The Secret Lives of Dresses

Erin McKean, Grand Central/5 Spot, $13.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-446-55572-2
Blogger McKean's retro fashion-forward coming-of-age debut follows Dora Winston as she sashays toward a degree in "vagueness studies" while engaged in a fruitless flirtation with her coffee shop boss. She's got no idea what to do with her life, and then her adored grandmother, Mimi, has a stroke, and Dora is whisked back to Mimi's vintage clothing store, where she learns more about Mimi, thanks to the secret (and ploddingly overwritten) stories Mimi has stashed away on pieces of paper stuck in the pockets of her most intriguing inventory. Flashbacks flesh out Mimi's wisdom and wit, while store workers Gabby and Maux complete the trilogy of strong and funny women who run the business and help Dora find her way. The prose hovers somewhere below lackluster, however, and Dora's journey is as comfortable and unsurprising as a favorite sweater. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/08/2010
Release date: 02/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-340-99324-8
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-446-57515-7
Open Ebook - 155 pages - 978-1-60941-734-5
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