Thursday, December 29, 2011

Book Review - The Magic Room

This is a paid review for the BlogHer BookClub.

The Magic Room: A Story about the Love We Wish for Our DaughtersThe Magic Room: A Story about the Love We Wish for Our Daughters by Jeffrey Zaslow

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Let me start this review by telling you that I got married 10 days after we decided to tie the knot. The day after deciding that we didn't want to wait any longer, I ran into a local wedding-dress shop and asked for something simple and cheap. I tried on one dress off the clearance rack and said "I'll take it." I shopped alone and I called my then non-official fiance (he never really proposed) and asked him if he would o.k. me using $200 from my paycheck to buy the blasted dress.

I felt it appropriate to start this review with my own wedding dress story as this book is a compilation of wedding dress stories. In The Magic Room Zaslow did a great job of telling the story of Becker's Bridal in Fowler, Michigan. In this teeny tiny barely thriving US town, there are a few constants, Beckers is perhaps the most impressive, only outlasted by the loyal long-standing families that reside there.

Even though I am not much of a romantic, I really enjoyed this book. I thought the author did a great job of interlacing the stories of various recent brides with the stories of the Beckers' royal family. For five generations the Beckers have faithfully served a very large portion of the bridal industry within the United States, many times selling dresses to mothers who years later bring in their own daughters to the same shop to purchase a dress of their own.

Unexpectedly, I learned a lot about the worldwide and US trends of marriage in this book. Zaslow has a knack for making statistics interesting, statistics like "25% of first-time brides have children. Another 7 to 8 percent are pregnant" and "forget the seven year itch, UofM researchers have found that more divorces now happen in the fourth year of marriage than any other."

Overall, this is a great book jam-packed with various intriguing biographies, families' dreams and losses, wedding magic, and like it says on the cover it's mostly "a story about the love we wish for our daughters." Indeed, I do hope to one day take one of my four daughters to this magic room or at least one just like it in my own region of residence.

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You can read more discussion about this recently published book at the BlogHer discussion boards.

2 comments:

JennyLynn said...

Sounds like interesting, may have to read it sometime in the New Year. Adding to my forever growing good reads list.

Liz Adair said...

Sounds like an intriguing book, and a timely reminder to me, as I just yesterday watched my granddaughter try on her wedding dress (made by her mom, an excellent seamstress). Ah yes, the wishes moms (and grandmoms) have for their daughters.