Friday, January 31, 2014

The Midnight Dress

The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee

Disclaimer: This book has an unusual older style of writing to it. Kind of stoic almost. The writing style lends itself well to the story, but there were moments where I had difficulty placing the time period in the story due to the events and language. Regardless, I didn't end up looking up anything because I believe a well-written story should have enough contextual clues to give the essence of the story without giving too many nitty gritty details. It did, it had enough to place me somewhere that I understood the social structures/norms which was enough to give me an understanding of how the characters interact with their world. The writing style also portrayed the rougher edges of the narrator's persona well.

....that was a lot of words for a disclaimer.

...I REGRET NOTHING. To the amazon summary!

"Quiet misfit Rose doesn't expect to fall in love with the sleepy beach town of Leonora. Nor does she expect to become fast friends with beautiful, vivacious Pearl Kelly, organizer of the high school float at the annual Harvest Festival parade. It's better not to get too attached when Rose and her father live on the road, driving their caravan from one place to the next whenever her dad gets itchy feet. But Rose can't resist the mysterious charms of the town or the popular girl, try as she might.

Pearl convinces Rose to visit Edie Baker, once a renowned dressmaker, now a rumored witch. Together Rose and Edie hand-stitch an unforgettable dress of midnight blue for Rose to wear at the Harvest Festival—a dress that will have long-lasting consequences on life in Leonora, a dress that will seal the fate of one of the girls. Karen Foxlee's breathtaking novel weaves friendship, magic, and a murder mystery into something moving, real, and distinctly original." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

I must confess, it took a little bit of pushing to get into the book. I was a little annoyed at Rose at first before she grew on me. Especially when she begins to interact with Edie and Pearl (who are both very delightful characters).

The main thing with this review that I want to cover is the writing style.

I was mildly frustrated with it at first, but over the course of the book, the point-blank details really helped to incorporate the atmosphere of the story and world.

This story took it's time with it's telling, yet it was time well spent. There weren't any wasted words or phrases, there wasn't too much time spent one place and not enough in a different place.

There is also the interesting portions where the chapter begins in italics, where the present day is sprinkling itself lightly to show how the past (the majority of the chapter) slowly leads to that path.

I fell in love with Edie Baker and her fun stories.

I loved how Rose kind of slowly fell in love with her world.

I liked the book.

Let's jump back to the summary.

Rose and her father wander into town in their caravan as her father has finally decided to stop for a bit. She's enrolled at school and her father collects a welfare of some sort for being her guardian. Rose views her father in a sour light and her father is her world in the beginning.

Until she meets Pearl. Pearl is a whimsical girl of sorts who is so full of hope and belief in wonder that her charm wears away at the harder edges of Rose.

Pearl starts to prune back Rose's thorns.



Rose has always had a life on the road, doesn't remember her mother that well, and the town of Lenora slowly start to teach her what home could mean to her.

It's wonderful.

Happy reading!

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