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Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

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Wickedly hilarious and utterly recognizable, Girls in White Dresses tells the story of three women grappling with heartbreak and career change, family pressure and new love—all while suffering through an endless round of weddings and bridal showers.Isabella, Mary, and Lauren feel like everyone they know is getting married. On Sunday after Sunday, at bridal shower after bridal shower, they coo over toasters, collect ribbons and wrapping paper, eat minuscule sandwiches and doll-sized cakes. They wear pastel dresses and drink champagne by the case, but amid the celebration these women have their own lives to contend with: Isabella is working at a mailing-list company, dizzy with the mixed signals of a boss who claims she’s on a diet but has Isabella file all morning if she forgets to bring her a chocolate muffin. Mary thinks she might cry with happiness when she finally meets a nice guy who loves his mother, only to realize he’ll never love Mary quite as much. And Lauren, a waitress at a Midtown bar, swears up and down she won’t fall for the sleazy bartender—a promise that his dirty blond curls and perfect vodka sodas make hard to keep. With a wry sense of humor, Jennifer Close brings us through those thrilling, bewildering, what-on-earth-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life years of early adulthood. These are the years when everyone else seems to have a plan, a great job, and an appropriate boyfriend, while Isabella has a blind date with a gay man, Mary has a crush on her boss, and Lauren has a goldfish named Willard. Through boozy family holidays and disastrous ski vacations, relationships lost to politics and relationships found in pet stores, Girls in White Dresses pulls us deep inside the circle of these friends, perfectly capturing the wild frustrations and soaring joys of modern life.

Reviews (7)
I really enjoyed this book. I was hesitant, because I saw a lot of bad reviews, but the plot really appealed to me so I bought it anyway. It is hard to decide whether or not you like a book based off of reviews, because everyone relates to a different style of writing and different character development. If it helps you any, I am 20 years old, and I felt that I could really relate to the girls in this book. The story line was not overly complicated, but it was a quick read and very enjoyable. Each chapter is told in short anecdotes, and focuses on a different character. The characters are all connected in different ways, but I thought it was easy to follow.
Usually my ratings are relatively in line with other ratings. In this case, however, I strongly disagree. I thought this book was amazing. It is a bit stream of consciousness, and it does not follow a strictly linear plot. However, it perfectly captures the weirdness and the somewhat fragmentary nature of those first few years after college graduation. In a lot of ways, those years are disjointed and non-linear, and Close perfectly captures that time of life. Give it a try with an open mind, knowing that it is a bit structurally different than a lot of other popular fiction. I think a decent comparison is that it is to literature what Love Actually is to movies. A bunch of vignettes that are all loosely connected but do not follow one strict plot.
I'll be honest and say that I ordered this book based on the cover (I know that say's a lot about me,but don't worry this review is coming from that of a successfully adult-ing 20 something.) Also, some of my followers on Pinterest kept re-pinning it, and so I thought I'd give it a try. It was a nice light read for the summer. However, the narrative of the story threw me off so much, that I had to constantly go back in the book to remember who was who. The description says that the book follows the lives of three friends, but I had to have read different chapters about at least six different girls. Isabella was the only character that can be easily identified as being one of the main characters from the beginning of the beginning to the end. She was also the only character to whom I could relate to. If it were not for her story line I probably would have stopped reading it two weeks ago. Other than that, this book was not really special to me, but will look really nice on my bookshelf. I wouldn't mind reading more from the author, but I can only hope that it will be easier to read than this one was.
I really loved this book. I'm not sure why it had such mixed reviews. A lot of people said that the writing was too simple. But I loved the writing style of this book. I liked the fact that it was simple. I liked the way it was structured too, short stories about a group of women who were all connected. I really enjoyed following the characters through their post college years, mid-twenties to early thirties. It's a very interesting time in everyone's life, and not a lot of books are written about these years. Not many that I have seen, anyway. There are lots of books for teens, and lots of books about older women who are getting divorced etc, but not a lot of books about young women just starting their lives and finding themselves. I thought this book was interesting and absolutely hilarious! I loved the characters and related with a lot of them. So many times I found myself saying, "I met a guy just like that once!" Or "I remember having a crazy night like that!" Since I'm 27, I related with a lot of stories. Just an all around funny and entertaining book. I can't wait to read more from Jennifer Close.
This book is a series of vignettes linking three main friends through stories of adjacent friends and a few featuring each other. Each story is triggered by a major life event in the group - break ups, engagements, bridal showers, weddings and babies - and covers their early to late 20's. The book explores what it means to be an adult and what happens when you don't follow the traditional "get married and have babies" track but everyone around you is.

The stories are relatable, especially for someone struggling to learn what being an adult really means in today's world. It's a quick read, the stories jump around and it doesn't develop the characters like a traditional novel. Be prepared to jump in, out and around the character's lives as you pick up the story with their life events.
This book is a series of sketches linked together by various characters. I like this technique. I enjoyed many of the sketches, but some of them seemed to fall flat. I must note that the women in this book are lacking in self-esteem, and seem awfully weak in an age where we supposedly admire "strong" women. I also wonder where they went to college, since all they seem to do is drink together. The author seems to think that is cute.
I'd seen this book on several lists of books one should read in their 20s, so I was eager to get my hands on it. My high expectations grew as I noticed it was a bestseller, but they were far from met as I closed the back cover. The plot is disjointed as other reviews have mentioned...characters so vague and uninteresting they were difficult to follow. Close's style and structure makes this worse. Dull word choice and oftentimes inconsistent verb tense are just a couple of examples of basic errors Close makes that really harm the book. Worse, however is that the several "plots" that are strung along do not form a whole and do not do what I hoped they would, which was to make a grander point about life as a 20 something. At the end, I was simply left wondering why I had read several sad, boring stories of girls who led less interesting lives than my own.
I'm not sure how I stumbled on Jennifer Close last summer, but like Melissa Banks' genius *A Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing* Close's *Girls in White Dresses* poignantly captures the personal and professional pressures of the mid-to-late twenties for women (especially during wedding season). It was savvy, funny, and quite moving, even though it was definitely more a collection of interrelated short stories than a true novel.

ISBN: 0307596850

Rating: 4.7/5

Votes: 541

Other Formats: lrf docx rtf lrf

ISBN13: 978-0307596857

Publisher: Knopf (August 9, 2011)

Language: English

Subcategory: Short Stories & Anthologies

Pages: 304

Girls in White Dresses
Literature & Fiction
Author: Jennifer Close
Title: Girls in White Dresses