In Menna Van Praag's The Dress Shop of Dreams, be prepared for this enchanting novel to take your breathless with its amazing story-telling. For Cora Carraway, she lived with her grandmother in an apartment above the dress shop. Parentless at a young age, she wanted to be a scientist like her late parents. With the encouragement of her grandmother Etta, she prompts Detective Henry Dixon to reopen the case and look into it for her. Walt Cooper worked at the bookstore next door and always cared and loved Cora for many years, and had kept his cryptic mother's notebook close to his heart. At night, he reads classic novels over the radio with an uplifting voice to help pay the books. Since he doesn't read the letters the women sent, his boss Dylan took matters into his own hands and wrote them for her. But when he meets Milly, someone who had been seeing, he realized what Dylan had done and followed his heart. Even Etta had kept an old secret with the affair she had someone, who later became a priest. Years later, she confessed to him what she withheld from him all this time with a happy ending.
This was a beautifully written woman's fiction novel with a touch of magical realism. I adore Cora and Walt as childhood sweetheart, who grew up together and both losing parents at a young age. And they both lived and worked together on the same block, too. I loved Etta and her magical dress shop of dreams and how it had put a spell to those owned the dress with a magically stitched star in the seams. I loved the English locations and settings from Oxford and throughout the novel. This would make you believe in yourself and to follow your heart and dreams with every propelling and turned page. This has romance, non-stop drama, a hint of magical realism and action along the way with a sparkle of intrigue.
Will you check out the Dress Shop of Dreams?
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