The Dress Shop of Dreams

The Dress Shop of Dreams - Menna van Praag

After Murder by Death and Obsidian Blue's great reviews, I simply had to check this out from the library and give it a try. Thank you both so much for introducing me to this because I'd have never picked it up otherwise.


The plot of this reminds me of Love, Actually (a movie I loathe, actually - sorry to anyone who loves it) as you have several different characters whose story weave together with one another.


Cora, a scientist who works to change the world, lost her parents mysteriously when young. Her grandmother, Etta, who runs a dress shop whose wears can "set freee a woman's deepest desire," raised her but holds secrets that are about to come out. For too long Cora has shut herself off in science and logic but Walt, a shay bookstore owner, has long waited for her to notice. Once events start, they can't stop. People come and go as we see their lives beyond the moments their paths cross Cora's.


There is something magically simple yet touching about this book. While there is a bit of magic in this, it's the characters and their stories that stood out to me. Etta's main secret, Cora's search for the truth, Walt's radio wave and love of books, and Henry's family issues were particularly meaningful to me and had me turning page after page till I'd finished it in one sitting.


A book I'd never have picked up on my own became one of the best books I will read this year.


Favorite quote:


The Molecular Structure of love: "1 proton of faith, 3 electrons of humility, a neutron of compassion and a bond of honesty."