‘Girls in White Dresses’ by Jennifer Close

Girls in White Dressesby Jennifer Close is a loosely linked group of stories, predominantly about three women (Isabella, Mary and Lauren), their relationships and the weddings they attend. Yes, that sounds a bit ho-hum but the stories are edgier than the standard chick-lit-fluff and I’d even go so far as to say that there’s a Sex-and-the-City-meets-Seinfeld vibe going on.

“The reception was at a country club in some New Jersey suburb. Isabella felt like she’d been to a million of these weddings. By now, they all blended together in a blur of fabric-covered chairs, pink napkins, and crab cakes. Isabella looked around. The centerpieces made her sad.”

There are some genuinely funny moments in these stories and Close makes some neat observations about life for twenty-and-thirty-somethings. And while Girls in White Dresses might not have the melancholy of Sex and the City or the punchlines of Seinfeld, there are some quirky scenes – the guy whose girlfriend is a grown-up JonBenét, the girl who only dates ‘ugly’ guys, the ‘summer of yes’.

“It was like on their fifth date, when he’d tied a windbreaker around his waist and had no idea that he should be embarrassed as they walked around the Central Park Zoo.”

“Cutest-boy-in-the-class syndrome,” Lauren repeated. “You know, when you spend all your time in a class and it’s boring and you get a crush on a guy, who looks super cute in the class but then when you go out in the real worrld, he’s not. It’s just that you were only comparing him to that small group, so there was a curve.”

There’s no question that this book is full of frat boys, sorority girls and #firstworldproblems but I did laugh (and I could identify if I cast my mind back a decade!).

4/5 I enjoyed this book more and more as I read on. I have a terrible habit of mentally rating a book within the the first few chapters. Rarely do I change my mind but this was an exception. It started as a 2.5 and finished as a 4 (that’s a chick-lit 4).

Of course the only thing to have with Girls in White Dresses is wedding cake. Thankfully Pinterest isn’t short of pictures of wedding cakes (that last bit was written in sarcastic font). I do like this wedding cake with a touch of yellow.


10 responses

    • Funny, I saw your review on Goodreads and questioned whether I should read it (trusting your judgement!). I only picked it up because I already had a copy on the shelf and it ticked the requirements for two reading challenges! At first all of the generic girls names were a bit of a blur but by halfway through you could follow the broader narrative. It certainly didn’t follow the usual chick-lit format and that’s what I liked.

  1. I’ve not been able to get into chick lit lately. I think the last one I enjoyed was How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donahue.

    I’m not overly fond of weddings, but maybe that’s because most of my family is Catholic and the wedding are extremely long…

    • There’s too much bad chick-lit out there to bother most of the time… I only read this one because it was on my shelf (I must have bought it after reading a review ages ago) and because it ticked some reading challenge requirements. Needless to say it was a pleasant surprise.

      I’ve come full circle on wedding stories – it’s been so long since I’ve been to a wedding (all our friends were either married a decade ago or have decided not to have a wedding) that I don’t mind reading about the details!

  2. Pingback: Things We Need by Jennifer Close | booksaremyfavouriteandbest

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