It’s that time of year when we really don’t want to do much. In Australia it’s that slow time between Christmas and New Year when we take a break from our work and businesses.
So today, I decided to recommend to you five fiction novels with dressing as either their main theme or essential to the story.
‘The Dress’ by Jane R Rosen
This is the story of ‘The Dress of the Season’ – a little black dress. It’s never fully described. It’s a dress that will suit every woman and make her look special. You use your imagination to create it.
The story is about nine women who wear this dress and how it changes their lives. It starts with the young model who gets to wear it in on the runway and ends with the retirement party of the pattern maker who turns the designer’s sketch into reality. The story weaves around the sales staff at Bloomingdales and the little black dress that’s borrowed, bought, returned and re-sold.
Spoiler – not all nine women end up happy.
‘The Pink Suit’ by Nicole Mary Kelby
This is historical fiction based on fact. It is Nicole’s imagining of how the pink suit that Jackie Kennedy was wearing the day JFK was shot, came into being. It is fashion with its intrigues and deceptions and all the people who played a part in producing one perfectly photogenic item of clothing.
The main character, Kate, is a back-room garment worker at Chez Ninon in New York and she loves the challenge of making The Wife’s (Jackie’s) clothes. Kate loves seeing Jackie wearing them and she loves making replicas for her sister and herself. Kate’s world changes dramatically before that fateful day. The story ends with some sadness, some hope and some reminders of happier days.
PS – The suit was not actually pink. Coco Chanel had named the colour – raspberry.
PPS – Click here to read my full review of this story.
‘A Spring Affair’ by Milly Johnson
This is a story about what can happen when you de-clutter. Yes, it’s a chick lit romance. And a feel-good, light read. Elouise ‘Lou’ for short, picks up the last magazine in the dental practice waiting room. With lots of time, Lou reads an article ‘Spring-clean Your Life’. The opening words ‘Clear your house and clear your mind’ stirs something inside her. She takes the magazine home and starts de-cluttering – so much that she gets rid of quite a few skip loads of unwanted items.
Along the way there are changes made – both physical and emotional. It’s not a simple journey from down-trodden, lonely and sad to taking back control of her life and future. Join Lou as she becomes more courageous and assertive.
‘The Funeral Planner’ by Lynn Isenberg
This is a story of a young woman, Maddy Banks, who each time she pitches for investor money for her business idea, seems to have the idea stolen by her arch rival, Derek Rogers. After having her latest idea stolen and then attending an impersonal funeral of a close friend, Maddy considers the idea of starting a business based around customised funerals.
The road to that is filled with trials and tribulations as she battles to stop Derek from winning again. Along the way, Maddy is sent an Intern, Eve Gardner, to help her. Eve wants to graduate but fashion is her real love. She becomes a vital part of Maddy’s presentation team (when dressing counts). You can learn a few simple fashion tips from Eve who eventually starts her own business ‘FT 101’.
‘The Mulberry Tree’ by Jude Deveraux
Lillian Manville, a chubby young woman, has just lost her husband in a plane accident. Although a rich man, he has left her a run-down farm and a note to find out what happened a long time ago.
Not strictly about dressing, the story contains lots of examples of how dressing helps Lillian (under her new name – Bailey) and the other characters go undercover and solve a murder mystery; bring two cousins together; creates a great commercial for Lillian’s new condiments business and finally allows her to move on with gratitude.
There you have it – short summaries of five books that I have read with dressing and de-cluttering important to the storyline.
Enjoy your Christmas-New Year break. Happy reading!