Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Little Black Dress

Little Black Dress: A NovelAuthor: Susan McBride
Publisher: William Morrow
ISBN: 978-0062027191
Source: TLC Book Tours
Purchase Link: Little Black Dress: A Novel
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Two sisters whose lives seemed forever intertwined are torn apart when a magical little black dress gives each one a glimpse of an unavoidable future
Antonia Ashton has worked hard to build a thriving career and a committed relationship, but she realizes her life has gone off track. Forced to return home to Blue Hills when her mother, Evie, suffers a massive stroke, Toni finds the old Victorian where she grew up as crammed full of secrets as it is with clutter. Now she must put her mother’s house in order—and uncover long-buried truths about Evie and her aunt, Anna, who vanished fifty years earlier on the eve of her wedding. By shedding light on the past, Toni illuminates her own mistakes and learns the most unexpected things about love, magic, and a little black dress with the power to break hearts . . . and mend them.
My Thoughts:
Characters- The characters are a well developed and intriguing group, full of individualism and personality.  Everyone is so different, yet alike in many ways.  This element gave the characters a real life feel.
Setting- It’s perfect!  Author’s should either write what they know about or research.  Susan chose to write what she knows about and Susan knows Missouri!  The setting fit the book perfectly.  I loved that the main characters was a small town girl, escaping to the big city, thinking she can’t have the best of both worlds, but in the end she does.
Writing style- Susan’s writing is great!  The book is laid back and intriguing.  While the book can’t claim to be realistic, Susan enables the reader to discover a little bit of magic to brighten their day.  Little Black Dress reminded me of why I love fiction.  Fiction is any story, and escape, not always meant to be realistic.  This story is sheer fun and mischief while bringing together family and life issues that can be all together real.  I enjoyed the mix of realism and escapism in this book.  It gave the book a unique storyline and set it apart from others that I’ve recently read.
Flow- This novel flowed seamlessly.  It was an easy read.  I didn’t want to put it down.  However, if I did need to break away due to my hectic schedule, the novel stayed with me.  I enjoyed being able to pick it back up at any time and not feel the need to back track or remind myself what happened recently.
Audience - Anyone, most likely women, who enjoy stories about family relationships or dynamics, romance or magic/fortune telling, will like this book.  It’s for anyone willing to read a fun story with a bit of magic.  If you can’t enjoy the idea of a little black dress that enables the wearer to see a glimpse of her future, don’t read it.  I’ll admit I saw reviews via Amazon Vine that disappointed me.  People were discrediting the book for being what it claims to be, a work of fiction.  Nothing inside the novel is misrepresented by the synopsis on the back. 
Overall – This book was wonderfully written, light and full of entertaining characters and a charming fictional story.  I enjoyed being able to sit back, relax, put my feet up and fade away.  I felt as if I was there with the characters as they discovered more about themselves and the family history so deeply rooted in secrets and hurt, yet full of love.  Of course, that little twist of magic was fun as well!  It set it apart from other novels, I recommend reading it!
About Susan:
Susan McBride is the author of Little Black Dress (HarperCollins/William Morrow, August 23, 2011) and The Cougar Club, selected by Target Stores as a Bookmarked Breakout Title and named a Midwest Connections Pick by the Midwest Booksellers Association. Cougar also made MORE Magazine‘s list of “February Books We’re Buzzing About.”  Foreign editions of The Cougar Club will be published in Croatia, France, and Turkey. The Cougar Club centers on three 45-year-old childhood pals from St. Louis who reconnect and discover that you’re never too old to follow your heart.  After Little Black Dress, Susan will pen another women’s fiction novel for HarperCollins and a young adult thriller for Random House (details to come!).
On the personal front, Susan calls herself an “Accidental Cougar” after meeting a younger man in 2005 when she was a St. Louis Magazine Top Single.  They were married in February 2008 and live happily ever after in a suburb of St. Louis.  Susan is a breast cancer survivor and often speaks to women’s groups about her experience.

Additionally, Susan has written five award-winning Debutante Dropout Mysteries (HarperCollins/Avon), including Blue Blood, The Good Girl’s Guide To Murder, The Lone Star Lonely Hearts Club, Night Of The Living Deb, and Too Pretty To Die.  She has authored several YA series books for Random House about debutantes in Houston, the debut in 2008 appropriately titled The Debs and followed by Love, Lies, And Texas Dips in 2009.  Gloves Off, the third book, is in pub date limbo.
Visit Susan at her website, http://www.susanmcbride.com/index.html.


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