book reviews | fiction

Book Review: The Dress Shop

Book: The Dress Shop

Author: Prudence Reid

Published: 2011, by Prudence Reid

Paperback, 334

Blurb: The Dress Shop is a story about Veronica Ryan, dressologist, extraordinaire and empathetic companion to cash registers everywhere. Recently divorced from her handsome, funny, socially acceptable husband she embarks on her own journey to find lasting love and real meaning to life; Ronnie’s is a tale of joyous self-discovery.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had a little time to indulge in one of my favourite activities – reading. Reading is something that I wish I had more time to devote to, so when I find the time I relish it!

Over Easter I indulged in a little book from Australian author, Prudence Reid called ‘The Dress Shop’. I’m not sure exactly where I came across ‘The Dress Shop’, somewhere online I believe and the fact that it was written by an Australian self-published author was what initially attracted me.  I always love checking out new and upcoming authors, particularly those who have so much passion and belief in their  book that they have the courage to self-publish.

‘The Dress Shop’ tells the journey of Veronica or “Ronnie” who is newly divorced and on a journey of self-discovery hoping to find some answers along the way and maybe even a new chance at love.

What I loved about the premise of the book was the character and her experience was real. Ronnie could be your sister, your friend,  or your next door neighbour. So many women are experiencing similar circumstances and undergoing major changes in their lives, and I was intrigued to be taken on Ronnie’s journey.

After the first few pages I was hooked. Prudence’s narrative was witty, intelligent and well paced. By the end of the first few chapters you realise that Ronnie is just as flawed as the rest of us. She is striving to be the best she can as both a mother and woman, and gets a little side tracked along the way. I cringed, laughed, smiled and felt my heart flutter. Reading along I just wanted to jump into the pages and share the experience with Ronnie.

Although it wasn’t a necessarily a page turner that I couldn’t put down, that was almost the beauty of the book. You could pop it down and pick it up again knowing exactly where you were and not lose the moment. Yet, although it was an easy read, Prudence still manages to throw in a few jibes at society and those that perhaps take themselves a little too seriously. There really is more to life, as Ronnie will show you.

Prudence Reid has captured the essence of her character and beautifully sets the surroundings so you feel you are watching a movie play out before you. She is a gifted new author who I look forward to reading more of.

Speaking of more, ‘The Dress Shop’ did leave me wanting more. Could there be a sequel? I wanted to keep following Ronnie’s journey and find out what’s happens next. Please Prudence?

‘The Dress Shop’ is a warm, feel good read that makes you realise everyone has a story to tell and a path to explore in life. A great read, 8.5/10.


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