The Dress Shop Of Dreams by Menna Van Praag

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The Dress Shop Of Dreams by Menna Van Praag

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Kerry King
Reviewed by Kerry King
Summary: Engaging, bewitching; Etta's tiny little dress shop looks very ordinary to the passerby, but step inside and you might just discover that the colourful racks of silks and velvets have the power to realise your deepest desires.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 320 Date: August 2015
Publisher: Allison & Busby
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0749018726

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Cambridge is a city of winding streets and cobbled alleyways and in such a street you will find A Stich In Time, a tiny dress shop filled to bursting with dresses that will take your breath away. Etta Sparks spends her days crafting gowns from jewel-coloured velvets and beaded silks that are unlike any dresses you have seen before; once you try on one of Etta's creations - and with a few stitches from her expert and rather magical needle - these incredible, amazing garments have the power to reach within your soul and extract your deepest desires and hidden-away dreams.

Etta's studious granddaughter, Cora Sparks has never really seen Walt, the shy and reserved bookseller who peddles his great love from an equally wee shop in the same street as Etta's dress emporium. Walt has loved Cora from the moment he laid eyes on her when they were both just children, but between Cora's immersion in her world at the university science lab and trawling through heavy tomes in the name of her research, she has had no time to consider the fact that her life is largely empty.

The Dress Shop Of Dreams is a delightful pearl of a novel, very much like Menna Van Praag's novel before it, which was also set in the wonderfully crammed city of Cambridge, The House At The End of Hope Street. I knew I was going to enjoy it from the very first page and was captivated immediately.

Now, whilst your formulaic love story is not for everyone, I'd have to say that this lovely tale is head and shoulders above the run-of-the-mill boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins girl back type of tale. This is a story of the sacrifices made for the greater good of family, it is a lesson in giving and guiding others and it sends the heart-warming message that it really is never too late to find your heart's desire if you really want to.

I thought it was beyond fabulous and I adored the characters and supporting cast who all interweaved themselves perfectly into the story without jarring or irrelevance. Perfect for a commuter read or curled up in an armchair at the fireside, the story flows and enchants in equal measure.

In summary, you must buy this book. In the same way as suggested for The House At The End of Hope Street, you must buy it for yourself, for your best friend, for your mum and for your aunties. It's such a wonderful story, exquisitely told with some rather juicy morsels to get your teeth into and you will not be sorry you took my advice.

If the above sounds like you might want to give it a try, you must try the aforementioned The House At The End of Hope Street which we at Bookbag just loved.

Finally, a huge thank you to the kind folks at Allison & Busby for providing a copy of The Dress Shop Of Dreams to review.

Buy The Dress Shop Of Dreams by Menna Van Praag at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Dress Shop Of Dreams by Menna Van Praag at

Buy The Dress Shop Of Dreams by Menna Van Praag at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Dress Shop Of Dreams by Menna Van Praag at


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