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The Secret Lives of Dresses
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'Every dress has a story. Let me tell you mine...' Dora is in love with a man who barely notices her, has a job she doesn't care about, and dresses entirely for comfort, not style. All a far cry from her vivid, eccentric childhood, growing up with her beloved grandmother Mimi. However, when disaster strikes, Dora knows she has no choice but to return to her childhood home and take over running Mimi's vintage clothing shop. And there she makes a surprising discovery -- Mimi's been writing stories to accompany every dress she sells. Romantic, heartbreaking tales about each one's secret life before it got to her shop...Dora starts to matchmake these lonely frocks with new owners, but will the stories help her as well? Trading her boring high street clothes for vintage glamour is one thing. What she needs to know is whether she can trade her safe old life -- and love -- for something better too? A captivating and enchanting novel for every girl who knows that the right dress can change your life. By the author of the popular blog www.dressaday.com.
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About the Author

Erin McKean runs one of the most popular vintage fashion websites in the US www.dressaday.com. Writing and words are her passions and indeed her day job, as one of America's most eminent lexicographers. THE SECRET LIVES OF DRESSES is her debut novel.

Reviews

Now in her last year of college, Dora is wandering aimlessly through life, majoring in liberal arts-a subject that allows her to delay contemplating her future-and taking whatever opportunities come along. When her grandmother Mimi suffers a stroke, Dora rushes home to Forsyth, NC, where she runs the vintage dress shop in Mimi's absence and slowly transforms into the woman she never thought she was, one who feels at home in vintage dresses. In distracting herself from the pain brought on by her grandmother's illness, Dora soon finds herself doing exactly what she has always avoided: making decisions about her future. Lexicographer McKean interweaves an involving tale about vintage dresses that have "secret lives" with her underlying theme of finding oneself during times of turmoil and loss. VERDICT In this quiet debut novel, fans of McKean's blog (www.dressaday.com) will be especially captivated by her ability to effectively spice up a consistently steady plot with a heaping of the "secret lives" they have enjoyed for years. It will also appeal to readers who enjoy coming-of-age tales.--Natasha Grant, New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

'Style queens and Mad Men fans will love this heart-warming story' -- Bella 'Love a romance? Love fashion? You'll lap up this cute tale of a woman who looks after her grandmother's shop and discovers all sorts of life secrets in the pocket of a dress.' -- Heat 'Ever slipped into a vintage dress and wondered who wore it first? Then you'll adore The Secret Lives of Dresses. Penned by US fashion blogger Erin McKean, it follows Dora, who takes over her gran's clothes shop and finds that in the pocket of every dress lies a history.' -- Look 'A lovingly stitched tale' -- Now 'Sweet and enjoyable... a heartwarming read' -- Image 'A girlie, captivating tale of frocks and love' -- Closer 'an enchanting novel for anyone with a love of dresses' -- Irish Tatler

Blogger McKean's retro fashion-forward coming-of-age debut follows Dora Winston as she sashays toward a degree in "vagueness studies" while engaged in a fruitless flirtation with her coffee shop boss. She's got no idea what to do with her life, and then her adored grandmother, Mimi, has a stroke, and Dora is whisked back to Mimi's vintage clothing store, where she learns more about Mimi, thanks to the secret (and ploddingly overwritten) stories Mimi has stashed away on pieces of paper stuck in the pockets of her most intriguing inventory. Flashbacks flesh out Mimi's wisdom and wit, while store workers Gabby and Maux complete the trilogy of strong and funny women who run the business and help Dora find her way. The prose hovers somewhere below lackluster, however, and Dora's journey is as comfortable and unsurprising as a favorite sweater. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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