Lies in White Dresses

Lies in White Dresses

by Sofia Grant


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Award winning author Sofia Grant weaves an entrancing tale of female friendship and new beginnings inspired by the true stories of those who “took the Reno cure”. In the 1940s and 50s, women who needed a fast divorce went to Nevada to live on a ranch with other women in the same boat.

“Sofia Grant entices us into following three women seeking the Reno Cure, as they overcome their disillusionment over the lives they expected to have and summon the bravery to embrace new and unexpected paths.” —Marie Benedict, New York Times bestselling author of The Only Woman in the Room

Francie Meeker and Vi Carothers were sold a bill of goods: find a man, marry him in a white wedding gown, and live happily ever after. These best friends never expected to be on the train to Reno, those “lies in white dresses” shattered, their marriages over.

On board the train they meet June Samples, who is fleeing an abusive husband with her daughter, and take the vulnerable young mother under their wing.  The three decide to wait out the required six weeks together, and then they can toss their wedding bands into the Truckee River and start new lives as divorcees.

But as they settle in at the ranch, one shocking moment will change their lives forever. As it brings their deceptions and fears into focus, it will also demand a reckoning with the past, and the choices that a person in love can be driven to make.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062861863
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/17/2019
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 205,790
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Sofia Grant has the heart of a homemaker, the curiosity of a cat, and the keen eye of a scout. She works from an urban aerie in Oakland, California.

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Lies in White Dresses: A Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
LeslieLindsay 6 months ago
Historical women's fiction set in the early 1950s when women were expected to fall in love, slip into a white dress and live happily-ever-after...but what if they don't? I've heard of the 'Reno Cure,' before--that is, back in the 1940s and 1950s, women who required a speedy divorce headed to 'ranches' where they were await the six-week residency requirement to file for a divorce. That's exactly what transpires in Sofia Grant's LIES IN WHITE DRESSES (William Morrow, September 2019). It's 1952 and San Francisco society matrons, Vi Carothers and Francine Meeker board a train for Reno, NV, where they will spend six weeks at the plush Holiday Ranch to contemplate their future. On the train, the bump into another woman, June Samples, traveling with her 4 year old daughter, Patty, also en route to Reno. Everyone has their own issues to grapple with and not one of them is quite what you might expect. We meet grown children with disabilities and those under their business tycoon father's thumb, abusive situations, secrets, and sexuality all come into play. And then one night, the unthinkable happens and the plucky daughter of hotel matron, Mrs. Swanson, takes it upon herself to play detective. With equal measure of suspense, romance, and female friendship, a bond between women forge, working out the kinks of a bad marriage, and growing a sense of independence. Told in alternating POVs, readers are thrust into the world of the early 1950s and also each of their stories. At times, I had some difficulty teasing out the different voices and keeping characters (and their not-so-significant others straight), but that might have just been me. The ending is a bit predictable, but if you like satisfying endings where many of the loose strings are tied up, you will relish in this one. LIES IN WHITE DRESSES reminds me a bit of the storytelling technique of Fiona Davis meets Amber Brock's LADY BE GOOD with some thematic elements of Deb Caletti's THE SECRETS SHE KEEPS. L.Lindsay|Always with a Book
Anonymous 7 months ago
1952 Francie Meeker is traveling by train to Reno, Nevada with her friend Violet (Vi) Carothers. Both women will be staying in Reno for six weeks, which will then allow them to get a divorce from their husbands. It is a popular spot for women seeking what is known as “the Reno cure.” As they head to the dining car, they see a young mother with her little daughter. The woman is being turned away from the first class dining car. Irritated at the slight, Francie insists that they join them at their table. June Samples and her 4-year-old daughter, Patty, are also headed to Reno. However, their funds are very limited so Francie and Vi insist that they stay in Vi’s suite as it has more room. June is shy and doesn’t want to take advantage of the ladies, but they all agree and settle into the Holiday Ranch hotel. Virgie Swanson, age 12, is the daughter of the woman running the hotel and she is always busy helping with lots of chores. She also works hard for tips. She wants to be able to attend a private detective academy so she can become a private eye in California. She is a huge fan of Nancy Drew and is always watching people and doing her own little “investigations” of things going on. The first night the women go out to a local restaurant and then stop at a bar for a drink and some dancing. On the way back, they stop by a river and just look at the water. The next morning Vi is found drowned down by the river. They don’t know if it was an accident or if she threw herself into the water. Now, Francie is going to plan her funeral. Enlisting June’s help, they make plans to have Vi buried in a local cemetery by her parents where she grew up. As the preparations continue, we meet the spouses, lovers, and children of Francie, Vi, and June and get an insight into why the ladies were seeking a divorce. I had a difficult time maintaining my interest in this book in the first part as it seemed to lack atmosphere and a good plot. But it quickly started to encompass a whole slew of emotions that come from marriages breaking apart; infidelity; brutal spouses; and much more. But to offset these difficult parts, we have some touches of humor and almost a tad of the Three Stooges to wrap it all up to make it all more palatable. Bottom line: friendship wins out in the end. Readers are going to enjoy this one. Copy provided by Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and honest review.