Book Review and Autographed Giveaway: Little Black Dress


Welcome to the TLC Book Tour for


Synopsis:

Evie and her younger sister, Anna, could not have been more different. While Evie was tall, slender, and somewhat plain, Anna was considered beautiful and vivacious. Evie was calm, reliable, and responsible, but Anna always craved adventure and excitement. She dreamed of traveling the world.

Their father dreamed of reclaiming acres of vineyards swindled from the family. So when Davis Cummings showed interest in Anna, their father not only encouraged the union, but actually coached Davis on how to win his daughter’s heart. Soon enough a huge wedding was planned.

But on the eve of the nuptials, Evie and Ann happen upon an unusual store. The Gypsy shopkeeper is mysterious and produces a little black dress for Anna’s to try on. She purchases it and wears it to the wedding rehearsal — shortly before she vanishes, leaving her parents and sister heartbroken, and her would-be groom and his family furious. A distraught Evie tries on the little black dress and soon discovers its magical powers.

Now, some fifty years later, Evie’s long-time housekeeper and confidante, Bridget, discovers her in the attic of the old Victorian family home one morning in Blue Hills, Missouri. She is unconscious, having suffered a stroke. Why she was wearing a little black dress and rummaging in the attic remains a mystery as Evie lies in a medically-induced coma in her hospital bed. Her daughter, Antonia, rushes home from St. Louis to be with her mother. It has been two years since the death of her beloved father, Jon, and Toni has spent little time with her mother, with whom she has always had a difficult relationship.

As Evie hovers between life and death, Toni begins putting her mother’s affairs in order and soon learns that her family has been harboring secrets for decades. She discovers one of them — a little black dress, ripped apart by paramedics working to save her mother’s life that appears to have been miraculously been pieced back together by Bridget. Astonishingly, the dress appears brand-new and there is no evidence of Bridget’s having patched it back together. And it fits Toni perfectly, even though she and her mother wear different sizes. What will the little black dress reveal to Toni?

Review:

Author Susan McBride

Little Black Dress, author Susan McBride’s just-released follow-up to The Cougar Club, is a dramatic family saga with a magical, fanciful twist that makes it a perfectly entertaining and engrossing summer read.

McBride tells the story using alternating chapters in which Evie’s first-person narrative reveals her life story, while those devoted to Toni are drafted in the third-person. As Evie lingers in a comatose state, her fate uncertain, she details the events surrounding Anna’s aborted wedding, how she met and married her husband, Jon, and the circumstances surrounding Toni’s birth. Meanwhile, as Toni waits for her mother to emerge from her coma, she is shocked to discover that since her father’s passing, her mother has allowed her financial and business matters to fall into disarray. When her long-time boyfriend arrives unannounced and insists on taking her out to dinner, she also learns that her mother has forged an unlikely partnership with Hunter Cummings, son of Davis Cummings, her aunt’s jilted bridegroom. What could possibly cause Evie to allow Hunter to run the family winery, much less engage in a new business venture with a member of the family that has held a grudge against them for half a century?

Toni left in a hurry, without packing, when she received news of her mother’s stroke, so she has no clothing to wear out on a dinner date except her old prom dresses that are still hanging in the closet of her childhood bedroom. But there is the little black dress her mother was wearing when Bridget found her in the attic. Of course, the paramedics destroyed it as they worked to save Evie’s life . . . didn’t they? Toni’s reaction to and puzzlement about the dress is, like that of Anna and Evie so many years earlier, the beginning of yet another mystery.

McBride’s characters are intriguingly flawed and endearing. Evie, always the stalwart, dependable, and dutiful daughter, found happiness with Jon, her true soul mate, and Antonia. She was happy having a home and family, while Anna, the headstrong, rebellious daughter, wanted to wander the globe. Toni, meanwhile, has never been married, but runs her own successful business. Ironically, she is a wedding planner. At forty-six, she believed she wanted to marry her long-time boyfriend, but after returning home and wearing the little black dress, her wishes have been called into question. Learning about her family’s past causes her to reevaluate her own life and the choices she has made thus far, and causes her to regret not having spent more time with her parents when she had the opportunity. Perhaps there is still time to develop a closer bond with Evie . . . if she survives. And what became of Anna, the aunt she has never met?

McBride keenly understands women and their relationships with each other. In The Cougar Club, she tackled female friendship, exploring the lives of four dissimilar women who unconditionally supported each other as each faced challenges. In Little Black Dress, she explores female familial relationships and the way long-held family secrets impact their lives, but does so using an inventive and clever plot device, a magical little black dress that reveals the wearer’s future. The twin narratives never bog down, with McBride injecting just the right amount of detail to give readers a full understanding of past events and their impact on the characters. The result is a thoughtful, imaginative, and fantastical story that will hold readers’ interest to the very last word.

I read Little Black Dress in conjunction with the 2011 Read ‘n’ Review and Outdo Yourself Reading Challenges.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one copy of Little Black Dress free of charge from the author in conjunction with the review and virtual book tour program. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own. This disclosure complies with 16 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Enter to Win a Copy of Little Black Dress

One lucky reader, selected at random, will receive an autographed copy of Little Black Dress, generously provided by the author.

To enter, simply post a comment in which you answer this question:

If you could own a little black dress that would reveal your future to you when you wore it, would you choose to do so? Or would you rather not know the details of your future?

Be sure to include your email address (for notification and delivery purposes). The book can only be shipped to a United States or Canadian address (no P.O. box).


The comment posted by Felecia Digsby was selected at random, so a copy of Little Black Dress is en route to Felecia!

Thanks to all who participated!


Comments

  1. Would love to win this book…I would rather not know the details of my future!

  2. Sounds intriguing – would love to win it.
    I would not want to know the future. No fun in that
    :)

  3. I don’t think I would like such a dress, I like the surprises in life, even the little ones.

    kdurham2@gmail.com

  4. Ha! This is so funny – I am doing a giveaway right now and I asked almost the same question!

    Would we have the option of only wearing it to know certain things? There are some things I would definately like to know the outcome of. But probably for most things I would just want to live my life the way it was suppose to be lived.

  5. I don’t think I would want to know the future. I would spend lots of time worrying about the bad stuff.
    Crystal816[at]hotmail[dot]com

  6. As tempting as that sounds, I wouldn’t wear it. I wouldn’t want to know my future. What fun would life be if you already knew how everything ended?

    Thank you for this giveaway, I’d love to read this :)

    jaidahsmommy(at)comcast(dot)net

  7. I would love to win a copy. I probably wouldn’t wear it most of the time…. but every now and them? Hmmmm…. Fun question!
    Alicia afarage@earthlink.net

  8. What a great question!!! 😎 I don’t think that I would try the dress on. Even though, it would be cool to know the future. You would actually spend a lot of time changing it and not living life.

  9. Would not want to know the future,but would love to read the book.

  10. If I owned a little black dress that could reveal the future, I am positive that I would have to resist because I would be too afraid of what I would see 😕 It would be nice to know what your future holds in theory but whose to say that what you find out wouldn’t be something you would dread and be unable to change, how would you handle living your life knowing that it’s doomed ❓ I’m not trying to be the pessimist here, but I fully believe that if we were meant to know the future, that it would be revealed to us when we ask to know 💡

  11. No, I prefer to keep my future a secret. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  12. Books sounds great!!! I would not want to know my future.
    kyfaithw at aol dot com

  13. Oh my goodness! I’d rather not have the choice! If it were there in front of me, I think the temptation would be too strong and I’d have to try it on, even though I might regret it later…

    nicnac63 AT hotmail DOT com

  14. My first reaction was, no, I don’t want to know, but what if? What if I found out something wonderful that would happen if I . . . . (whatever). I would want to know that, and do (whatever) before it was too late. So, yes, maybe I would want that dress . . . also intrigued by its ability to fit. I have so many clothes that don’t . . .

  15. Don’t want to know!

  16. I don’t really want to know the future.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  17. I guess it depends on the kind of future it would reveal. I think that’s the point that I may not like what I would learn which is why I think not knowing is better.

  18. Would rather not know the details. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway

  19. Yes, I would. Then I could prepare myself for what would happen.
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

  20. As tempting as it would be, I would not want to know the future. At least at this point in my life.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  21. I dont know if I would want to know the future, let it be what it may be.

  22. Sounds like one of those super complicated, interesting novels with tons of intersecting and diverging relationships. I would love to win this. edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom

  23. I had rather not know

  24. no, i would not want to know my future…great question!

  25. I would rather not know. I love surprises!

  26. I think I would choose not to wear it although tempting… I’m excited about this giveaway because I have been anxiously awaiting this book! Thanks for including Canada!

    Margaret
    singitm@hotmail.com

  27. Oh my, if it’s only when I actually “wear” the dress, then YES I would wear it *just once*. I would hate to know everything about my future…just some stuff, that’s it – because where’s the fun in living, if you already know what’s going to happen!
    I hope I win! I’ve been wanting this book for a while now:)

  28. This DOES sound like a great summer read! Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  29. Yes I would absolutely love to know my future! Perhaps if it isn’t good I could do something to change it! Sounds like a great book would love to read it. Please enter me!

  30. According the my own little black dress, I’ll be winning this contest. I just thought I should let you know and thank you in advance! (O.K., I’ll tell you the truth; the answer is “No.”

  31. I would do it in a heart beat!
    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

  32. Not sure if I would want to know my future..if it was good YES, if it was bad..maybe so I can prepare for it, but of course I wouldn’t know till I put The Little Black Dress on……MMMMM

  33. I SO want to win this book. Because I enjoy reading about magic (I love the show Charmed). It would be so intriguing to know what my future holds.

    amyrbromberg(at)gmail(dot)com

  34. I would like to have limited information about my future but not about when and how I am going to die or anything like that.

    jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

  35. I do not want to know. It would be tough not to think about it then.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  36. I think I would like to know my future…maybe not all of it but glimpses would be fun.

  37. I would prefer not to know my future!

    quixoticdreamer(at)hotmail(dot)com

  38. An intriguing giveaway. many thanks.

  39. I like the idea of knowing my future, but realistically would want to keep it a mystery. If possible I would want a dress that could give me scenes, blurry flashbacks of what is to come without telling me it entirely.

  40. Yup! I would

  41. I don’t think I would like to know my future. I think the adventure of life is more exciting then the desination could ever really be.

  42. I don’t like surprises so if I could know the future I would so take the chance. Who knows maybe I could change what I don’t like.

    hootowl1978 at gmail dot com

  43. I wouldn’t want to know my future because then I would feel like I have no control over my own life.
    paramourbeat at gmail dot com

  44. I would rather not know my future.

  45. I don’t think I would want to wear a black dress that told me my future…what if it said something bad?! I think I like my non-fortune-telling dresses just find :)
    candc320@gmail.com

  46. This sounds like a good book. thanks for the chance to win it.

  47. I would love to read this book! I would prefer not to know what was in my future.

    alwaysaroundboys(at)yahoo(dot)com

  48. Lissette Martinez says:

    Well.. umm.. I probably won’t wear it, although I would be so corious to know it that I’d probably end up wearing it, plus if it’s sexy, how could I say no, I won’t? Thanks, this book looks awesome

    Lissette_125 at hotmail dot com

  49. I would rather NOT know the future. Wow, this is my new favorite website. Thanks so much for the chance! Jesterbuny(at)gmail(dot)com

  50. I think I’d rather not know. What if something bad was revealed, and you have to live your life knowing what will happen in the future? I didn’t even want to know the gender of my kids from ultrasound! Guess I’m just old-fashioned!

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

  51. No. I am 69 now and still wouldn’t want to know my future. It would spoil the fun of life!!

  52. I don’t know. Part of me would want to know what my future is and what I could do to be more in step with it. Part of me would also feel that there is something in not knowing your future. I would probably say I am 50/50.

  53. I don’t think I’d like to see my future….I like the element of surprise. Now….if we could choose to see select things, then I might take a few peaks here and there (you know, to avoid disaster & death)!!

    kewalker1972@gmail.com

  54. Thank you for your thorough review!

    If I had a magical black dress I would burn it. Knowing the future ruins ALL of the fun!

    Thanks!

    amber.hrkns at gmail dot com

  55. I would not wear the dress, and I’d rather not know the details of my future. Please enter me. Thanks!

  56. Love to win a copy of Little Black Dress. Sounds so good!

  57. This book sounds delightful and I would love to win a copy!
    No, I don’t think I’d want to know my future especially if I couldn’t do anything to change it. Better to be able to hope and dream!
    Thanks!

  58. I am insatiably curious, so I would have to put on that dress and find out what awaits me. Come what may!
    susanaudrey33 at gmail dot com

  59. Oh…I loved this book. I read and reviewed.

    No need to put me in the contest, but I wanted to comment.

    Elizabeth

    http://silversolara.blogspot.com

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