Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

72%

13 Critic Reviews

With a light touch and utterly believable characters, Close’s modestly appealing debut manages to capture the humor, heartache and cautious optimism of her protagonists.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Wickedly hilarious and utterly recognizable, Girls in White Dresses tells the story of three women grappling with heartbreak and career change, family pressure and new love—all while suffering through an endless round of weddings and bridal showers.

Isabella, Mary, and Lauren feel like everyone they know is getting married. On Sunday after Sunday, at bridal shower after bridal shower, they coo over toasters, collect ribbons and wrapping paper, eat minuscule sandwiches and doll-sized cakes. They wear pastel dresses and drink champagne by the case, but amid the celebration these women have their own lives to contend with: Isabella is working at a mailing-list company, dizzy with the mixed signals of a boss who claims she’s on a diet but has Isabella file all morning if she forgets to bring her a chocolate muffin. Mary thinks she might cry with happiness when she finally meets a nice guy who loves his mother, only to realize he’ll never love Mary quite as much. And Lauren, a waitress at a Midtown bar, swears up and down she won’t fall for the sleazy bartender—a promise that his dirty blond curls and perfect vodka sodas make hard to keep.

With a wry sense of humor, Jennifer Close brings us through those thrilling, bewildering, what-on-earth-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life years of early adulthood. These are the years when everyone else seems to have a plan, a great job, and an appropriate boyfriend, while Isabella has a blind date with a gay man, Mary has a crush on her boss, and Lauren has a goldfish named Willard. Through boozy family holidays and disastrous ski vacations, relationships lost to politics and relationships found in pet stores, Girls in White Dresses pulls us deep inside the circle of these friends, perfectly capturing the wild frustrations and soaring joys of modern life.


BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Jennifer Close's The Smart One.
 

About Jennifer Close

See more books from this Author
Jennifer Close was born and raised on the North Shore of Chicago. She is a graduate of Boston College and received her MFA in Fiction Writing from The New School in 2005. She worked in New York in magazines for many years and then in Washington, D.C., as a bookseller. Girls in White Dresses is her first book.
 
Published August 9, 2011 by Vintage. 306 pages
Genres: Other, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Sep 04 2011
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Girls in White Dresses
All: 13 | Positive: 11 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Good
on Jun 28 2011

With a light touch and utterly believable characters, Close’s modestly appealing debut manages to capture the humor, heartache and cautious optimism of her protagonists.

Read Full Review of Girls in White Dresses | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Good
on May 30 2011

...these stories will resonate with readers in the throes of the quarter-life churn who can see themselves in the cast.

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NY Journal of Books

Good
on Aug 09 2011

...Ms. Close captures that mix of perplexing anticipation, tedium, poor choices, dashed hopes, and resilience that characterizes young adulthood.

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Globe and Mail

Good
on Aug 26 2011

It’s more cliché, of course, but turns out female friendship prevails.

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Entertainment Weekly

Good
on Aug 03 2011

...there's a thread of melancholy running through Dresses that hints at something deeper and truer: not just the adventure of being young, but the unmooring of it, too.

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USA Today

Below average
on Aug 08 2011

...Girls In White Dresses ultimately proves about as revealing as brown paper packages tied up with strings — and less memorable than the tune associated with them.

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The Columbus Dispatch

Good
on Aug 22 2011

It’s a pleasure to get to know the characters and be able to leave them behind, knowing they’ll keep muddling on toward some version of happiness.

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Shelf Awareness

Good
on Jul 26 2011

A humorous take on 20-somethings in Manhattan coping with the rigors of dating, careers and all their friends' weddings.

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Full Stop

Below average
on Aug 01 2011

Quite purposefully, she presents each girl as a reflection of one another. For this reason, I had a difficult time keeping them straight from one story to the next.

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Birmingham Public Library

Good
on Apr 25 2012

...those looking for quirky dialogue and spot-on observations about life and love will be rewarded.

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The Anniston Star

Good
on Nov 11 2011

It’s about friendship and heart, and it insists that relationships, if they’re solid enough, can withstand just about anything.

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The Sunday Times

Good
on Oct 17 2012

While reading the book, the stories of these young women awaken you and you start asking yourself whether you are living your dream or just on a bandwagon.

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Devourer of Books

Good
on Aug 09 2011

Close’s humor and grace is intensified by her lovely and engaging prose, creating in Girls in White Dresses a book that readers will be hard-pressed to put down. Highly recommended.

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Reader Rating for Girls in White Dresses
57%

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