Tuesday, 4 December 2012

A wedding dress tells her story...

When I was married, I wore my mother's wedding dress. I wonder, sometimes, if my daughter will wear it; or how many other brides wore THEIR mother's dresses. I wonder where the dresses which hang in charity shops have come from and what their stories are. I wonder whether the promise - and promises - of the day were fulfilled in the marriage; I wonder if any of those dresses were never worn;  I wonder who will buy them and what will happen to them then. I wonder.
So I was intrigued to see a book entitled The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck. When the central character, Charlotte, finds a wedding dress a hundred years old in a trunk she buys at auction, she doesn’t know that her life is about to change. Owner of a bridal boutique, she herself is engaged to be married after a whirlwind courtship. Discovering the dress makes her resolve to search for the bride – or brides – who had worn the dress, while also wondering who would be the next wearer.
The story weaves skilfully between Charlotte’s life and that of the previous owners’.  Rachel Hauck draws the reader into discovering Charlotte’s character and background while introducing us into very different lives.  The story is gently romantic, yet the heroines are real women struggling with issues which many today would identify with. Joy and sadness, life and death, are depicted in the way they impact on the characters’ lives and personalities.
Switching between the different eras was no problem, but towards the end of the book I found myself becoming slightly confused by the number of characters – I almost needed a family tree – before all the threads were drawn together by the end, where everything was explained neatly.
The Wedding Dress is a light-hearted read with a satisfying ending; a romance with an element of mystery.  It is most definitely a Christian book, yet manages to avoid becoming sanctimonious or ‘picture perfect’.  The author treats faith with a light, yet sensible touch: we see how Charlotte’s  faith affects her without feeling ‘preached’ at. I got this book through Booksneeze to review: having read quite a few Christian romances, this is by far the best-written and I look forward to reading more by this author. A good find.

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