Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Magic Room

The Magic Room: A Story About The Love We Wish For Our Daughters, by Jeffrey Zaslow.

When I first drove up to Becker's Bridal, I was aware only that the store was a popular stop for brides-to-be from central Michigan. I didn't know its history. I knew nothing about the family that ran it. I certainly didn't know about the Magic Room.

But on the very first day I visited Becker's, I truly senses that this was a place that could illuminate the most poignant aspects of a woman's journey to the altar. I just knew that the story I wanted to tell about all of our daughters was here - in the walls, in the mirrors, on the racks, and especially, in that small, simple room at the top of the stairs.

I read this book for the BlogHer Book Club campaign, and it is the third book I have reviewed for them; however, it is the first that I have really enjoyed. The bridal shop in the novel is located in Fowler, Michigan (Lansing area), about an hour and a half from where I live, and since I had never heard of Fowler, I looked it up on Google Maps when I first started reading the book; and there it was! Becker's Bridal is located on their two-block Main St., and it even has its own denotation on Google Maps.

The story is rooted at Becker's, but, as the title says, really is a novel about "the love we wish for our daughters." It chooses six brides and tells their stories: how they got engaged, how they ended up at Becker's, and the special circumstances in their lives that all happened before their wedding days. It also focuses on the women who run Becker's, and how the store ended up under each's ownership.

The stories were all very interesting, and so was the history of the store. The Magic Room in the title refers to a special room that one bride goes into (only one at a time) with family or friends when she has found a dress that she thinks she may want to purchase. The storefront where Becker's exists used to be a bank, and the Magic Room used to be an old vault; it has since been renovated, but some of that inclusiveness remains. The lighting is soft, and when brides wear a dress into the Magic Room, they can see immediately whether that is the dress "for them" or not.

The writing is very good in the novel as well, although there were a few times that it tended to gear towards the sappy/dramatic. The Magic Room will be available in bookstores on January 2, 2012.

3.5 stars out of 5.

*Disclosure: I received compensation for writing this review. The opinions listed, however, are my own.


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