The Dress Shop of Dreams

The Dress Shop of Dreams

A Novel

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
6
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Random House, Inc.
For fans of Alice Hoffman, Sarah Addison Allen, and Adriana Trigiani, The Dress Shop of Dreams is a captivating novel of enduring hopes, second chances, and the life-changing magic of true love.

Since her parents’ mysterious deaths many years ago, scientist Cora Sparks has spent her days in the safety of her university lab or at her grandmother Etta’s dress shop. Tucked away on a winding Cambridge street, Etta’s charming tiny store appears quite ordinary to passersby, but the colorfully vibrant racks of beaded silks, delicate laces, and jewel-toned velvets hold bewitching secrets: With just a few stitches from Etta’s needle, these gorgeous gowns have the power to free a woman’s deepest desires.

Etta’s dearest wish is to work her magic on her granddaughter. Cora’s studious, unromantic eye has overlooked Walt, the shy bookseller who has been in love with her forever. Determined not to allow Cora to miss her chance at happiness, Etta sews a tiny stitch into Walt’s collar, hoping to give him the courage to confess his feelings to Cora. But magic spells—like true love—can go awry. After Walt is spurred into action, Etta realizes she’s set in motion a series of astonishing events that will transform Cora’s life in extraordinary and unexpected ways.

Praise for The Dress Shop of Dreams

“Reminiscent of Love Actually and P.S. I Love You, this cute little book is recommended to readers who want to be charmed by the possibilities of love.”LibraryReads(Top Ten Pick)

“[Menna] van Praag has a deliciously innate capability to weave the totality of characters ofThe Dress Shop of Dreams into a compelling tale. Each character, from Cambridge to Oxford, augments and refines these dynamics. Ultimately, van Praag cracks the code that deciphers magical fate when it comes to couture and the complexities of love.”New York Journal of Books

“[A] brightly colored fabulist confection . . . sure to delight those looking for a little fairy dust in their romance.”Kirkus Reviews

The Dress Shop of Dreams is a delightful blending of many love stories plus a tale of murder and suspense. Van Praag has a knack for balancing a large cast of engaging characters, and her references to beloved authors and historic scientists are enjoyable touchstones between doses of mystery and magic.”Booklist

The Dress Shop of Dreams is a light, sweet and shimmering confection, well worth a read.”BookLoons

“Bighearted, beautiful, and brushed with magic, this novel celebrates life’s moments of joy, possibility, and transformation. Menna van Praag’s writing is bright with sparkles and lovely grace notes.”—Susan Wiggs, bestselling author ofThe Beekeeper’s Ball

The Dress Shop of Dreams is a dream come true for lovers of romantic tales with a twist of fantasy. Utterly enchanting! Menna van Praag’s imaginative, endearing characters will stay with you long after you close the book.”—Mary Alice Monroe,New York Times bestselling author of The Summer Wind

“Dresses, dreams, magic, and mystery swirl in this enchanting novel. The Dress Shop of Dreamsis the book to read before turning off your bedside light.”—Nancy Thayer, New York Times bestselling author of Nantucket Sisters

Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.

Baker & Taylor
"Etta Sparks's cozy dress shop, tucked away at the end of a winding Cambridge road, is a magical place - anyone who steps inside the little blue door to glimpse the glorious silks and jewel-hued velvets can see they are someplace special. But only Etta knows the dresses she sells are actually magic - a few stitches from her needle and each gown imbues the wearer with the confidence to achieve whatever they set their mind too. The only two people the dresses don't seem to work on are Etta, still nursing aheart broken 40 years ago, and her granddaughter Cora, who dedicated her life to science after her brilliant inventor parents died in a mysterious fire and doesn't have time for things like magic or love. Determined to help Cora find happiness, Etta sewsher magic stitch onto the shirt of Walter, the shy young man who works at the bookstore next door and has been in love with Cora for years. When she does, Etta sets in motion a surprising series of events, uncovering a lifetime of secrets that will change her granddaughter's mind about love -- and maybe even bring back something Etta thought she had lost forever"--

Baker
& Taylor

"For fans of Alice Hoffman, Sarah Addison Allen, and Adriana Trigiani, The Dress Shop of Dreams is a captivating novel of enduring hopes, second chances, and the life-changing magic of true love. Since her parents' mysterious deaths many years ago, scientist Cora Sparks has spent her days in the safety of her university lab or at her grandmother Etta's dress shop. Tucked away on a winding Cambridge street, Etta's charming tiny store appears quite ordinary to passersby, but the colorfully vibrant racks of beaded silks, delicate laces, and jewel-toned velvets hold bewitching secrets: With just a few stitches from Etta's needle, these gorgeous gowns have the power to free a woman's deepest desires. Etta's dearest wish is to work her magic on her granddaughter. Cora's studious, unromantic eye has overlooked Walt, the shy bookseller who has been in love with her forever. Determined not to allow Cora to miss her chance at happiness, Etta sews a tiny stitch into Walt's collar, hoping to give him the courage to confess his feelings to Cora. But magic spells--like true love--can go awry. After Walt is spurred into action, Etta realizes she's set in motion a series of astonishing events that will transform Cora's life in extraordinary and unexpected ways. Advance praise for The Dress Shop of Dreams "Bighearted, beautiful, and brushed with magic, this novel celebrates life's moments of joy, possibility, and transformation. Menna van Praag's writing is bright with sparkles and lovely grace notes."--Susan Wiggs, bestselling author of The Beekeeper's Ball Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader's Circle for author chats and more"--
A dress shop owner capable of stitching magic into her wares changes the lives of her customers by giving them the confidence to achieve their goals, but is sadly immune to her own handiwork. Original. 20,000 first printing.
With a tiny magic stitch sewn into a shy bookseller's shirt collar, Etta sets in motion a series of events that will transform her granddaughter's life in unexpected ways -- and possibly bring back something Etta thought she had lost forever.

Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, c2014
ISBN: 9780804178983
Branch Call Number: FIC PRA
Characteristics: viii, 326 p. ;,21 cm.

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Katherine_A Jul 27, 2017

If you are heading to the beach and want a story with a bit of mystery, magic and romance, this is the book for you. Cora and Walt have been childhood friends since Cora came to live with her grandmother after her parents died. Cora's grandmother, Etta, owns a dress shop down the street from Walt's bookstore. Etta's dress shop is full of vibrant dresses and with a few stitches of Etta's needle the dresses can unleash a women's deepest desire. Walt has been in love with Cora ever since he met her. Etta is hoping to work her magic on them by putting a few of her stitches in Walt and Cora's clothes. Will Etta's stitches by the key to romance for Walt and Cora? You'll have to read to find out!

n
No_Stalkers4Me
May 29, 2017

Light, easy, "feel good" read. Recommend when you're in the mood for same.

p
Porterbee
Jul 22, 2015

A charming love story with more than one happy ending. Recommended for an afternoon at the beach, or a rainy day.

l
luminea
Jul 15, 2015

I never imagined that I'd come across anot her book that I would love as much as Garden Spells or The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen, but this book has stolen my heart. I was en chanted from the very first page. As the cast of characters grew I feared that the book would splinter into too many subplots but I found myself truly caring about each of the characters and delighting in how their stories intertwined. The end of the book left me feeling such a sense of hope and happiness for the future of each of these beloved characters. This is a book I will gladly add to my permanent collection and enjoy rereading many more times.

t
TheresaAJ
Feb 09, 2015

This is a "magical realism" novel so the reader must be willing to suspend some rational beliefs. Although I found the first third of the book slow going, it picked up. Magical dresses, clumsy first loves, a neatly solved mystery, and a charming tour of Cambridge, England are all part of this novel. The perfect book for a vacation!

CovingtonAdultLibs Jan 05, 2015

Perfect for when you need a sweet and satisfying read. Etta runs a dress shop where her stitches work wonders and a switch in style can change a customer's life. However, when Etta tries her magic on shy bookseller Walt and her granddaughter Cora, events do not turn out as she plans. A charming book from author Van Praag.

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