The Christmas Dress
By Courtney Cole
What it’s about?
One Dress. Two Women. The Magic of the Holiday Season.
When hopeful fashionista Meg Julliard must return to her hometown of Chicago to manage her late father’s apartment building, she thinks her dreams of making it in the fashion business are over. Add in her father’s eclectic roster of tenants who all need Meg’s attention (ASAP!), a host of building related disasters, and a handsome handyman she keeps embarrassing herself in front of, and this has all the makings for the worst Christmas she’s ever had.
Ellie Wade, one of the building’s longtime residents, is also not feeling the Christmas Joy this year.She is preparing to move into a nursing home (reluctantly), and is in the process of sorting through her belongings to downsize. Every corner of her apartment holds memories, some good, some bad.
But there’s one dress she hesitates to pack up as it represents both the best and worst night of her
life. Ellie and Meg strike up an unlikely friendship and the story of Ellie’s dress comes out. Ellie gifts the gorgeous dress to Meg, hoping that it will bring her more luck, on the condition that she wear it to the building’s Christmas party.
The dress magically fits, and while it eventually leads to the best night of Meg’s life, it also acts as
inspiration for Meg to follow a life-long dream of her own, a dream that will help save the crumbling Parkview West, and restore it to its former glory, and keep it as a safe home for all of the current tenants.
The dress and the magic of the holiday season helps both Meg and Ellie find their own happy
What I think:
There is a spri kle of Christmas magic is this easy holiday read.
Meg inherits an apartment building in Chicago and leaves her dream job in fashion to go home and manage the building. The minute she gets there it literally falls apart. There are leaks, broken lifts, broken heating and residents being rushed to hospital.
Meg starts of quite unlikeable. She moans a lot. And she is quite selfish. While she does say she feels guilty for not returning home as often as she could have before the death of her father she doesn’t seem to really to be. She is also quite selfish when she forst meets Logan who she dismisses as being just a handyman.
The character did grow on me as she revealed her past and some of the reasons why she fled to New York, and I did want her to succeed. Logan, who is calm and reflective and extremely generous balances out Meg’s creative and self-absorbed nature well and I think they do make a good team.
I actually liked the supporting characters a lot more than the main character. Ellie’s story is charming and romantic. My favourite character was Sylvie who repeatedly holds Meg to account. The friendship and sense of community is really heartwarming. And I loved the way everyone adaopted the kitten.
This wasn’t really the story I was expecting. With the ‘magical’ dress, the building restoration and Meg’s fashion line project there is a lot going on in this book and some of it feels a little rushed. But is still a great holiday read. I can imagine this would be perfect for a Christmas film adaptation as it has everything you need for a cosy winter afternoon.
Thank you to Random Things Tours for inviting me to be a part of this festive blog tour and my gifted copy of the book.
About the author:
Courtney Cole is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could.
She loves giving advice, loving on her kids, red lipstick and blonde hair dye.
Courtney was born and raised in rural Kansas, but has since migrated south. She now lives in Florida and writes beneath palm trees.
Learn more about Courtney and her books at www.courtneycolewrites.com