Monday, August 22, 2011

Girls In White Dresses: A Review

Jennifer Close - Girls In White Dresses

When Was It Released?: 9th August 2011
Where Did I Get It From?: The library
Who Published It?:   Knopf

Are all your friends around you getting married and having babies and your'e still figuring out what you want from life? Well your not alone, Girls in White Dresses follows this premise throughout. I love weddings, and bridal showers (maybe because I’ve always wanted to be a wedding planner) but I can totally relate to how these can become a chore once all your friends start getting married. Girls In White Dresses seems to be on everyone’s to read list at the moment, including my own, so I thought it was about time I started reading.

Girls in White Dresses, the debut novel from Jennifer Close, follows the story of Isabella, Mary and Lauren (as well as many of their friends) as they progress in life through different jobs, falling in love and getting their heart broken and the endless round of wedding showers. It seems like everyone in their lives is getting married and every weekend they seem to be at
someone’s wedding or bridal shower, wearing pastel dresses, cooing over toasters and drinking their champagne by the case load. Aside from everyone else getting married Isabella, Mary and Lauren have to contend with their own lives. Isabella is working for a mailing list company but is unsatisfied and wants more from her job. Every day Isabella has to contend with a boss who says she is on a diet every day, yet if Isabella does not bring her the morning chocolate muffin she turns into a monster. Mary is ecstatic when she meets the man of her dreams and falls in love. The only problem is, it seems he loves his mother more than he could ever love Mary. And then theres Lauren, working as a waitress she hates her job and swears she won’t fall for the sleazy bartender. Will that be a promise she will be able to keep? The three girls have to deal with how to live their lives after graduating college when everyone but them seems to have a plan that involves a great job, a suitable boyfriend, and impending marriages and babies on the way.

I really enjoyed Girls in White Dresses, finding Isabella, Mary and Lauren to be a breath of fresh air. Jennifer Close manages to create three likeable, hilarious, fun loving characters that you will be gripped by from the beginning. I loved the stories of their incredibly bad dates, that we have all been through, including Isabella being set up with a obese man and a gay guy. It brought back lots of memories of bad dates I have been on and that have been set up for me. I also like how each of the characters is relatable. I am currently at the time of my life where I have recently come out of college and am figuring out the path I am going to take. Whatever route you have taken in your life some elements of these girls will resonate with you. The stories of Isabella, Mary and Lauren are candid, honest and told with a tongue in cheek attitude that will have you laughing out loud and agreeing with them all the way through the novel. I also loved the message of friendship that resonated throughout the entire novel showing the realism of real friendship where sometimes you hate each other boyfriends and fight with each other but ultimately you will always have each others back through thick and thin.

The only issue I had with Girls in White Dresses was the way Jennifer quickly moved from narrating between different characters, sometimes ones we had not even met before. I found this confusing at times and in the beginning particularly was unsure of who the story was about and what relation they were to the main characters. The story also moved quite quickly not only between each character but sometimes many years would pass by without mention. I also did not like the way certain characters narrated once but then were never mentioned again meaning that we never really found out what happened to them or who they were.  

Overall I did enjoy reading Girls in White Dresses finding it to be a real page turner. With the candid dry humour and engaging characters you will find it hard not to fall in love with this book. I wanted to room with all these girls and spend hours chatting over a few bottles of wine. Isabella, Mary and Lauren reminded me in many ways of some of my own friends. For anyone who is in their twenties and thirties, or remembers these times fondly this is defiantly a novel for you. I cant wait to read more from Jennifer Close in the future.

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