5 stars, Adult, Blogging, Book Review, Books, Buy this book, Cherry Pie, Contemporary, Cora, Dresses, Etta, Love, Magic, Magical Realism, Meena van Praag, Romance, The Dress Shop of Dreams, Walt

A Little Red Stitch Is All You Need : The Dress Shop of Dreams @Menna van Praag

The Dress Shop of Dreams Meena van PraagThe Dress Shop of Dreams

by Menna van Praag

5 stars

Available 12/30

An enchanting, whimsical, magical story with endearing characters and exquisite dresses. The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna van Praag is magical realism at its best. This is certainly not the genre that I’m use to or even go for but I glad I got to read this lovely book filled with rich charming characters. Thanks in part to NetGalley and because I was attracted to the pretty cover.

Etta dresses are magic. If you need a boost of confidence or help with love, try on one of Etta’s dresses. The red stitch works miracles. Now only if it would work for her granddaughter Cora and Etta herself. With a plethora of loveable characters and back stories, The Dress Shop of Dreams comes full circle as Cora tries to deal with her past and un-thaw her heart in order to move forward into the future. Sometimes you need a bit a magic to see what you have in front of you.

If you’re looking for a story that will melt your heart and put a smile on your face then by all means get The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna van Praag. Not only will you fall in love with beautiful dresses but you will also fall in love with the memorable characters. Walt the guy who owns the Bookstore next door and has been in love with Cora since the being of time. Did I mention he makes the most heavenly cherry pie? Etta, the free-spirited grandmother with a hidden past but whose dresses help those in need. And Cora the analytical, sometimes stand-offish protagonist whose world comes crumbling down around her as she finally lets the people who truly love and care for her in.

Truly one of the best adult contemporary novels that I have read in 2014. A sure hit for the holidays. Let the magic guide you and take you on away on a ride that you will not forget. The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna van Praag.


Since her parents’ mysterious deaths many years ago, scientist Cora Sparks has spent her days in the safety of her university lab or at her grandmother Etta’s dress shop. Tucked away on a winding Cambridge street, Etta’s charming tiny store appears quite ordinary to passersby, but the colorfully vibrant racks of beaded silks, delicate laces, and jewel-toned velvets hold bewitching secrets: With just a few stitches from Etta’s needle, these gorgeous gowns have the power to free a woman’s deepest desires.
Etta’s dearest wish is to work her magic on her granddaughter. Cora’s studious, unromantic eye has overlooked Walt, the shy bookseller who has been in love with her forever. Determined not to allow Cora to miss her chance at happiness, Etta sews a tiny stitch into Walt’s collar, hoping to give him the courage to confess his feelings to Cora. But magic spells—like true love—can go awry. After Walt is spurred into action, Etta realizes she’s set in motion a series of astonishing events that will transform Cora’s life in extraordinary and unexpected ways.


Menna van Praag was born in Cambridge, England, and studied modern history at Oxford University. Her first novella, Men, Money, and Chocolate—an autobiographical tale about a waitress who aspires to be a writer—has been translated into twenty-six languages. Her first work of fiction, The House at the End of Hope Street, was inspired by an idea van Praag had to set up a house for female artists to give them a year to fulfill their artistic ambitions. You can learn more about Menna on her website at www.mennavanpraag.com.


 The Dress Shop of Dreams Meena van Praag

The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna van Praag

A Ballantine Trade Paperback Original  12/30/2014

978-0-8041-7898-3  $15.00 336 pages


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