Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Since her parents' mysterious deaths many years ago, scientist Cora Sparks has spent her days in the safety of her university lab or at her grandmother Etta's dress shop.  Tucked away on a winding Cambridge street, Etta's charming, tiny store appears quite ordinary to passersby, but the colorfully vibrant racks of beaded silks, delicate laces, and jewel-toned velvets hold bewitching secrets.  With just a few stitches from Etta's needle, these gorgeous gowns have the power to set free a woman's deepest desires. 

Etta's dearest wish is to work her magic on her granddaughter.  Cora's studious, unromantic eye has overlooked Walt, the shy bookseller who has been in love with her forever.  Determined not to allow Cora to miss her chance at happiness, Etta sews a tiny stitch into Walt's collar, hoping to give him the courage to confess his feelings to Cora.  But magic spells - like true love - can go awry.  After Walt is spurred into action, Etta realizes she's set in motion a series of astonishing events that will transform Cora's life in extraordinary and unexpected ways. 

You will simply and absolutely fall in love with this spellbinding novel.  I couldn't take my eyes off the page for fear I might accidentally skip over a word.  I will be highly recommending THE DRESS SHOP OF DREAMS and can't wait for Menna's next book!

Sunday, January 18, 2015


ISBN: 978-0-399-16952-6
MY SUNSHINE AWAY is one of those rare books that you'lll remember long after the last page has been turned. Although a story of growing up and coming-of-age, it is also quite the mystery.

The book begins with the rape of a young teenage girl named Lindy Simpson and thereby lies your mystery. Who committed this horrible crime? As the group of neighborhood teens contend with the every day effects of growing up and experiencing a lot of firsts, the underlying current is always "who done it?" The narrator of the novel is one of four suspects. I found myself wondering a great deal about the narrator throughout the story. I had a difficult time trusting him. Although his words and actions apeared to be honourable, there was just "something" about him that kept me from letting my guard down and moving on to other suspects in a more detailed way with a more intense critical eye.

Lindy's rape becomes personal for the narrator because he is obsessively in love with her, watching her out his bedroom window, talking to her late into the night on the telephone and looking through photos of her someone else gave to him.

From what I know of the south in the late 80's and early 90's, M. O. Walsh seems to have hit the nail on the head. with perfectly descrptive prose he lays out the traditions and rituals of that era with precision.

All in all this was an excellent read and one I would highly recommend. I look forward to reading more of M. O. Walsh's work in the future.