I picked up this book at a church sale earlier this summer, and even though it’s completely different from anything I would normally read, screaming at first glance A SAPPY CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL TYPE JUNK, I really enjoyed it. I read 88 pages on the first day. On the second day I read 128, and on the third day I finished it. I wasn’t even off work.
Yes, many of the stories were sappy, but never gratuitously so. Every word of emotion was more than called for, even while some of the marriages described didn’t last. I was interested to find out that the book is a lot newer than I had originally thought, and most of the women were feminists wanting simple weddings without any fuss, an unexpectedly large amount of them getting married solely for the purpose of immigration. I would have welcomed all of these of course but for the fact that this modernity became almost too repetitive. I wanted a couple more stories about the fairy tale wedding with the big white dress, and a lasting marriage to go with it. But even now minutes after finishing I can’t remember any.
This really is a good thing though. All the stories in the book are true, and so they are bound to hold us to reality. They don’t create any unattainable fantasy peddled by the magazines. With this book more than all the commercial images we see, your story – if you have/will have one (in fact one woman in the book never got married at all) – will feel right at home. And I like that very much.
For another review see http://januarymagazine.com/biography/weddingdress.html