Saturday, January 03, 2015

New This Week: The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna van Pragg

Menna van Praag’s highly anticipated second novel (after 2013’s The House at the End of Hope Street) delights with elements of fantasy, fairy tale and magical realism. Beautifully written and vibrantly shared, it’s a tough tale not to fall in love with.

Cora Sparks, a scientist, lost her parents under mysterious circumstances many years ago. Since then, Cora has immersed herself in her work and in the corners of her grandmother Etta’s dress shop. What Cora doesn’t know -- though we all suspect -- is that one should never underestimate the power of a good dress. And there is magic waiting in the shop’s corners that will help her realize all of her dreams: even the most important ones.

Make no mistake, The Dress Shop of Dreams (Ballantine) is a classic love story, but the well applied tastes of magic and fairytales bring the tale to a different level. Menna van Praag knows how to tell a story. And she does it with charm and even panache. The Dress Shop of Dreams is just the right tale with which to begin a fantastic new year of reading. ◊

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