Friday, October 4, 2013

The Dress Shop - Prudence Reid

Summary: 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.

Navigating unchartered single-parent waters with two young sons at her heels, disillusioned with the suburb she grew up in (Mossington Junction has become a land of superficial scenes swarming with two bob snobs), Ronnie takes a job in a local dress shop and finds her new world opening up in ways she never guessed possible.

The shop is a hub of interesting characters; Athena Andronicus, the smartest girl from Ronnie’s old school is uncovering her husband’s secret double life; the style-blighted Professor of Mathematics also from Wenchwood Ladies College who still burns a flame for one of his students; and of course, Jack the Plumber who catches Ronnie’s newly liberated and wandering eye.

Multi-tasking like a professional, jugging the needs of her family, ex-husband and friends via text message day and night, dating Old Dudes against her better judgement, dealing with her duchess of a mother and taking care of a menagerie of animals, Ronnie’s road to wholeness is hilarious, touching and real.

A feel good novel written in the flavour of Eat, Pray, Love meets Bridget Jones’s Diary not “Smug Married”.  (Image and summary taken from goodreads.com.  Copy of the book provided in return of an honest review.)

My Review:  Okay, before we start, I want to come clean.  I like to think of myself as an optimistic person.  Life is just so much more fun when you can be happy and positive about things, and I try to find the best in every situation.  I don’t always succeed, but I try!  Although there have been a mere handful of cases of books I’ve finished just so I could skewer them, (okay, two cases.  I’m looking at you, Modelland!) I don’t like doing that here.  I reserve those for my own goodreads account.

That being said, I had a hard time appreciating this book.  I felt like the writing style-and the characters-were schizophrenic, and I couldn’t get a grasp on who they were or why on earth I should care about them.  It was the little things that did me in: the main character talked about how much her father was her rock and her life, but hadn’t bothered to talk to him in months; her blasé attitude toward marriage but her deep commitment to find one that works;  her contempt of her closest and best friends, whom she apparently would shrivel up and die without; the incomplete sentences (at least two to every paragraph); and her ridiculous immaturity all just made this too much for me to handle.  I’m sorry to say that after 100 pages of nothing I finally quit.  What I did read made me feel uncomfortable and wishing I could scrub my brain.

I wanted to like it.  I read the reviews on goodreads about how wonderful this was, how relatable she was and what a funny read it was.   I guess it’s just a completely different lifestyle than I’ve ever known – I found none of that.

My Rating:  Half a star.

For the Sensitive Reader:  There’s a lot of inappropriate texting, talking, and the like.  Stay away.  Far away.

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