Thursday, December 29, 2011

Review: The Magic Room by Jeffrey Zaslow

Jeffrey Zaslow's newest book The Magic Room: A Story About the Love We Wish For our Daughters chronicles the journeys of eight brides who all purchase their wedding dress from Becker's Bridal in Fowler, Michigan. The book also chronicles the history of Becker's Bridal and the four generations of Becker women who have made that store their livelihood.

I'll be honest when I heard the premise of this book I could not figure out how he wrote a book about a Bridal shop. Where's the story? I imagined scenes similar to those we might see on television in the advent of popular wedding shows like Say Yes to the Dress.

I was pleasantly surprised that Zaslow offered commentary on marriage, history of Becker's bridal and some commentary on how the wedding business has shifted throughout the years, and finally the part I enjoyed the most was the chronicling of eight brides as they searched for their wedding dress.

Zaslow, chronicled not only their shopping quest but also background into the lives of each of the women. Who they were, who their families were, and what factors led them to the Magic Room of Becker's bridal. (The Magic Room is where the bride sees herself in her wedding dress surrounded by mirrors and under perfect lighting).

Each of the stories offered about the women were unique some full of loss, pain, heartbreak, others full of faith and love. Each culminating in the marriage and the beginnings of a new life.

Overall this was a really enjoyable read and I would recommend it. I appreciated the idea that in the midst of the wedding dress shopping, brides and their friends and family are doing so much more. They're preparing for a new life, a new future, and the histories of many generations of people are coming together.

However, my biggest critique is that the women Zaslow writes about are not a very diverse group of women. Yes, they're all different ages, some are entering into second marriages, but they are all part of the dominate, white, heteronormative culture. Perhaps this limitation comes from the location of the bridal shop in Michigan but I would have liked to see a broader diversity of brides.

To read more about Jeffrey Zaslow and to join in on some conversations visit  the blogher book club Magic Room Discussion.

Note: This is a paid review by blogher book club. However, the opinions expressed are all mine.

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