Charlotte Malone is getting married. Yet all is not settled in the heart of Birmingham's chic bridal boutique owner. Charlotte can dress any bride to perfection—except herself. When she discovers a vintage mint-condition wedding gown in a battered old trunk, Charlotte embarks on a passionate journey to discover the women who wore the gown before her.
Emily in 1912. Mary in 1939. And Hillary in 1968. Each woman teaches Charlotte something about love in her own unique way. Woven within the threads of the beautiful hundred-year-old gown is the truth about Charlotte's heritage, the power of faith, and the beauty of finding true love.
My take: This book turned out to be nothing like I expected ... and I loved it! After reading the back of the book (when will I learn not to do that?), I assumed that Charlotte would break up with her fiancé and end up with a wonderful new man. I was way off in my assumptions, though I won't go into specifics and spoil it for anyone reading.
I loved the characters of Charlotte and her fiancé Tim. And while I didn't like her, I did understand Katherine, Tim's sister-in-law who believed Tim could do better for himself that Charlotte. (As a big sister, it's very easy to convince myself that I know what's best for my siblings, when in actuality, I don't know as much as I think I do!)
Most of the story flips back and forth between Charlotte in the present and Emily in 1912. For me, the Emily story line wasn't quite as good as everything else. It was written well, but I simply could not connect with Emily or understand her choices. For example (SPOILER ALERT!) Emily sees—with her own two eyes—that her fiancé is cheating. Then he kisses her, and she convinces herself that what she saw must not be real and continues planning the wedding. I could understand a weaker woman just going with it. But Emily? The woman is having a black seamstress make her wedding dress on the sly! She's not a weakling, so her actions (or really non-action) toward her fiancé just don't ring true.
In the end, though, Emily's story is satisfying enough—and the way Hauck weaves Emily's story into Charlotte's is pretty masterful. Despite my qualms about Emily, I really did enjoy reading the book, and I definitely recommend it! 4-1/2 out of 5 stars.
Click here to see what other bloggers are saying, and you can buy the book here.
Rachel earned a degree in Journalism form Ohio State University and is a huge Buckeyes football fan. She is the past President of American Christian Fiction Writers and now sits on the board as an Advisor. Visit her web site at www.rachelhauck.com to read her blog and to follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
About the giveaway:
What is "true" beauty? Join the conversation at Rachel's Author Chat Party Event Page. On the eventing of 4/19 we'll gather to talk about inner and outer beauty and share moments of beauty in our lives.
In the meantime, celebrate with Rachel by entering her True Beauty Giveaway!
One "beautiful" winner will receive:
- A $200 Visa Cash Card (Treat yourself to a spa day or weekend get-away!)
- The Wedding Dress (by Rachel Hauck)
So grab a few of your friends and your copy of The Wedding Dress and join Rachel on the evening of April 19th for an evening of fun.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."