Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Secret Lives of Dresses - McKean

The Secret Lives of Dresses

Erin McKean

Dora is vagueness personified. She is getting a General Studies degree from a small and unnoticed private university, she has a job at a coffee shop working for a man she loves but won't give her the time of day and her personal style can best be described as dingy comfort. When grandmother Mimi takes ill Dora must drop everything to take over at her vintage clothing store, finding herself and a fabulous new wardrobe along the way.

Here's the thing. Erin's a blogger and I have a lot of love for bloggers who are able to take their daily grind and make it into something I can pick up at a closing Boarders (this is not to say that you can't get The Secret Lives of Dresses other places, but I got mine at a Boarders that is presumably now an empty building with a Boarders sign above it.) but I wasn't a huge fan of The Secret Lives of Dresses. I went in expecting A Vintage Affair, the only other slightly chick litty thing I've read in the past year, which I realize was totally my mistake. Dora's indifference makes her hard to understand, and even harder to root for. Truly the beginning of The Secret Lives of Dresses was a fight to see if there were in fact dresses somewhere in this story.

Once I got over how questionable Dora was I really did enjoy the story. Mimi's shop is a beautiful setting and the stories behind her dresses are thought provoking and sweet. It is a perfect place for characters to interact and grow and live. It is even a place where a manly man like Conrad can enter with a cup of coffee without things taking an odd turn. Which brings me to Conrad. Hello Mr. Stereotype of Perfect, we haven't seen each other in a while but it's good to catch up. Conrad's the good guy to Gary's flighty free loving self.  He's funny and charming and makes all the girls swoon in a the way Colin Firths sweater clad self does. Only, he lacks a Colin Firth type characters substance. Which kind of fits in with the rest of the novel.

Over all The Secret Lives of Dresses isn't going to be one of this years favorites, but it was definitely a fun read. Come for the fashion, stay for the cozy love story.

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