“Apart from his love for Cora, Walt has another secret. A secret he would love to share with her but knows he never will. He has always loved to read aloud, to hear words float about a room, to swim in stories and breathe in poetry…”
Ever since I was a little girl I’ve loved stories about magic. As an adult, that hasn’t changed, and I always look forward to picking up a book that will sweep me away into a world of charm and enchantment. The Dress Shop of Dreams did just that! Full of magical realism, The Dress Shop of Dreams was the perfect read to fulfill my desire for romance and magic!
The story focuses on Cora and her grandmother Etta. Since her parents died in a fire when she was just a small child, Cora has dedicated her life to becoming a world renowned scientist. While Etta is proud of her granddaughter’s scholarly achievements, she is worried that Cora may let life, and love, pass her by. Luckily, Etta has a bit of magic up her sleeve! With just a few stitches, Etta can turn ordinary clothing into magical garments that have the power to unleash the wearer’s deepest desires. Cora’s studious eyes have overlooked Walt, the shy and handsome bookseller across the street for years, so Etta decides to put things into motion with a few swoops of her needle and thread. The result is a sweet story about love, family, and friendship.
One of the things I loved most about The Dress Shop of Dreams (besides the hints of magic), was the way that all of the characters interacted with each other. Told from the perspectives of Cora, Etta, Walt, and Milly, readers get glimpses into each character’s individual motivations, as well as a variety of different side plots. I especially enjoyed reading Cora’s parts in the book, which were focused on more then just the general love story. Cora’s attempts to uncover the secrets behind her parent’s deaths were kind of like a mini mystery!
I also really adored the character of Walt. He was just so sweet, and I loved watching his attempts at trying to win Cora’s affections. Plus, he owns a bookstore! How can you beat that! His character also shows some hidden depths, however, through his radio program, where he mesmerizes people with his “magical” voice while reading works of great literature. The entire time I was reading I kept thinking about how much I would love to hear Walt’s voice in real life!
The Bottom Line: The Dress Shop of Dreams is a cute romance and is perfect for fans of authors like Sarah Addison Allen and Alice Hoffman. I’ve only read a few of Sarah Addison Allen’s books myself, but (dare I say it) I actually liked The Dress Shop of Dreams a lot more!