Charlotte Malone owns a wildly popular wedding dress boutique. Her newfound business success is keeping her shop hopping, but she can't seem to find the perfect dress for her own wedding - or even peace about the groom. When she inadvertently buys an beat-up antique trunk at an auction, she breaks the lock to find a beautiful wedding dress inside. Her fascination with the dress and who might have worn it in the past compels her to find the previous owner of the trunk and, ultimately, to learn the stories of the women who wore the dress. Will this dress, which has stood the test of one hundred years, yield its history to Charlotte's search? Will this dress prove to be the the answer to Charlotte's own personal questions of life and love, faith and significance?
The Wedding Dress is my very favorite kind of historical fiction - a history mystery that follows a single thread through time, unearthing answers that have been hidden by years of heartache and questions. Hauck did not write this story in a linear fashion; the story starts in the modern day with the finding of the dress and then zips back and forth through time, bouncing between the dress's troubled creation and the other women who wore it. While it sounds chaotic, Hauck transitions smoothly between time periods and allows you to see the parallel between Charlotte and the situation of the original wearer. Because the reader can see both time periods at once, she can at times guess what will happen next - until Hauck adds a surprising and fun twist at the end, wrapping up not only the dress mystery but Charlotte's own historical loose threads, as well.
Ultimately, the characters were fun but real - deep but flawed, beautiful but not perfect, true products of their pasts. The story itself was fascinating and I couldn't wait to find out exactly who had worn this mysterious dress - and how it revealed itself to each wearer.
I am definitely a new Rachel Hauck fan. I can't wait to read more of her books!
I received a free copy of The Wedding Dress from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.
If you would like to read other reviews about this book, you can find a listing of some here. If you're rather go ahead and purchase your own copy, you can do so here.
Rachel Hauck is the bestselling author of Carol Award winner Sweet Caroline, and RITA Finalist Love Starts With Elle, and of the critically acclaimed fiction collaboration with multi-platinum country artist Sara Evans, The Songbird Novels.
She lives in sunny, though sometimes hurricane plagued, central Florida with her husband and their ornery pets.
Rachel earned a degree in Journalism form Ohio State University and is a huge Buckeyes football fan. She is the past President of American Christian Fiction Writers and now sits on the board as an Advisor. Visit her web site atwww.rachelhauck.com to reader her blog, and to follow her on Facebook and Twitter.