What I Read: Girls in White Dresses (March 2015)
I wanted to like Girls in White Dresses. I truly did. But while it was well-written and easy to read, with each chapter a short story in itself, I could not relate to the characters.
We meet Isabella, Mary, and Lauren as they are newly independent women, degrees in hand and ready to create their lives. Why then are they so terribly insecure and obsessed with being in relationships? Yes, the book was funny. But it was also more than a little disturbing as these women self-sabotage their jobs and their relationships. Each woman has an early relationship that is doomed, yet only one seems to truly get over her ‘Mr. Wrong.’
The other issue with the characters is that they all sounded the same. Their voices were not unique so I found myself starting each chapter trying to recall the particular protagonist’s characteristics.
Isabella gets the most focus, but I found her to be incredibly selfish. She doesn’t make any effort to get to know Harrison’s friends. Lauren has an edge that I didn’t like. Of the three, Mary was the most likeable, yet she was the most underdeveloped of the three.
The character I found myself caring the most about was Abby. I could understand why a young woman who was working to escape her strange upbringing by her very odd parents would be insecure and somewhat obsessive. After her story reached a disastrous climax, I read each chapter anxious to learn what happened next, only to be disappointed that her story was abruptly over.
I know that the author exaggerated the characters to make their stories funny. And parts of this book are laugh-out-loud funny. But more parts of it are frustrating and sad. They seem to decide life is too hard and settling is the only way.
I was not like these women. I do not know women like these women. And, most of all, I would not want to know women like Isabella, Mary and Lauren.