Monday, February 22, 2021

Review: "The Dress Shop on King Street" by Ashley Clark

Life intervened with my plans to read The Dress Shop on King Street, but I've finally finished it, and it was worth the wait!

Harper Albright has pinned all her hopes on a future in fashion design. But when it comes crashing down around her, she returns home to Fairhope, Alabama, and to Millie, the woman who first taught her to sew. As she rethinks her own future, secrets long hidden about Millie's past are brought to light.

In 1946, Millie Middleton boarded a train and left Charleston to keep half of her heritage hidden. She carried with her two heirloom buttons and the dream of owning a dress store. She never expected to meet a charming train jumper who changed her life forever . . . and led her yet again to a heartbreaking choice about which heritage would define her future.

Now, together, Harper and Millie return to Charleston and the man who may hold the answers they seek . . . and a chance at the dress shop they've both dreamed of. But it's not until all appears lost that they see the unexpected ways to mend what frayed between the seams.

The Dress Shop on King Street tells the story of two women: Millie in the 1940's, and Harper (with a much older Millie) in the present day. Their stories are interwoven, of course, with the fullness of their connection not revealed until the end. 

I was partial to Millie's story line (just by a bit), but I also enjoyed Harper's. And the connections between Harper, Millie, and Harper's love interest Peter were so fun to uncover!

Also, it was heartbreaking to read about Millie's struggles as a Black woman passing as white. The choices she had to make were unfathomable. The way those choices - which she made to the best of her ability - impacted the rest of her life and her loved one's lives ... I just wanted to give her a big hug! 

I can't really say more without spoiling anything, and this book is one where the secrets are best uncovered as you go! But trust me when I say that fans of historical novels that deal with tough topics from our nation's history will find much to love here. 4 stars.

Buy the book (Amazon ad).

Ashley Clark writes romance with southern grace. She's dreamed of being a writer ever since the thumbprint-cookie-days of library story hour. Ashley has an M.A. in English and enjoys teaching literature courses as an adjunct. She's an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When she's not writing, Ashley's usually busy rescuing stray animals and finding charming new towns.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Bethany House Publishers through its book reviewer program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. 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."

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