Book Review: Girls in White Dresses

There comes a time in one’s twenties when a friend gets married and then, like wild fire, the wedding trend begins. The celebration of nuptials between two people is a wonderful experience, except when you’re the single guest attending one of many wedding ceremonies, sans an S.O. of your own. In a nutshell, this is the premise of Jennifer Close’s novel Girls in White Dresses.

 I came across Girls in White Dresses when roaming the aisles of a Barnes and Noble in Philadelphia and within a day, the book was purchased and read in entirety. After four years of exposure to somewhat obscure, dense prose at my liberal arts college, on occasion I appreciate reading a light chick lit. Close introduces many characters throughout the novel; however, she focuses the story on three single friends: Isabella, Mary, and Lauren. The three female characters had stories that were all compelling and extremely accessible, especially to a twenty-something readership.

On the surface, the story is merely about three girls who remain single when the rest of their friends are tying the knot. As I previously mentioned, many supporting characters are introduced in the book—usually at the beginning of each chapter. This structure almost reminds me of Sex and the City, when Carrie would introduce a friend’s relationship at the beginning of an episode. Eventually, the friend’s own story line connected to Carrie and would become a driver to the overall theme of the program. While this was a clever approach to introduce more characters in Girls in White Dresses, at times I became confused as to whose perspective was the book focused…who was I, the reader, supposed to care about the most? There were little to no physical descriptions given to each character, so it was sometimes difficult following the progression of each character’s storyline, especially when it came to long sections of dialogue between two or more characters.

With that being said, I loved Close’s anecdotes and backstory given to her three main characters. My favorite character in the book was Isabella, mainly because of her relationship with Harrison and struggle with finding a job that made her content. The depiction of Isabella’s qualms about the direction of her romantic and professional life was insanely accurate. The career path of the other two main characters, Mary and Lauren, were also significant aspects of the novel, as well.

Girls in White Dresses may quite possibly be the best book I’ve read this summer (and in my state of funemployment, I’ve read an exceptional amount). It’s a fast read, delightfully witty, and down right realistic—the chick lit trifecta.