Synopsis from Goodreads.com:
You may not have heard of Fowler, Michigan, much less Becker's Bridal. But for the thousands of women who have stepped inside, Becker's is the site of some of the most important moments of their lives-moments that speak to us all. Housed in a former bank, the boutique owners transformed the vault into a "magic room," with soft church lighting, a circular pedestal, and mirrors that make lifelong dreams come true.
Illuminating the poignant aspects of a woman's journey to the altar, The Magic Room tells the stories of memorable women on the brink of commitment. Run by the same family for years, Becker's has witnessed transformations in how America views the institution of marriage; some of the shop's clientele are becoming stepmothers, or starting married life for a second time. In The Girls from Ames, beloved author Jeffrey Zaslow used friendships to explore the emotional lives of women. In The Magic Room, he turns his perceptive eye to weddings and weaves together secrets, memories and family tales to explore the hopes and dreams we have for our daughters.
Yes, immediately I was drawn in. One night I stayed up till 4AM just reading and getting all misty-eyed meeting these brides and reading about them.
There are eight brides featured in this book and their stories are sure to delight, make you smile, make your cry, make you cringe, make you remember, make you think about the future. I know I did. I have a daughter. Someday she'll probably get married. Who will she marry? How many frogs will she kiss before the right one comes along? What is her story between now and then? And then after? Certainly questions I can't answer now, but I am so looking forward to learning the answers.
"It's 9:20 a.m. on a Tuesday in July, and Shelley Becker Mueller, owner of Becker's Bridal, stands at the store's back door jiggling her key in the lock."
Favorite quote:"When Becker's Bridal hosts their 'Blowout Sample Sale,' Shelly and Alyssa never know who will show up, or what secrets they carry with them...there are always families who've arrived here with a lifetime of bittersweet memories." p. 208
I suppose that quote sums this whole book up into a tight little nutshell. That's exactly what it's about - we get a sneak peek into a handful of bride's lives and how they arrived at "the magic room", all from the perspective of the Becker family who has owned the store for more than 70 years.
Oh come on, I don't know what to call it. In essence, the part I didn't like.
While I liked all the Becker family women, Alyssa, the youngest, now possibly the next heiress to the store, made me a little crazy with her whole deal. She is 24. She works at a bridal store. Her boyfriend won't commit yet (he works at the bridal store in the back office). Uncomfortable? He is not ready. She has this to say near the end when she is trying on gowns for fun after hours. "A part of Alyssa, though, wonders if her time will ever come. After she gets out of the wedding gown, she plants herself in a comfortable chair on the sales floor, exhales, then tells Mona with mock exasperation: 'Maybe my mom and I will be the last two spinsters in Fowler. We'll just live our sad little lives, and keep selling wedding gowns to everyone else.'" p. 242
To me, that just smacks of yuck and desperation and passive aggressiveness.
To learn more about this book and the brides (or share your own story), visit the author's website at MagicRoomBook.com. You can also join the growing discussion on this book by visiting The Magic Room book discussion on BlogHer.
Find me on Goodreads!
Disclaimer: This was a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are entirely my own.