I don’t know if you’ve flown anywhere lately, but JetBlue asked me to get to the airport at least two hours early. My cab driver took a direct route, we missed the traffic on the George Washington bridge and I got to the airport a little earlier than I needed to. Of course I zipped right through TSA and got to spend all that time before my flight reading this fabulous book. Let me tell you I have never enjoyed waiting at an airport more!
It seems like once every year or so, an enchanting book falls into my lap. Books like The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, or Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. I am delighted to add Rosen to this list. Nine Women, One Dress is a completely compelling, utterly charming book and I loved every page.
So, the dress. The little black dress, the “it” dress that everyone (i.e. everyone important) has to have. Honestly, I kept thinking of the “blue and black or white and gold” internet sensation last year, but I digress. This book starts with the soon to be retired Morris, the pattern maker of this year’s dress. His family sent him to America on his own from Poland when he was 13 years old, and you can fill in the rest. The model who wore the dress is a fresh face right out of the deep South, and it makes her career.
Some of the other women are Felicia, who’s been in love with her married boss for almost as long as she’s worked for him. Recently widowed, Arthur is oblivious and dating a woman his daughter’s age. Until the sales folk at Bloomingdale’s get involved. One of them, Natalie, wears the dress as the hot date for a Hollywood celebrity who’s been outed.
Each chapter is told from the point of view of a different character, and the story becomes richer and more complex as the pages turn in what is also a love letter to New York City. And Bloomingdales – I was happy to see that storyline, I’m a long time fan of the store.
If I could gift every one of you a copy of this book, I would. I was so sorry to turn the last page and spent the ride home from the airport telling my family all about it. I still can’t shut up about it – I’ve reserved it for several of my library patrons today.
I can guarantee that Nine Women, One Dress will be on my Best Books of 2016 list. Don’t miss it.
7/16 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
NINE WOMEN, ONE DRESS by Jane L. Rosen. Doubleday (July 12, 2016). ISBN: 978-0385541404. 272p.