Little Black Dress: Book summary and reviews of Little Black Dress by Susan McBride

Little Black Dress

A Novel

by Susan McBride

Little Black Dress
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2011
    320 pages
    Genre: Novels

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About this book

Book Summary

Since leaving her hometown of Blue Hills, Antonia Ashton has worked hard for twenty-five years, building a thriving career and a solid relationship with a good guy. Then Greg-the-Accountant gives her the key to his apartment instead of a ring, and the forty-something Toni realizes her life has gone off-track. But she's completely derailed when her mother, Evie, suffers a massive stroke. While their relationship has never been warm and fuzzy, Toni always thought she'd have time to make it right. Now she's running back to Blue Hills to her mother and to the past she'd left behind.

Once home, Toni finds more than an ailing Evie to tend to. The old Victorian on the vineyard where she'd grown up isn't only filled with clutter; it's chockfull of secrets and lies. As Evie heals, Toni tries to put her mother's house in order and, in the process, uncovers truths long-hidden involving Evie and her sister Anna, who'd vanished fifty years ago on the eve of her wedding. Unveiling the sisters' tangled lives not only sheds light on the past, but on Toni's own mistakes. And she learns the most unexpected things, about love and magic and a little black dress with the power to break hearts - and mend them.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"McBride plays this well-paced love story to those who can appreciate three 'mature' but sexy heroines who know history and have rich ones of their own." - Publishers Weekly

"I'm madly in love with this full-of-surprises story about secrets, family ties - and one magical little black dress. One of my favorite novels of the year." - Melissa Senate, author of The Secret of Joy

"Written with touching insight into family relationships, Little Black Dress is a lovely and entertaining journey into the magical side of things." - Sarah Addison Allen, New York Times bestselling author of The Peach Keeper

"With sparkle and wit, Susan McBride crafts both a family saga of painful secrets and a modern story of a woman who thinks she's got it all under control - until everything she thought she knew blows apart. Little Black Dress is a beguiling story of fate, love, and magic." - Kristina Riggle, author of Things We Didn't Say

"An enchanting escape into a magical world." - M.J. Rose, author of The Hypnotist

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Reader Reviews

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Renee K. (Salem, UT)

Little Black Dress
Loved this book..it was difficult for me to get into, having not read anything by Susan McBride, but as soon as I understood her writing pattern of going back and forth between Evie and Toni, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The author was able to weave the life stories of two very different sisters in such a way that I was able to relate to both; then, when I was feeling comfortable about who Evie and Anna were, there was a twist, an unexpected turn, and a surprise to keep me wanting to just finish "this page" and then "this chapter" until I finished the book. Susan's use of descriptive words made it impossible to miss seeing such details as the dimly lit shop of the Parisian gypsy, the spiders actually spinning the golden silk of the little black (once golden) dress, the clarity of the frosty, starlit night in the vineyard, or Evie, sinking deeper while treading harder in the abyss of the Mississippi river. The one person I had trouble envisioning was Toni. I had a difficult time seeing her as a forty-six year old business woman. In my mind's eye, she was always about thirty. I will be anxious to read something else written by Susan.

Laura S. (west friendship, md)

Little Black Dress
I'm not too demanding when deciding if I like a book. All I ask is that the book not become a chore to read, that I look forward to picking it up and that I regret putting it down. That said, for me, such books are often few and far between. I'm happy to report that with Susan McBride's "Little Black Dress" I've found one! Like the characters in the book, I was drawn into the mystery of the little black dress and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The magic of the dress mixed with the good and the bad in the characters along with the satisfying ending reminds me of a modern day fairy tale. If you like reading a good story that calls you back when you put it down, I highly recommend "Little Black Dress".

Kelley K. (Lancaster, PA)

Gotta Love a LBD (Little Black Dress)!!!
I enjoyed the Little Black Dress! It was a light, quick read. The story was not predictable (in the beginning!) and proved to be a page turner until the end. The characters were believable even with the magical story line!

Mary Jo K. (Rochester, MN)

little black dress
I enjoyed the book and thought the characters were well developed and there was even a bit of mystery to it.
There were clues but I didn't really figure it all out until the last couple of chapters. Interesting going back/forth in generations by chapter.
The title is correct for the subject but at first I thought it might be a more "fluffy" book but it had some depth.

Chris W. (Temple City, CA)

Magic dress
I really enjoyed this book and thought the characters were mostly well developed. The plot was a bit predictable at times. The viewpoint of the chapters alternates between Evie in the past and her daughter Toni in the present, and this flowed well. I think it would be an interesting book to discuss at a book club because most people can relate to family dysfunction to some degree. This quote will stay with me: "Sometimes you just have to accept the magic that comes into your life and leave it be."

Sharon C. (Newton, IA)

Dysfunctional family at its finest
Relationships between mothers and daughters can sometimes be intense, but when you put a magical little black dress into the mix, it's extremely life changing.

The story carries you through the tempestuous relationship between Evie (mother) and Antonia (daughter) and the little black dress that brings them together.

I literally could not put this book down. I read it in one sitting. Every other chapter is written in either Evie's voice or Antonia's voice and the author does a fine job in the transition.

A great summer read!

...19 more reader reviews

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More Information

More Information

Susan McBride is an official member of The Cougar Club and proud of it. Named one of St. Louis Magazine's "Top Singles" at 40, she met and (happily) married a younger man. Susan debuted on the literary scene with her award-winning Debutante Dropout Mysteries, including Blue Blood and Too Pretty to Die, and also pens The Debs young adult series. Visit her at susanmcbride.com.

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