a good summation – the book follows five young ladies who all become brides and all wear the same dress for their weddings. In 1951, pen pals Joan Hunt and Evelyn Alexander agreed to meet in Chicago to start a new life. Joan travelled from England and Evelyn from Georgia. Joan arrived first and secured housing for both of them with Betty Estes and twins Magda and Inga Christenson. Joan eventually secured multiple jobs simultaneously in order to send money home to her family as well as have funds with which to live. She continually looked for opportunities to improve her situation. Evelyn left home without her mother’s approval. Betty’s parents still try to control and manipulate Betty’s life even after she moved out of their house. Magda and Inga lived and worked with their uncle and aunt but thought they would feel less stifled if they moved on. Until the first wedding, the story flowed along with no time gaps. Inga was the first to marry in the wedding dress, and after her wedding, the reader was left hanging as to what happened in her life. Once the ladies became engaged or married, larger gaps of time were skipped in the story. Overall, I enjoyed the story. Each lady faced her own set of unique challenges and responded to them in various ways. Sometimes I was cheering one on, sometimes I was wishing another would not make that mistake, other times I was shaking my head in sympathy. The story was told at a rather relaxed pace until the end when chunks of time were skipped, although they were not really necessary to the story. I received a copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
loriweller1 More than 1 year ago
Five Bride is an enjoyable book with an unique concept. Five girls go together to buy a wedding gown before anyone is even planning on getting married. This book explores how each of their lives develop until they need the wedding gown. It is interesting and flows easily. I would encourage all to read. I received the book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
StellaPotts77 More than 1 year ago
This is a very unique story of five girls who share a basement apartment in Chicago in the early 1950's. One day while they had a day off they all went shopping together and on a lark they decided to try on a wedding gown. They ended up pitching in together and buying the gown for all of them to wear when they married. This is a story woven around all the girls, their love stories and how some suffered heartbreak but all ended up wearing the gown for their wedding. Eva Marie Everson has woven a story that will touch your heart and keep you reading until the very end to see how it all turns out. I won this book in a contest and there was no requirement for a positive review. This is my honest opinion.
LanguageTCH More than 1 year ago
Five Brides by Eva Marie Everson is an entertaining tale of five single, independent women whose lives converge in Chicago in the early 1950’s. The story begins with a soon-to-be-wed bride, awaiting her gown to try on. This was her grandmother’s wedding gown—one dress shared by five brides and soon to be worn by a sixth—her. Her mother promises to tell her the enchanting story of her grandmother and her four friends who shared a unique friendship and a very special dress. Representing England and all parts of the U.S., these women share tears and joy as their lives weave together and form the patterns that were meant to be. Though none of them had marriage plans, one day while shopping together, on a whim they each try on the magnificent gown that no one by herself can afford. They strike a bargain that they will each contribute an amount and share this extraordinary dress. Their pact to share this gown further binds their hearts and lives together. How each finds her own happily-ever-after results in a very satisfying and engaging book. I recommend this book which I received through TBCN in exchange for an honest review.
grammy57 More than 1 year ago
This book was very interesting. The concept was very unique. The story was well written but the execution could have been better. It is a long book, which is fine, but too much time was devoted to events before the dress is even purchased. This seems to have caused the end of the book to be lacking in detail. I would much have preferred more details about the weddings than what the girls were doing up until those weddings. Especially a little of how they did AFTER the weddings would have been great. But, I guess that leaves room for a follow-up book. The characters were well developed. The story flowed well. The writer focused on Christianity from several view points. Not everyone in the book was a Christian and that is how life is. I would highly recommend this book. This book was given to me in exchange for my honest review
Cheri5 More than 1 year ago
Five Brides had all kinds of good stuff in it - weddings and romance which I like, historical stuff which I like and even a kind of mystery with all five women having a story to tell about the dress. It was a good book. I received this book for free from the author and The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
Five Brides is a beautiful story! Eva Marie Everson has penned a compelling tale of five women and a dress that forever connects them and their lives. I enjoyed meeting these lovely women and admired their strength and determination. The uniqueness of each woman and her story added richness and depth to the narrative, and I delighted in the vivid imagery that brought 1950s Chicago to life. I loved Five Brides and highly recommend it to fans of historical fiction! I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.
Karen02KD More than 1 year ago
What do a wealthy, young socialite; an American born Brit; a young Georgian farm girl; and two Swedish Lutheran pastor’s daughters have in common? The answer is – very little. What they do end up having in common is a designer wedding dress that they bought together with the agreement that each could wear it on her wedding day. The last to wear it would get to keep it. The story starts in 2015 and the granddaughter of one of the girls is about to get married wearing this special dress. In preparation for the wedding, the tale of the five other brides is told. The quintet start out as roommates who are in Chicago, all trying to prove that they are independent women. Betty, the wealthy socialite is the only one from Chicago. As such, she ends up helping all the other girls find jobs, loaning them proper clothes, and giving out warnings about how to negotiate not only the streets of Chicago, but also the men in Chicago. We have five stories of love and marriage. Some end happily ever after and some wait and see. Each girl’s wedding will be made more special by the opportunity to wear the wedding dress. As I got more and more into the book, I found it more difficult to put down. Each girl’s story was very different and true to life. We had hateful former mother-in-laws, babies born out of wedlock, innocence and naiveté being taken advantage of, overbearing parents, etc. etc. My major complaint is that I wished to know more about how everything turned out. While some might have trouble with the constant switching of stories, I did not find it difficult to follow. It was delightful to learn in the Author’s Note that this story is partially based on a true incident. I received this from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
NanceeMarchinowski More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! The five women portrayed in Five Brides are significantly different from one another, but as women, shared many of the same needs and desires. Each character is represented with strength and definition. I felt as if I actually had formed a relationship with each of them. This author developed her characters in a way that although each depended upon another, they were distinct individuals with diverse goals and unique responses to their respective circumstances. I highly recommend this novel for the originality and depth of character portrayed throughout. My attention to the stories of these five women was captured and never wavered. If you're looking for a great novel to take on vacation or just for the pleasure of relaxing for several hours, this is one you don't want to miss! Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review. All expressed opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
Five Brides is an interesting read about five brides and one dress. I did like the story and enjoyed the 1950s time period, but it was just confusing to me with so many main characters. I feel like that this book could've been separated in another book or two so I could've got to know the characters a little bit better. 3 1/2 stars I received this book from bookfun.org in exchange for my honest opinion, which was given.
Jaquelyn More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I have read by Eva Marie Everson. I can honestly say I enjoyed it and wouldn’t mind reading more from her in the future. Everson made me really like the characters, and I was able to relate to them. She did a great job at explaining the surroundings so I could try to picture myself there. Five Brides is kinda like 5 books in one. It was a lot of fun to be able to read one book and get all the stories at the same time. Five Brides is set in the 1950’s in Chicago, Illinois. The story follows Joan, Betty, Magda, Inga, and Evelyn. The five very different women find themselves living together in an apartment with a window to the street. All living different and busy lives they rarely have time to spend together. When they all have a day off they decide to spend it on the town. That is when they see the dress. The dress that not only fits them all, but is full of dreams for them all to find the right one someday, whether they are looking or not. I can’t say too much without giving anything away. Everson keeps you guessing and trying to figure out who each girl will end up with. The characters in the book aren’t perfect and it just makes you love them all the more. Some look for love in the wrong places, but God has a bigger plan for their lives. You’ll just have to read the book in order to find out what that is. I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers and TBCN in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own.
debhgrty More than 1 year ago
Deb’s Dozen: Five brides, one wedding dress. Five stories, five romances, five wonderful weddings. Chicago, early 1950s. Joan Hunt, recently returned to the country of her childhood from England, embarks on a journey she could not have invented—no job, staying at the Y, but determined to make her way and be independent. When she secures a job at Hertz, she also meets Betty Estes, soon to become one of her best friends. Betty invites Joan to room with her and her two other roomies. Joan agrees after finding there will also be room for her longtime pen pal, Evelyn, who will be joining her soon. So begins the story of Joan and Betty and Evelyn and the sisters from Minnesota, Magda and Inga. On a day when they all unexpectedly find themselves at home, the young women decide to make a day of it. Off they go to see Singing in the Rain starring Gene Kelly. After the movie, as they’re walking down the street, they see the most gorgeous wedding dress in the window of Carson Pirie Scott. On a whim, led by the irrepressible Betty, they go into the store, all try on the dress, then impulsively decide to buy it together. As the years passed by, they got married one by one and then passed the dress on to the next bride. Though they were not all close friends, the dress continued to connect them after their early days in Chicago in the little basement apartment were long past. You’ll love these five women, you’ll agonize with them over their jobs and their romances, and you’ll beam with them as they each wear that very special wedding gown. This is a story you’ll not soon forget. Five stars plus! Eva Marie Everson told me at our recent interview that a friend brought her the story with a “You have to hear this!” Eva agreed the story was very special and determined to write it. However, three years passed before she was able to get an interview with the last surviving bride, eighty-three-year-old Joan Hunt Zimmerman. Eva wrote the story, turned it in to her publisher who loved it, but came back to her saying Joan’s story was great. However, they wanted a book with all five stories in it and they hoped to have it within two months. Out went the eighty-five thousand word book (which I was a beta reader for and which was wonderful) and in two months, in went the over one hundred twenty thousand word new manuscript. I asked Eva what she had learned about herself while working on the book(s). She said she was often reminded that no matter how crooked the path we walk upon, God straightens it and points us down His path. She learned that she could rise to the challenge of creating and writing within a very short time frame when she loved and believed in the subject. Eva’s first published book, One True Love, published in 2000, was a compilation of stories about the engagements of people she interviewed. Once she interviewed them, she wrote their stories. This book was so successful that it was quickly followed by One True Vow about their weddings. Shadow of Dreams, a novel, followed next—the first in a series of three books—also published in 2000-2001. Eva Marie Everson is a Carol Award Winner, has finaled for the Christy Awards, has two Maggie Awards, and two AWSA Golden Scroll Awards for Fiction. The Pot Luck Club books she wrote with Linda Evans Shepherd have sold over two hundred thousand copies. Her book adaptation of the movie, Unconditional, was a Christian Booksellers Association best seller.
TCramer More than 1 year ago
What wonderful story based in the 1950s. The prologue and the epilogue are actually set in current time and I just adore the story in between. The story is set in Chicago in the 50s. It stars 5 young women, Joan, Betsy, Evelyn, Inga, and Magna, who are roommates. Though born in Chicago, Joan’s family moved to England when she was a child. Evelyn is a Georgia farmer’s daughter and she and Joan were international childhood pen pals. When Joan decides to move back stateside after the War in attempt to earn money to send back to her struggling family in England, Evelyn decides it is time for her to leave the South and the two meet up in Chicago. They room together, along with the other three ladies and their stories unfold. Ms. Everson does such a pristine job with the development of each of the lady’s characters. The idea seems like a lot to keep up with, but it is not. I appreciated the qualities and even the faults of each character. The author made them very easy to get to know. Again, I adored this story and highly recommend it. It’s a nice fat book and you certainly get your money’s worth. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, through The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) in exchange for my honest review.
HollyBarrett More than 1 year ago
Sometimes the friendships of women get a bad rap. Women are portrayed in pop culture as mean, and other words that I won’t print here. Relationships with other women are easily forfeited for the guy du jour or a better job or whatever. And frankly, sometimes that reputation has been earned. But more often than not, my experience in the world of women has been rich and beautiful. It’s why I loved Eva Marie Everson‘s book, Five Brides. Ms. Everson tells the story of five women who share an apartment in Chicago just after World War II. It’s a time when women are learning to step out of the shadow of family and home to fulfill their dreams. Betty is from a wealthy family, and is trying to break away from the life her mother leads. Joan travels to the US from war-torn England and works multiple jobs to care for her family. Evelyn leaves her southern roots to find out where she really wants to be. And the sisters Inga, a flight attendant, and Magda, a secretary, whose reactions to their deeply religious upbringing take each of them down different roads. It’s a busy time for all of the women as they work hard to become independent. Single working women in the 1950’s faced a lot of pressure from families, employers, landlords, and the men that entered their lives. Five Brides follows these women through the ups and downs of several years of living together and centers on a wedding dress they see in a store window one Saturday. When they all try it on and decide to buy it together, their friendships blossom and their lives are forever intertwined. Everson’s characters struggle with the times they are living in, the pressures of family expectations, and the desire to live their own lives. They are not instantaneous friends just because they live together. They struggle through some moments of jealousy and disagreement. Yet, in the end, they are bound by shared experiences and love and concern for one another. These women took hold of their own lives at a time when that wasn’t always accepted. They also took hold of their friendships. They chose to love rather than compete. They chose to support rather than discourage. They chose to share rather than divide. And the love they developed helped them cover the times of frustration or disappointment.
Nicnac63 More than 1 year ago
Five Brides, by Eva Marie Everson, is a charming story. Ms. Everson is a new-to-me author who has captured another fan (me!) with her writing style, pacing, imagination, and endearing storytelling.  Travel back to 1950s Chicago, where the stories of five interesting and unique women unfolds. One weekend, the five roommates go shopping together and see a beautiful wedding dress in a store window. On a whim, they decide to try it on and they’re hooked. Pooling their money together, they purchase it—no matter that not one of them has a prospective groom to go with it.       Now isn’t that an intriguing story concept? It certainly netted me.  The time period gives this story a nice flavor, and the peek into each girl’s life kept my interest.   Julie smiled. “I will tell you exactly what Miss Evelyn told me the week before I married her son. Start to finish. How they all met in Chicago, how they saw the dress for the first time, and about the days each of them wore it.” ~page 3  I enjoyed the time period, plot, descriptions, story – the only drawback being I wanted more. Because the characters are from diverse societies and upbringings, it isn’t difficult to distinguish who is who, but I wish the author had delved a bit deeper into each individual. I wanted to know more about them. (That’s not all bad, I suppose. It’s good that I cared enough to want more!)  A fun, full read, with easy-to-love characters. And I have to mention—what a gorgeous cover!  4 Stars Cover: Love it, Title: Love it Publisher: Tyndale Publishers, Inc.  Pages: 475.  First Lines (prologue): The phone on the hotel’s bedside table, startling Julie Bowland from her near-nap. She jerked upright, placed her feet on the plush carpet between the two beds, and reached for the handset. “Hello?” she said, her voice shaking.  Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a Review Copy from Tyndale House. I was not required to write a positive review. The options I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
ShareeS More than 1 year ago
A story about friendship born of divine intervention, bravery among women and a wedding dress that bears witness to their futures. Five Brides by Eva Marie Everson is a enchanting tale that will capture the reader from start to finish. Already a fan of Ms. Everson, I can say this book is no exception to her charming talents as a writer. Betty Estes refuses to be live life in status quo. Headstrong and beautiful, she promotes sophistication and grace every where she goes. Although her family is determined to steer her in the direction that they want for her life, Betty’s strength and fortitude help her to walk the path God has paved for her and the love He intended. Joan Hunt has ventured from her homeland to Chicago to find a way to help her family in England. The war has devastated England and she is determined to utilize her talents and abilities to help those she loves. She is not interested in being Mrs. Anyone, but she’s got a knack for matchmaking. Determined and unwavering, Joan will do whatever she sets her mind to do. Magda and Inga Christenson have decided to venture out on their own, away from their family’s strong religious convictions and restrictions. Magda lives in the shadow of her sister but she longs to write, Inga is stunning and finds a job as a stewardess. Always more outgoing, Inga goes for what she wants while Magda is content not to rock the boat. Both find themselves on the opposite side of their original intentions for better or for worse. Evelyn Alexander wants something more than a simple life in the south. Encouraged by her pen pal, Joan, she ventures to Chicago to find adventure and the something more she’s been looking for. Evelyn also longs for true love and when she thinks she’s found it, she will not be deterred, even against the wishes of those who love her most. Five women so different and yet so much alike, become roommates and friends. They share their dreams, the failures and their wish to wear a beautiful wedding dress someday. Putting the cart before the horse, they take their destinies into their own hands and make a pact to share this incredible dress, whenever the day arises. Five Brides is a wonderful book that will leave the reader with that feeling of contentment in having spent their time reading a beautiful story. I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Edelweiss Above the Treeline and Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion which I’ve provided here.