Originally published: 17 October 2019 (Ebook); 6 February 2020 (Paperback)
Author: Louisa Leaman
Published by: Transworld
Page count: 312
Reading dates: 13-16 October 2019
Fran Delaney owns a bespoke wedding dress shop called The Whispering Dress. Fran loves clothes especially vintage wedding dresses and scours house clearances to find these preloved wedding dresses from every decade so she can match them to the brides that come in her shop. She learns the history of the dress and about the bride who wore it and her groom, through conversations, letters and research.
At a house clearance at Dryad’s Hall, a 6 bedroom stately home in Epping Forest, she finds a stunning dress but the owner of the property Rafael Colt is rude to Fran and has little interest in the dress, refusing to give her any details about the dress apart from that it was worn by both his grandmother and his mother. By taking the dress, Fran and Rafael’s lives become intertwined and Fran has the opportunity to find out his family history so the dress can be matched to the right bride.
I really enjoyed this lovely romantic story – I realise I don’t read much romance and it was a welcome breather to read this charming book. I loved the idea of the Whispering Dress wedding shop – I could clearly picture what it might look like and I loved the idea of brides coming in to find their perfect dress – often not one they were expecting to find! The descriptions of the dresses were just divine and I loved the different eras they came from and the stories behind them. I’m not interested in clothes particularly but this made me want to visit the V&A museum which apparently has a large wedding dress collection.
Rafael at first is distant and a bit stuck up but Fran is able to use her charms and as they get to know each other, romance blossoms, but as is often the case, things don’t run smoothly. Fran seems to be able to sense feelings from some of the dresses she finds and the Colt one in particular, which was designed by a famous French fashion designer seems to speak to her and she soon gets the impression that the women that wore it were not happy.
I really enjoyed this story – it ignited an interest in clothes and wedding dresses I didn’t know I had and it was lovely to read a romantic feel-good story! I loved the touch of magic that ran through the book – a really uplifting and enjoyable read.
Many thanks Katie from Transworld for sending me a copy and for inviting me on the blog tour. Be sure to check out all the other bloggers below!
My Perfect Dress
I’ve noticed some other bloggers sharing a picture of their perfects dresses. As I said, I’m not one for clothes, much preferring to slob about in jeans and jumpers and spend my money on books!
But my wedding dress was special. I went with my mum to choose it and I only tried about 3 on before choosing this one! It wasn’t very expensive (certainly less than £300) but I just knew it was the one for me. It was ivory, with beading and a little bit of a train – to be honest it was 21 years ago so I can’t remember the details, but I do remember feeling stunning, like a princess!
About the author:
Louisa Leaman was born, raised and now lives near Epping Forest. She studied Art History at Leeds University before becoming a teacher working with children with special needs. After winning the Times Education Supplement’s New Writer’s Award, she turned her hand to writing books for children. Louisa currently writes content for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, but has also been published in the Guardian, the Observer, the Independent and The Times Educational Supplement. Her interest in the arts is often inspiration for her plots and her first book, The Perfect Dress, was inspired by the V&As large wedding dress collection and fulfils her dream of writing romantic fiction. When she isn’t busy writing or rearing her three lively children, she paints portraits, takes long walks and spends far too long browsing vintage clothing shops.