Available at Amazon - The Dress
Meet Ella and her mother Fabbia Moreno who arrive in York, one cold January day, to set up their vintage dress shop.
The flamboyant Fabbia wants to sell beautiful dresses to nice people and move on from her difficult past. Ella just wants to fit in. But not everyone is on their side.
Will Fabbia overcome the prejudices she encounters? What's the dark secret she's hiding? And do the silk linings and concealed seams of her dresses contain real spells or is this all just 'everyday magic'?
Among the leopard-print shoes, tea-gowns and costume jewellery in Fabbia's shop are many different stories - and the story of one particular dress.
This is a full-length novel for lovers of vintage and readers of contemporary romance/fantasy.
This cover caught my eye, it's so classy. And you know how much I love chic-lit. It's not without it romantic moments, but that's not the driver of this tale. This story is centered around Ella and her mother Fabbia. Fabbia is originally from Iran and Ella is the daughter of Fabbia and her Italian husband, Enzo.
Enzo died many years ago, so he isn't in the story. Fabbia and Ella begin this tale in York where they arrive to open a vintage shop. It's Fabbia's dream, but she has a hard time staying in the same place. It reminded me of the movie Chocolat.
The characters are all very intriguing, each with their own story and their own motivations. When Fabbia and Ella arrive, they meet Billy who befriends Ella right off. Katrina, who seems to grudgingly accept Ella as a part-time friend. We also meet up with Katrina's mother, Jean Cushworth who is a mess of a rich woman. Can we say "bored housewife?" Jean is in a drugged up stupor most of the time, rather than deal with her lonliness and boredom. Well she can't even admit that's what her problem is, she feels like she is very important and feels threatened by Fabbia and Ella.
I love the little bit of magic in the story as well. Again this plays in as a side-item. The story isn't driven by it, but it's there nonetheless. Ella and her mother have a bit of psychic ability. They call it the Signals. They get visions, warnings whenever there is trouble. The Signals were going crazy whenever Jean was around, and all through her house.
My heart breaks for Ella, when only 6 months into their stay Fabbia decides it's time to go. Ella has found her home, and is done with running away. She doesn't want to leave Billy, to change schools, and mostly to not go to the middle of no-where in Scotland.
It's a very great story. Reading this felt a little like floating on water. Your body is rocked with small waves, but mostly it just feels comforting.