Friday, August 12, 2011

Little Black Dress-Susan McBride

Little Black Dress
Susan McBride
Morrow, Aug 23 2011, $14/99
ISBN: 9780062027191

Owner of Engagements by Antonia, Toni Ashton diligently works as a party planner who focuses mostly on weddings. She meets her boyfriend Greg McCallum for dinner hoping he asks her to marry him. Instead he points out she is late, ordered for them, and he gives her a key to his place so they can have a trial run. She is disappointed, but before she reacts, her cell phone rings; a Blue Hills Hospital nurse informs her that her mother Evie suffered a crippling stroke.

Without a goodbye, Toni heads to her hometown of Blue Hills, Missouri for the first time since her dad died. Toni moves into the family house she grew up in and begins to organize her mom’s affairs amidst the crammed home. Thinking her mom was a hoarder, Toni finds clues and truths about her mom and her maternal Aunt Anna, who vanished long before she was born back in the 1950s after the purchase of a Little Black Dress in which the siblings both put on and saw their respective futures.

Little Black Dress is a whimsical drama that looks deeply at relationships especially broken ones between loving family members. The story line contains two subplots as readers follow Toni in the present and the two sisters five decades ago. The Eisenhower Era segue is especially fascinating as the siblings are polar opposites who will have the audience wondering what each saw. This engaging tale will leave the reader looking at their relationships especially the troubled ones as time is short to mend estrangements.

Harriet Klausner

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