The Secret Lives of Dresses by Erin McKean

Secret

Finding a novel by Erin McKean, the author of my favourite blog, A Dress A Day, made me feel very happy. The pastel pink cover with a gorgeous black party dress (which I would love to wear if I was slimmer and had somewhere to wear it,) makes me smile too. The characters were likeable, the story was bright and happy (despite being written around the death of a dearly loved character) and the descriptions of the dresses are delightful.

The main character, Dora is at college, and in unrequited love with Mr Wrong, although the reader instantly realises Dora is far too good for the object of her desire. When her grandmother, Mimi, becomes seriously ill, Dora drops everything to go home, where she can be close to the hospital and run Mimi’s vintage clothing shop. While Dora is running the shop, she meets Con, who is her Mr Right.

The novel is light and breezy and an enjoyable read. This might be a weird thing to say, but I feel as if this book was written especially for my enjoyment. The first reason why I believe this is that I’m into rockabilly, and I got a massive kick out of one of the characters referencing a rockabilly band, Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys, who actually came to Australia a few years ago. The second reason is that Dora and Con go to the movies to see The Princess Bride, which is a favourite of mine. (The book is just as good as the movie too, if you’ve never read it). Then to top it all off, there are lots of dresses, descriptions on top of descriptions of gorgeous vintage dresses.

The secret lives of the dresses are stories which are given to the purchasers of the dresses, as written by Mimi. In the blog, A Dress A Day, Erin McKean writes funny and clever pattern stories which I look forward to reading, as do a great many others. Mimi’s stories in the book are an extension of these. My recommendation is that you check out Erin’s blog and read the pattern stories for yourself.

http://dressaday.com/

I hope Erin McKean puts together a collection of pattern stories in a book one day. If she does I’ll buy it. I’ve already bought The Hundred Dresses by the same author, which details the most iconic dresses of our times.

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