The Perfect Dress by Louisa Leaman
Today I am happy to be taking part in the blog tour for The Perfect Dress by Louisa Leaman.
Many thanks to Katie Cregg from Transworld and the author for a copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly.
Fran’s wedding dress shop isn’t like any other. A treasure trove of history, filled with gowns from every decade for every type of bride. But not as you’d expect.
Something bold for the shy and retiring.
Something simple for the woman who is unafraid to stand out.
And something dazzling for the bride who wouldn’t normally dare to be different.
No matter your expectations, you’d never guess your own perfect dress. But Fran knows… she feels the wisdom woven into every gown, a gift from the previous owner waiting to be handed down to the next bride.
When Fran finds a dress that seems to be perfect for her she can’t wait to know its complex history which starts with her getting to know the son of the previous owner…
My Thoughts on The Perfect Dress
The Perfect Dress is set around a vintage wedding shop called The Whispering Dress. Shop owner Fran seeks wedding dresses for her clients and she will literally do anything to get the perfect dress. However, it isn’t just the exquisite dressmaking that appeals to Fran but the story that comes with it. Fran believes that the dresses whisper their stories to her, giving off energy which reveals the true feelings of the original bride.
The ladies who visit the wedding shop don’t leave with the dress they imagined would be right for them. Often they leave with a dress which is the complete opposite of their personality. However, once they try on the dress and hear the stories of it’s past, something magical happens. Fran has an amazing talent for reminding her clients that it “is not the wedding that matters, it is the marriage.”
When Fran comes across a couture dress in a house clearance she knows she has found a very special gown. The dress belongs to Rafael, who is wealthy, handsome but extremely brusque. Fran becomes obsessed with finding out the history of the dress but Raf is unwilling to share and feels only contempt for the wedding gown.
The intricate details of the dresses with the historical references behind each one make the imagery leap from the page. The romance element intrigued me because the two main characters were both broken emotionally, from completely different backgrounds and with opposing beliefs. However, if a couple are inexplicably drawn to each other and help each other heal, how can that be anything but wonderful?
This is an enjoyable debut…especially if you love weddings, romance and history. The author has used intensive research from the Victoria and Albert Museum’s wedding dress exhibition and it gave the story an authentic feel. I loved all the references to historical weddings, the imagery of the dresses and the mystery element which kept me captivated throughout.
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.
My Perfect Dress
Actually, this dress wasn’t mine it belonged to my daughter. However, it was my perfect dress because it was the start of a wonderful journey for her and probably my proudest day. The photograph was taken when we had a rare moment alone together as she was getting ready. It’s also my way of saying, Happy Anniversary.