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The Wedding Dress Paperback – Apr 2003

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x954bcf48) out of 5 stars 26 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x960a16c0) out of 5 stars An Unexpected Treasure 24 July 2006
By Alicia in Georgia - Published on
Format: Paperback
I loved this book. It's a romance that might be rated PG-13. Historical. A tad paranormal. Mostly a slice of life after the awful war that tore our country - the strength and love and human spirit that kept us going.

Three sisters, Victoria, Julia, and Claire, are trying to keep things going on their Virginia plantation after the War Between the States. Victoria and Julia lost husbands to the war. So many men died, the youngest sister, Claire, is afraid that she'll never get married and have a family. To raise their spirits, the sisters start to make Claire a wedding dress. As the three work on the dress, they bring hope to the community, and the world brings hope to them. They are visited by Monroe, who came to tell Julia about serving under her husband...

The book goes through about a year of ups and downs, laughs, growth, discovery, and contentment. Definitely a "keeper" you'll want to read again and again.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95acdc6c) out of 5 stars Lyrical Historical Novel 17 Aug. 2002
By Sheri Melnick - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Reminiscent of a nineteenth-century journal, Ms. Ellis' tale of three sisters in 1865 Virginia is a nostalgic novel of war's devastation and triumphs. Young war widows Julia Atwater Lovejoy and Victoria Atwater Whitmore are determined to elevate the spirits of their seventeen-year-old sister Claire. They decide to spend their fall and winter days at Oak Creek Plantation piecing together a wedding dress for Claire with the hope that by spring, she will find a beau.
The arrival of Sergeant Monroe Tacy, wartime friend of Julia's deceased husband, William, elevates the spirits of the elder Atwater women as they see in Monroe a potential husband for Claire or an escort to the women's Savannah cousins. But Monroe is more than the deliverer of a message from William as he helps the women of Oak Creek survive the winter with his hunting and repairing skills. As the approach of spring brings new surprises, the Atwater women prove that they are no simpering southern belles.
This lyrical first person account of Julia's post Civil War life is enlightening of the emotional and physical repercussions of war without subduing the read with gory details.
Ghostly images give an ethereal quality to this novel highlighting the value of family and friendships, proving that love can survive even amidst the most difficult of circumstances.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95dcc744) out of 5 stars Good summer reading for a light novel. 29 Jun. 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book. This was my introduction to this author and I found her to be very good. Her story line was good and it kept the readers interest. Her writing style just flows and once in awhile she would come up with sentences that just "float". I highly recommend this book for light reading, yet informativ reading.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x956c50fc) out of 5 stars tremendous work of historical fiction 2 Jun. 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
By 1865, the war is over, but Virginia still has to recover. Sisters Victoria and Julia Atwater mourn the losses of their husbands, Confederate soldiers who died fighting, but have little time to grieve as survival is a daily chore. However, their seventeen-year-old younger sister Claire is depressed because she has no future as there are no men to marry and no prospects of starting a new life. Julia persuades Victoria that they must find a way to make Claire dream again.

They decide to make their sister a wedding dress though she has no suitor. Though they cannot afford the money wasted on so frivolous an activity, the sisters dive headfirst into the tasks. As they work on THE WEDDING DRESS, word spreads that Claire is marrying a returning soldier. The neighbors needing escape from the dismal aftereffects of the war join the three sisters as this event provides a bit of solace.

THE WEDDING DRESS is a tremendous work of historical fiction that demonstrates the need for hope in the future even when the present is so dark that there looks like there is no tomorrow. The story line is cleverly written so that the audience feels the deepest emotions of the sisters struggling with their lot and the symbolism represented by the dress. The use of "ghost riders" though exciting and a metaphorical representation of the loss still seems an unnecessary diversion from the prime theme. Virginia Ellis provides a strong tale that is mindful of Viktor Frankel's classic Man's Search for Meaning as the community desperately needed something to live for.

Harriet Klausner
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x956da7c8) out of 5 stars A thought provoking read. 16 Sept. 2002
By Larry E. Shoffner - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Ms. Ellis has penned a powerful message regarding: "Give and you shall receive." Her unselfish depiction of love - for those living, and those lost, is the best I have read in recent times. Her writing is gentle, but it clearly reflects suffering and sacrifice, both external and internal. A sample of her strong and accurate writing is found on page seventy-five. I quote - "There's some of us that are young, and some like me, who only look young, ma'am. None who fought for three years can claim the former." If you ever have pictured yourself in the story you reading, you'll have no trouble getting right in the middle of this one.
Several years ago, a table mate at a community dinner said he had never read a book written by a woman. My retort was that he had missed half the story. Re: THE WEDDING DRESS, men/women who don't read it will have missed the whole story. Any sensitive man will enjoy this novel as much as any woman. Probably more!
It's my understanding that the film rights to THE WEDDING DRESS have been purchased by someone familiar to us all. My hope is that this story will soon be available for viewing in our neighborhood theater. This MAN can hardly wait.
Great work, Ms. Ellis.
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