==Synopsis of the book:==
Carolyn is a lady in her forties who has been married to Oliver for many years. And despite a happy and successful marriage she is very keen to always look her best and keep the signs of ageing at bay. She runs a successful posh hat business but with an important engagement coming up she is very keen to have a new dress made for her by Mrs Giorgescu her talented dressmaker.
The dress immediately impresses her by the sexy nature of it not to mention its sleek scarlet design; it is a dress that if worn by a woman would make her stand out in any group. However as she continues to have fittings for the exquisite dress and the date for the special evening comes ever closer she starts to feel that maybe she cannot carry off this sexy dress and maybe she should wear something a little more conservative instead. This starts the dress on a journey as she gives the garment away and the story follows this beautiful red dress's progress as various characters enjoy its beauty and what it feels like to wear such an exquisite garment.
==My thoughts of this novel:
I think this must be one of the most unusual books I have ever read. Never before have a read a book that followed a garments life. To be honest I do think this is an interesting concept, but rather than one story it felt to be more like several short stories that where only connected by the dress itself. The stories where so different it meant there was a real variety of stories to enjoy.
Which is both good and bad. Good because of the well planned and cleverly thought out different stories that showed both different characters and different setting for this amazing dress. But also bad certainly for me because the stories where quite short so in many senses lacking depth and several of them I would have liked the interesting concepts behind the story continued and to have followed the characters as their lives went on after the dress.
The first thing that struck me when I saw the book at Amazon was its cost. As a new paperback copy was on sale for £9.99, which I thought was very expensive especially when you consider this story was only 186 pages long. In the end I purchased it because I had a spare Amazon voucher to use up and I liked the sound of the book after reading the summary of the story.
This is the third book I have read by Sarah Harrison who so far has written 30 books. The main thing I have liked on previous stories was this English authors clever imagination and some of the ideas she intelligently shares with her reader. And this story was no different as the unusual path of the specially made dress was a very different idea to me anyway.
When I started reading the story I found it a little slow, moving and dull. I found the first character Carolyn hard to relate to. She was a lady that seemingly was happy and successful, to an outsider she had everything. But behind this she was a sensitive lady who was trying to keep the magic in her marriage and show she was still a beautiful lady. I found I kept expecting something unexpected and startling to happen but I was to be disappointed as this part of the story just meandered along.
However I found the stories and the progress of the dress more interesting the further it developed. It was basically the rich variety and the unusual circumstances that the characters found themselves. The author created some amazing characters and I found the majority of these where easy to like and understand. With the story being written from several perspectives I found I could really get into their heads and see the world through their eyes.
Indeed some of the stories really surprised me. Not only where they well written, the writer incorporated some well thought out and unexpected twists within the story that really impressed me. They added real spice to the story and made you think about what was happening differently.
My only real complaint was not all the separate stories interested me. I suppose that is to be expected but I did find two out of the six that where uninspiring and I found myself waiting in these for something interesting and exciting to happen. From my perspective this was quite a thoughtful and sensitive read and probably from this points of view involving feelings and emotions a little too much for me and bearing in mind the subject matter, this amazing dress, it would in my opinion be something a lady would find it easier to relate to.
In hindsight I would either have liked some of these different stories expanded upon as the concepts and ideas behind them where very good. As I felt by having so many in a sense separate stories that the author did not do enough justice to her excellent writing skills and exploit the ideas and characters within the stories nearly enough. I found I was disappointed when some finished while pleased with the ones I could not really relate too.
I thought this was an unusual piece of fiction. I found although I could not relate to all the different stories and the significance of this dress, I could relate to some of the wonderfully characters and the well thought out storylines. I would have preferred the author concentrating on one great story as some of the individual ones seemed to lack the depth being so short. That said, I was overall impressed by the author writing and her ability to describe each separate situation that brought both the characters and the scene to life.
Thanks for reading my review.
This review is published on Ciao and Dooyoo under my user name,
© CPT DANIELS October 2011.