Monday, February 3, 2020

13. The Wedding Dress

The Wedding Dress. Rachel Hauck. 2012. 352 pages. [Source: Library] [Christian Fiction; Romance; Women's Fiction]

First sentence: It was the breeze, a change in the texture of the unseen that made her look up and walk around a stand of shading beech trees.

Premise/plot: Charlotte, our heroine, owns a wedding dress shop in Birmingham. She herself is engaged to be married though she’s in no rush to buy her own gown. When the novel opens, she’s at an auction—by chance. She has no reason to bid on anything. But she finds herself drawn to an old chest that has been welded shut. There may be a wedding dress inside, if the story is to believed, a gown made in 1912. A mystery man dressed in purple tells her this is her dress, that she’s meant to have it. So, surprising even herself, she buys the trunk for $1,000. But even once the trunk is open she hesitates to call the dress hers, to try it on. But she does become fascinated by the history of the gown. Who has worn the dress before? Who did they marry? Was the marriage a happy one? How did the gown get passed along? So her journey begins...will it end with a happily ever after of her own?

My thoughts: I enjoyed this one. I was a little familiar with this magical allegorical dress from a Christmas themed novella. The dress not so subtly represents Christ’s righteousness in which believers are dressed. The dress magically fits every intended bride perfectly—no alterations, no changes needed. It is always the exact size the bride needs it to be. No matter how short or tall, no matter how thin or fat the bride is. Details of the dress magically change as well, its color (white, ivory, etc) the waistline, the trimmings. It is always in style, never outdated. I don’t know that allegory is the right word, it may be the wrong word—for it doesn’t really work if you look at it super close and overthink it. Salvation is a free gift of God. His righteousness clothes us, but we didn’t pay that price. Charlotte buying the dress for $1,000 doesn’t quite work if you take the spiritual meaning literally. The man in purple is obviously supernatural (think Touched by an Angel). All that being said, it would be wonderful if such a dress existed.

There are four romances shared in this one. Charlotte and Tim plus Emily’s love triangle get the most attention. I loved Emily’s story. Charlotte was a nice character and I enjoyed going along on her journey of researching the history of the gown. But her story was a bit contrived perhaps especially towards the end.

Still I liked it.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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