- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (April 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345462378
- ISBN-13: 978-0345462374
- Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 1.7 x 20.8 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,358,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Wedding Dress Paperback – Apr 2003
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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.
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.