Author: Meena van Praag
Publisher: Balleatine Books
Published: December 30, 2014
Goodreads Summary:Since her parents’ mysterious deaths many years ago, scientist Cora Sparks has spent her days in the safety of her university lab or at her grandmother Etta’s dress shop. Tucked away on a winding Cambridge street, Etta’s charming tiny store appears quite ordinary to passersby, but the colorfully vibrant racks of beaded silks, delicate laces, and jewel-toned velvets hold bewitching secrets: With just a few stitches from Etta’s needle, these gorgeous gowns have the power to free a woman’s deepest desires.
Etta’s dearest wish is to work her magic on her granddaughter. Cora’s studious, unromantic eye has overlooked Walt, the shy bookseller who has been in love with her forever. Determined not to allow Cora to miss her chance at happiness, Etta sews a tiny stitch into Walt’s collar, hoping to give him the courage to confess his feelings to Cora. But magic spells—like true love—can go awry. After Walt is spurred into action, Etta realizes she’s set in motion a series of astonishing events that will transform Cora’s life in extraordinary and unexpected ways.
Last year I fell in love with Meena Van Praag's House At the End of Hope Street, so I was very excited to read her latest book, The Dress Shop of Dreams. There's something about her books that suck you into the pages and you find yourself reading way past bedtime. It makes you wish that the characters were real and that you could actually visit Etta's dress shop.
Trying to explain this story in a nutshell is a hard job. First you have Etta. She's kind of a magician, but not in the pull-a-rabbit-out-of-your hat sense. She owns a dress shop and has the mystical ability to help women's dreams come true by helping them pick the perfect dress and giving a bit of courage through her needle and thread.
Etta is grandmother to Cora. Cora's parents died when she was a girl. To protect her from pain, Etta did a little something to help repress the sadness and memories. Unfortunately the result isn't quite what she hoped for. Cora is a scientist who can't see past the end of her nose. She can't even see that her best friend is in love with her. Etta does the only thing she knows how to do, she undoes the magic. Leaving a bit of chaos in her wake.
This book is full of magic, romance, mystery, and more. I love how all the characters interact with one another. There are stories that coincide with Cora and Etta's. I love the twists and turns of the plot. Basically this is a must read. I highly recommend it. And I also recommend House At the End of Hope Street too.
Thanks to Penguin/Random House I have one copy to giveaway to a lucky reader. You must be at least 13 years old to enter. This giveaway is for US addresses only. Please read the giveaway policy before entering.a Rafflecopter giveaway