The Dress in the Window
In the aftermath of WWII, two artistic sisters seek to capitalize on the new fashions popularized after wartime austerities. Having suffered greatly from the war, they finally see a way out of their dying industrial town by combining Peggy’s talent for sketching with Jeanne’s uncanny dressmaking abilities. Poised to take on the fashion world, they must come to grips with their own ambitions and desires, otherwise their sororal jealousy could tear them—and their dreams—apart irrevocably.
The opening line to the back cover copy of this book boasts, “A perfect debut novel is like a perfect dress—it’s a ‘must have’ and when you ‘try it on’ it fits perfectly.” That may be true, but not for this book. It is weighed down by lengthy info dumps and way too much detail about fabrics and dressmaking, at the cost of plot. On top of that, the characters are not likeable. On the whole, they are miserable people in a broken-down town in a book that only provides one tragedy after another. Our heroines, Jeanne and Peggy, are mean, and their motivations are not well explained, which makes them appear small-minded and immature when the reader should be rooting for them. This makes getting through the story a struggle. Unless you want to walk away depressed, skip this book.