Saturday, February 4, 2012

Julie's Review: Girls in White Dresses

Summary:  Wickedly hilarious and utterly recognizable, Girls in White Dresses tells the story of three women grappling with heartbreak and career change, family pressure and new love—all while suffering through an endless round of weddings and bridal showers. Isabella, Mary, and Lauren feel like everyone they know is getting married. On Sunday after Sunday, at bridal shower after bridal shower, they coo over toasters, collect ribbons and wrapping paper, eat minuscule sandwiches and doll-sized cakes. They wear pastel dresses and drink champagne by the case, but amid the celebration these women have their own lives to contend with: Isabella is working at a mailing-list company, dizzy with the mixed signals of a boss who claims she’s on a diet but has Isabella file all morning if she forgets to bring her a chocolate muffin. Mary thinks she might cry with happiness when she finally meets a nice guy who loves his mother, only to realize he’ll never love Mary quite as much. And Lauren, a waitress at a Midtown bar, swears up and down she won’t fall for the sleazy bartender—a promise that his dirty blond curls and perfect vodka sodas make hard to keep. With a wry sense of humor, Jennifer Close brings us through those thrilling, bewildering, what-on-earth-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life years of early adulthood. These are the years when everyone else seems to have a plan, a great job, and an appropriate boyfriend, while Isabella has a blind date with a gay man, Mary has a crush on her boss, and Lauren has a goldfish named Willard. Through boozy family holidays and disastrous ski vacations, relationships lost to politics and relationships found in pet stores, Girls in White Dresses pulls us deep inside the circle of these friends, perfectly capturing the wild frustrations and soaring joys of modern life. ~

Review: Girls in White Dresses seemed like it was right up my alley, but what I found is that while I can remember my 20s and all that excitement, my experiences were different than theirs It's not that I couldn't identify with some of it because I could and some of it was funny. I just didn't find it wickedly hilarious. Sure, I chuckled at parts but mainly I felt sorry for these young women and I'm pretty positive that was not what the author was going for.

I found Isabella, Mary and Lauren to be your average, normal girls who were trying to make it on their own. We see their twenties roll into their 30s with not the greatest of ease. As some of their friends get married, move out of the city, have babies and generally move on with their lives; these three struggle. Especially Lauren and Isabella it seemed to me. We see different events through their eyes and the eyes of their friends. Some were heart-wrenching and others comical.

I do understand that sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find the right one for you, but it seemed to me that all of these girls settled for who they ended up with in the end. None of them seemed passionate about their boyfriend, live-in partner and then husband. There seemed to be no passion for them. For me that's worrisome, less passion comes when you are together for years. ;)

At times I found the stories hard to follow as I couldn't recall the relationship of the girls to our three main characters, but those were few instances.

I enjoyed the friendship that Lauren, Isabella and Mary had. I liked that they were boldly honest with each other and stuck by each other even when their lives changed.

I would definitely read Ms. Close again because she did have a wonderful way of telling a story and her wit was recognizable throughout the novel.

Final Take: 3.5/5



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