Book Review: Girls in White Dresses – Jennifer Close

Title: Girls in White Dresses
Author: Jennifer Close
ISBN: 9780307596857
Pages: 304
Release Date: August 9, 2011
Publisher: Knopf
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:

Isabella, Lauren, and Mary are three best friends navigating the treacherous waters of adulthood and the single life in New York City.  From heartbreaks to the start of new relationships, new jobs, and the weddings of friends, these women remain connected as they embark on the crazy adventure that is being an adult.

Review:

Girls in White Dresses is a novel about female friendships, that unconditional love that can bind women together for life.  Isabella, Lauren, and Mary each have their own lives, their own adventures, but they always come back to one another, in sorrow, but also in laughter.  That description may make this book sounds sappy, but it’s the opposite – in a snarky and witty voice, Jennifer Close manages to describe the mid-to-late twenties urban experience perfectly.

But be warned – Girls in White Dresses is not for everyone.  This is not a plot-driven novel; in some ways, it isn’t even character driven.  Isabella, Mary, and Lauren aren’t intricately drawn and developed characters.  This book actually functions better as a series of connected short stories or anecdotes, rather than an novel with an overall plot and established characters.  You might be very confused at this point, wondering, “If it doesn’t really have a plot or fully developed characters, what is the point of reading this novel?”  The answer is this:  this is a book about life.

I thoroughly enjoyed Girls in White Dresses, despite how the previous paragraph may sound, simply because I recognized so much of myself and my social circle within it.  When I was reading about Bridget, the woman who would overhear people talking about a party and invite herself along because it never occurred to her that she might not be welcome, I was laughing out loud.  I recognized a version of Bridget in someone I used to know, as I recognized almost every woman described in this novel.  The social commentary in this book is both genius and hilarious; most women will find something to laugh about and see people they’ve known in the characters.

Girls in White Dresses is a lighthearted look at life, from the wild and crazy days and nights to learning to settle down.  If you’re looking for an easy but interesting read, and the vignette style of storytelling appeals to you, give this book a chance.  It’s funny, warm, and very enjoyable.

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Comments

  1. I definitely look back at those years right after college as some crazy crazy days. You are high on life, on making your own money, on your freedom. I think you’ve done a great job of setting up this book and describing it. There is a place in this world for books like this!

  2. I definitely look back at those years right after college as some crazy crazy days. You are high on life, on making your own money, on your freedom. I think you’ve done a great job of setting up this book and describing it. There is a place in this world for books like this!

  3. A friend of mine was talking about this the other day. It sounds interesting to me.

  4. A friend of mine was talking about this the other day. It sounds interesting to me.

  5. I have this one, and I’ve heard a bit about it. I really enjoyed your review, thanks for the heads up about the book not being plot driven or character driven. I like to be warned before jumping in the book.

  6. I have this one, and I’ve heard a bit about it. I really enjoyed your review, thanks for the heads up about the book not being plot driven or character driven. I like to be warned before jumping in the book.

  7. When I first saw the cover, I thought it must be a new Katie Crouch novel. It does seem to be aimed at the same types of readers at least. I fear this one might be a bit gentle for me though.

  8. When I first saw the cover, I thought it must be a new Katie Crouch novel. It does seem to be aimed at the same types of readers at least. I fear this one might be a bit gentle for me though.

  9. I haven’t read many books like this, but your description and reaction intrigues. I also like that the style is rather loose, and is full of vignettes that jump around from character to character. I can see that I would probably really enjoy this one, so I will be on the lookout for it. Fantastic review, Swapna! I might not have looked twice at this book had I not read this!

  10. I haven’t read many books like this, but your description and reaction intrigues. I also like that the style is rather loose, and is full of vignettes that jump around from character to character. I can see that I would probably really enjoy this one, so I will be on the lookout for it. Fantastic review, Swapna! I might not have looked twice at this book had I not read this!

  11. I’m having a very similar experience with Girls in White Dresses on audio. It is a great one to listen to in short spurts.

  12. I’m having a very similar experience with Girls in White Dresses on audio. It is a great one to listen to in short spurts.

  13. This book sounds fun. It might not be for me, but I meet a log of younger single women in the book store looking for a good read, and I can suggest this. Did you enjoy Sex and The City? I never read the book, but was addicted to the series, I enjoyed the relationships between the women even more than the men they dated and or slept with.
    Thanks so much for this review.

  14. This book sounds fun. It might not be for me, but I meet a log of younger single women in the book store looking for a good read, and I can suggest this. Did you enjoy Sex and The City? I never read the book, but was addicted to the series, I enjoyed the relationships between the women even more than the men they dated and or slept with.
    Thanks so much for this review.

  15. I have been wanting to read this since the moment I saw the cover – it really drew me in. Glad to know the story is good too!

  16. I have been wanting to read this since the moment I saw the cover – it really drew me in. Glad to know the story is good too!

  17. This sounds like a book I would enjoy. Thanks for the review, I hadn’t read much about this book yet 🙂

  18. This sounds like a book I would enjoy. Thanks for the review, I hadn’t read much about this book yet 🙂

  19. Thank you for letting me know what to expect when I get to reading this book.

  20. Thank you for letting me know what to expect when I get to reading this book.

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