Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Magic Room by Jeffrey Zaslow

We're back to books here at At Home in the Bluegrass.  This time, I just finished reading The Magic Room by Jeffrey Zaslow -- another Blogher Book Club selection for January.  I don't think we have a magic room in Lexington -- a destination bridal store like Kleinfeldts in New York or Becker's Bridal, the subject of the The Magic Room, in Fowler Michigan.  You'd think I would know if we had one but I bought my wedding dress by driving to Louisville with my best friend Stacey and trying it on at Dillard's -- we had a good time but i wouldn't call it magical. And, I picked it up myself and had it fitted on my own. Based on the Magic Room, that was wrong. Apparently your mom is supposed to go with you unless she's dead...

While The Magic Room: A Story about the Love Wish for our Daughters seems to play off the popularity of the current reality TV obsession with bridezilla shows, The Magic Room is a tonic for the overkill of Say "Yes" to the Dress and our wedding day obsessed culture.  Zaslow, in an excellent narrative, follows a number of women's journeys to the altar and their stop at Becker's Bridal. Rather than focusing on the shallowness and vanity of the wedding machine, he writes about love in its varied forms--between husband and wives, parents and daughters, grandparents and grandchildren. It refreshingly reminds us of how much more does and should go into a marriage. I thought that The Magic Room was going to be a girlie book. It wasn't. I was a bit weepy on page two although that passed and I steeled myself for the remainder of the book. More than likely I'll be passing this little gem along to my husband. Why? Because he has a daughter. And, more than being a book about finding a perfect dress, The Magic Room chronicles the trials of running a family business and provides a fascinating look at how much our families and our attitudes toward marriage have changed in the last eighty years. Just so you know, I was compensated by Blogher for writing this review, however, the opinions expressed here are always my own!

2 comments:

isabug said...

Bravo! I knew you would write a better review than me without using smiley faces :) I was also really eager to hear what you thought of it. It is really nice how he focuses on the stories rather than how bad the wedding machine has become... or at least that's how I think of it. As much as I like to watch Say Yes to the Dress I find myself cringing a lot.

I vote it a good read and I think I'm going to send my copy to Caroline since she'll be getting hitched in June.

Gwennie said...

What a great idea to pass along to Caroline. I thought YOUR review at www.isabelleanddavid.blogspot.com was stellar. I lke smiley faces...

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