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Review of the Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna Van Praag

By: Gabi Rutherford

Etta has a gift, the gift of making women feel beautiful and helping them to realize the desires of their hearts by stitching a red star into the seams of their clothing. Etta would love to work this magic on her granddaughter, Cora, as Cora has always been so set on becoming a scientist who would change the world that she hardly has taken the time to see the beauty in the world around her. Cora has also overlooked Walt, the owner of the bookstore down the street who has loved her since the day he first met her. When Etta uses her red thread to stitch a star into Walt’s collar, she sets events into motion, although not like she’d hoped. Will Cora ever see what is right in front of her, or will Walt realize that he might be better off moving on?

Menna Van Praag writes a very detailed and intricate story. There are many characters who have voices in this story, but each one is connected in some way. All of these characters do add interest and dimension to the story. The main character, Cora, grows as a character as the story progresses, and she learns what it is she truly wants. Etta’s use of her gift is fascinating, and at times, the reader might wonder if she will use it on all of her customers. Overall, Van Praag wrote an interesting story.

I thought this book was okay. It isn’t the most exciting story I have read this semester, but it isn’t terrible. All of the different characters having their own voices made this a little bit hard to follow, and the storyline just didn’t seem to progress very quickly. However, there are parts of this story that I found very interesting, like Etta’s gift and how she uses it. I would recommend this to people who like romances with twists, and possibly those who like a little bit of fantasy.

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