January 4, 2013

Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

In college, twenty-nine had seemed impossibly old. By now, she'd thought, she'd be married and have kids. But as each year went by, she didn't feel much different than she had before. Time kept going by and she was just here, the same. 
-from Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

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Girls In White Dresses by Jennifer Close is an entertaining and witty novel, weaving the coming-of-age stories of a group of girlfriends in New York City. The novel primarily navigates through their post-college decade of the twenties and beyond, examining relationships the main characters have with men, work, family, marriage, motherhood and each other.

My greatest complaint is that there isn't a clear cut conflict, climax or resolution which at times made the story feel a little aimless because of the lack of direction. If you're expecting a great, big, powerful bomb to drop in the middle of the book, you might want to read something else. Also, a lot of the supporting characters were forgettable making it difficult to remember where they fit in or who they were (thank goodness for the Kindle's search feature!); but eventually I was able to just sit back and enjoy the layers of stories for what they were.

Despite its minor downfalls, this book had an indescribable way of capturing reality so honestly that it kept me smiling throughout. I found myself relating to so many experiences that I couldn't put the book down; I constantly found myself reflecting on similar situations I have gone through, laughing and groaning in appreciation as I read. Some of the stories and anecdotes I don't think I even realized were universal experiences of women in their twenties (i.e. the quote at the top of this blog post!). This connection with reality evoked a sense of camaraderie with the characters that was both exciting and comforting.

Overall, I recommend this book as a lazy beach read for any woman who has experienced the ups and downs of trying to find who they are in their twenties. It's not the most sophisticated read, but it does have depth and a poignancy you won't expect for such a simple, easy-to-read story that makes it unforgettable.

Bottom Line: If you're a girl past your mid-twenties who wants to reminisce, read this to relax and reflect. // 3.5/5 stars

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