It’s probably the oldest maxim in the book: “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Alas, I’ve done exactly that. There I was, shopping at the Barnes and Noble Nook store, when I came upon The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck . I thought it had quite an elegant cover, and seeing such a beautiful old wedding dress definitely caught my eye. I hadn’t read anything by Hauck yet, but based on how enjoyable this novel was I can’t wait to dive in to some of her other works.
Charlotte is a happy owner of a bridal boutique in Birmingham, Alabama, who takes pride in her work and always tries to fit the perfect dress to every bride that walks through her door. A bride-to-be herself, Charlotte is less than happy as her big day approaches, but she just can’t put a finger on why she feels distant from her fiance, Tim. All this changes, however, when Charlotte finds an old wedding dress in a trunk at an estate sale. The dress is in nearly perfect condition, and is quite old by the looks of it. Additionally, she finds mysterious dog tags in a sachet contained within the trunk, adding to the mystery. Intrigued, Charlotte decides to track down the history of the dress, and discovers that it has had three previous owners: Emily (1912), Mary Grace (1939), and Hillary (1968). What she finds is more than a timeline, it’s a rich journey through different eras and into the lives of the woman who lived in them. During this journey, Charlotte discovers just as much about herself as the three women who have come before her in owning the dress. What will Charlotte do with the dress? What will become of her rocky relationship with Tim?
As I stated before, I was definitely pleasantly surprised by The Wedding Dress. I happen to be a bit of a stickler for storylines in general, and I can always tell when they don’t flow well or get too crossed to be able to follow clearly. Fortunately this was not the case with Hauck’s work, and the different storylines merged seamlessly together to make an intriguing and engaging story that drew me in right from the beginning. Similarly, the mystery surrounding the wedding dress itself was artfully told, and it unfolded at just the right pace to keep me turning the pages. Hauck gave away just enough in the beginning to make the reader curious, but not enough to give away any of the dress’ secrets. What eventually happens to Charlotte after uncovering the stories of all the woman who wore the dress before her was heartwarming and made me smile. It was a great way to end such a heartfelt book. If you’re in the mood for a fun read that has elements of mystery and historical fiction to it definitely check this one out!
4 out of 5 stars
The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck
Nelson, Thomas, Inc. (2012)
eBook: 352 pages