Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Wishy-Washy Main Character Keeps This from Being Great

The Secret Lives of Dresses by Erin McKean

Adult Chic-Lit

What a perfectly delightful book!  It has some of my very favorite things in it:  vintage clothing, dress shops, chic grandmothers and journaling.

Dora is a bit of a mess--as unlike her cool grandmother as two people can be; yet, when her grandmother becomes ill, Dora drops everything and rushes home to be by her side.  Of course, leaving her old life behind isn't that tragic.  Dora is finishing up some vague, meaningless degree and still doesn't know what to do with her life.  She works in a coffee shop, has a crush on a guy named Gary who only seems to see her as a friend-with-benefits.  The benefits being that she does all his work.  Dora is in way over her head and relies on old friends and family to be her crutches.  She is also delighted, and confused, to meet her grandmother's close friend, Conrad, who is a very handsome, very attentive, very helpful contractor. 

She's also surprised by some things she's finding out about her grandmother.  Namely, the handwritten fictional histories that come with each dress in the shop, a vintage clothing store her grandmother owns.  What a lovely idea! 

My only complaint is with the character of Dora.  She was a little annoying.  She is so unsure of herself that she seems paralyzed from making decisions and that drags the book in places.  This is not an exciting book, more like a lazy Sunday read.  It would also have been nice if the romance between Dora and Conrad had been developed more.

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