It begins with Holly setting out to check off to check off at least one and maybe two goals on her life list. When she reaches the room where she plans to begin this goal, having sex in an improper setting with her boyfriend, Justin, he ruins it by proposing to her in front of a ballroom full fo people. She reacts by running from the room and getting sick in the bathroom. There, she meets two older women. Both are there as part of the Dresses for Dreams sale, where old wedding gowns are donated and sold to make wishes come true for breast cancer patients. Grace, the elder of the two, is working there, and Maggie has donated her dress, though it was hard for her.
They get to witness a spectacular to do when Jusin follows Holly into the ladies room then storms off, leaving the girl confused and hurt. They form a bond and continue to meet, sharing their problems and woes. Maggie's big problem is she and her husband Mike have drifted apart, so much so that he forgot their twenty fifth annerversary and has now bought a boat, intending to sail the Caribean for a few months, alone. He needs some time. Grace and her Ben are still happily married, except for one problem. He is in denial about her fatal prognosis with cancer.
As the story progresses, the three women work on putting together a fiftieth annerversary party for Grace and Ben, though Holly and Maggie secretly plan for it to be a second wedding to make up for the big one she did not have. Maggie tries dating and also has a few attempts at dealing with Mike, while Holly confronts the fear that keeps her from marrying Justin, or anyone, with a clear mind. They make more life lists, go to jail together, and eat lots of chocolate.
***** A favorite author makes a change of pace in this heart warming, sometimes funny, sometimes painful novel that no woman should miss. This is one of those books where a lot happens, but it's hard to describe. It is a gentle walk that will renew something inside you and make you appreciate life. Does Grace get her dream wedding? What happens to the two estranged couples? Read it and find out, just keep some tissue and chocolate handy. *****
Reviewed by Amanda Killgore.