Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck

59From New York Times bestselling author comes The Wedding Dress.
Four brides. One Dress.
A tale of faith, redemption, and timeless love.

Charlotte owns a chic Birmingham bridal boutique. Dressing brides for their big day is her gift . . . and her passion. But with her own wedding day approaching, why can’t she find the perfect dress…or feel certain she should marry Tim?

Then Charlotte discovers a vintage dress in a battered trunk at an estate sale. It looks brand-new—shimmering with pearls and satin, hand-stitched and  timeless in its design. But where did it come from? Who wore it? Who welded the lock shut and tucked the dog tags in that little sachet? Who left it in the basement for a ten-year-old girl? And what about the mysterious man in the purple vest who insists the dress had been “redeemed.”

Charlotte’s search for the gown’s history—and its new bride—begins as a distraction from her sputtering love life. But it takes on a life of its own as she comes to know the women who have worn the dress. Emily from 1912. Mary Grace from 1939. Hillary from 1968. Each with her own story of promise, pain, and destiny. And each with something unique to share. For woven within the threads of the beautiful hundred-year-old gown is the truth about Charlotte’s heritage, the power of courage and faith, and the timeless beauty of finding true love.

 

I’m going to state up front that this will not be a book for everyone. I want to lay out what I found and let you decide for yourself whether to add it to your list or not. 

My Thoughts: First of all, the book starts off so strongly. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the overall plot. I liked how Hauck bounced between two eras to tell this story and I was invested in both of these ladies and their struggling relationships with the men in their lives.
For me, the story took a wrong turn when Hauck introduced a mystical thread. It almost reads as a fantasy, except it isn’t. I don’t want to ruin the story, but I do want to point out some of what was found here. There is a dress with magical properties and the ability to fit “any woman who accepts it and believes in it” (quote from the novel), a mysterious man who appears to be a heavenly visitor, scenes where the characters mention smelling something spicy (think anointing oil here), among other things. This no longer lined up with my theology and I grew uncomfortable at times while reading it.
Without this mystical thread, The Wedding Dress would have been a hit for me. I found no fault with Hauck’s writing style or overall plot and even cared a great deal about the characters. But I can’t get passed what I can’t agree with.
There’s my honest opinion. Now, dear reader, decide for yourself what you want to do with it.

~I received a copy from The Fiction Guild. I was not required to review this book. All thoughts are my own. 

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5 thoughts on “Book Review: The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck

    1. Well, we’re readers of the same camp. 🙂
      Because I work in our church’s library and am responsible for what message appears on the shelves, after reading this book I was forced to look further into Hauck and her other works. Based on the reviews posted on Amazon, I found that the mystical thread tends to be a trend in her work. It shows up in different ways and there could be some novels where it doesn’t appear at all. I haven’t read them all to say for certain, but from one reader to another…Hauck may not be an author you’d like to follow.
      I hope that doesn’t come across as harsh. I would never tear down another author. But as a reader, I just wanted to point out that she may not be a good fit for you.
      🙂 Happy reading!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I was surprised too! Even more so since the mystical portion is basically hidden till the mid-point.
      We had some of her books in our church’s library. Since I’m in charge of what’s on those shelves, after reading this book, I had to look at her other work. Based on some of the more critical reviews posted on Amazon, yes, she tends to write with a mystical element. I haven’t personally read anything else from her. But from all the reviews that I had scanned from a variety of her books, it’s safe to say that it is a trend of hers. However, there may be some of her work without mystical elements. There was enough proof offered for me to make the call to pull her work from our library based on our church’s convictions.
      I hope that helps you! 🙂

      Like

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