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Girls in White Dresses [Kindle Edition]

Jennifer Close
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (504 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $8.45
You Save: $6.50 (43%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Burning Down George Orwell's House
Burning Down George Orwell's House
Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award finalist Robert Stone describes Burning Down George Orwell's House as a "… most enjoyable, a witty, original turn … one part black comedy and one part a meditation on modern life. It is well-written and truly original." Learn more about the author, Andrew Ervin

Book Description

Wickedly hilarious and utterly recognizable, Girls in White Dresses tells the story of three women grappling with heartbreak and career change, family pressure and new love—all while suffering through an endless round of weddings and bridal showers.

Isabella, Mary, and Lauren feel like everyone they know is getting married. On Sunday after Sunday, at bridal shower after bridal shower, they coo over toasters, collect ribbons and wrapping paper, eat minuscule sandwiches and doll-sized cakes. They wear pastel dresses and drink champagne by the case, but amid the celebration these women have their own lives to contend with: Isabella is working at a mailing-list company, dizzy with the mixed signals of a boss who claims she’s on a diet but has Isabella file all morning if she forgets to bring her a chocolate muffin. Mary thinks she might cry with happiness when she finally meets a nice guy who loves his mother, only to realize he’ll never love Mary quite as much. And Lauren, a waitress at a Midtown bar, swears up and down she won’t fall for the sleazy bartender—a promise that his dirty blond curls and perfect vodka sodas make hard to keep.

With a wry sense of humor, Jennifer Close brings us through those thrilling, bewildering, what-on-earth-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life years of early adulthood. These are the years when everyone else seems to have a plan, a great job, and an appropriate boyfriend, while Isabella has a blind date with a gay man, Mary has a crush on her boss, and Lauren has a goldfish named Willard. Through boozy family holidays and disastrous ski vacations, relationships lost to politics and relationships found in pet stores, Girls in White Dresses pulls us deep inside the circle of these friends, perfectly capturing the wild frustrations and soaring joys of modern life.


BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Jennifer Close's The Smart One.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

J. Courtney Sullivan Reviews Girls in White Dresses

J. Courtney Sullivan is the author of two New York Times bestselling novels, Maine and Commencement. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, and New York magazine, among others. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Like a lot of women in America, I was awake at 4 a.m. on April 29th. But unlike the rest, I wasn’t waiting to see Kate Middleton walk down the aisle. I was reading Girls in White Dresses.

This hilarious, pitch-perfect debut more or less took over my life for three glorious days. I cancelled dinners, ignored deadlines and went without sleep, all because I could not stop reading it.

The author introduces an unforgettable cast of characters who navigate post-college life in the city. I laughed a lot while reading this novel, nodded knowingly, and occasionally wondered if Jennifer Close had been secretly reading my emails for the past ten years.

Any woman who has been a twenty-something can relate: There are first jobs (“Isabella knew [her boss] thought the Greek salad was super healthy, and for that she pitied him.”) First homes (“They hung mirrors on the walls to make the apartment seem bigger.”) First weddings (“You never want to be the first one of your friends to get married. If you are, just resign yourself to the fact that your wedding will be a sh-t show.”)

With wit and wisdom, Close captures every little detail of New York life in one’s twenties; that decade that so often begins with late nights out and ill-advised infatuations, yet somehow ends with bridal showers and babies and mothers-in-law named Button. Close leads her characters from the days of living together in cramped apartments straight through to a time when life has gotten hectic, obligations have increased, and a stolen weekend away at a beach house is the only bonding time they get.

Through it all--through drunken nights and hungover mornings, evil bosses, cancelled engagements, and that time Mary lost her mind and named her newborn baby Gertrude for three days--their friendships remain a constant.

Girls in White Dresses is reminiscent of Melissa Bank’s The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing, but at the same time it’s a total original, perfectly reflecting the events of recent years: One character loses her boyfriend to a charismatic political candidate, campaigning on hope and change. Another gets married the same weekend that the King of Pop dies, and her wedding turns into a Michael Jackson tribute concert.

Only once in a very blue moon does a book captivate me as much as this one did. Read it immediately and prepare to be up all night.


Review

"What a delight! The young women in this hugely appealing book are charming, funny, rueful, poignant—just like their creator, in other words, one of the freshest and most appealing new voices in fiction. I can’t wait for more work from Jennifer Close." —Ann Packer, bestselling author of The Dive from Clausen’s Pier and Swim Back to Me
 
"These Girls are smart, funny and extremely engaging. You will adore them and their poignant--and often hilarious--romantic yearnings." —Danielle Ganek, author of The Summer We Read Gatsby

"The only way to express my love for Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close is to tell you that this is the one book that I will be recommending over and over again to all of my friends. I laughed, I cried, I nodded knowingly as the characters waded their way through the hits and misses of their twenties and thirties. I can't remember the last time I loved a book as much as this one." —Allison Winn Scotch, New York Times bestselling author of The One That I Want and Time of My Life

"Girls In White Dresses is a dark, funny, intimate romp through boyfriends, first apartments, and great friendships--but beneath the surface lurks the jealousy, disappointment, and love that didn’t quite end up the way you thought it would. Jennifer Close's brilliant, deadpan humor made me laugh so hard my own roommate thought I was nuts." —Margot Berwin, author of Hothouse Flower

"If Elizabeth Bennet were post-collegiate, hungover, lovelorn and living on the Upper West Side, she would definitely be rooming with the Girls in White Dresses. This debut is hilarious, warm-hearted and wise, and I couldn't put it down." —Holly LeCraw, author of The Swimming Pool

"Girls in White Dresses is about a group of smart, funny, unapologetically grouchy, always-hungover fem...

Product Details

  • File Size: 1527 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0385676441
  • Publisher: Vintage (August 9, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004J4WKYW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,889 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
73 of 84 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Resounding Meh August 24, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"Girls in White Dresses" follows a group of friends through their "freshman year of life" and beyond, to borrow a phrase from J. Courtney Sullivan's "Commencement." I don't mean to draw unnecessary parallels, especially since Sullivan wrote the featured editorial review on this novel, but I can't help but compare the two - especially because Sullivan's debut novel is so much stronger.

Some of the situations are relatable and touching (an ill-advised ski trip with a new boyfriend and his friends, a tipsy lunch with a despised college acquaintance), but the characters are so bland and forgettable that I repeatedly found myself wondering "Wait, which one is Lauren?" The women are so interchangeable that it was hard for me to feel particularly invested in any one story/career/relationship.

Given the press this novel has received, I guess I was expecting a much more compelling novel.
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84 of 99 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the worst book I have ever read! August 12, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After reading the Amazon review I couldn't wait to read this book. I eagerly awaited it to hit the shelves so I could purchase it on my kindle. It started out okay, I could see some of my old friendships in a few of these characters. But the book just drug on and on and on.... I kept waiting for something really exciting to happen but it never did. I believe the Amazon reviewer said she couldn't put the book down and was awake until 4am. Really?! Because I think the only reason to be awake at 4 am reading this book, is if the book was actually written about you. Seriously, this book needs more substance. I would not recommend this book to my friends, but if you are really set on reading it go check it out from the library for free.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pointless and Poorly Written October 15, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I selected this based on the blurb, which made it sound like a fun and sarcastic 20-something gal tale. I went in expecting a "Sex and the City" sort of vibe, but instead found a boring, badly paced and almost incomprehensibly scattered book.

The "story," and I use the term loosely, of a rather random group of college friends, is told in brief vignettes that jump in and out of the timeline to share their dating disasters, drunken escapades, sexual indiscretions and career catastrophes. The gist seemed to be that these girls, who you never really understand how or why, or even really if, they are friends, are sad-sack slackers with little in their life besides booze and, occasionally, each other.

I say "occasionally" because the peripheral characters, including supposedly pivotal boyfriends, come and go so randomly as to be even less than sketches. I only put the book down a few minutes ago and I don't think I can name a single one. Even the main characters are so poorly drawn you not only don't care about them, I couldn't even recall their main details (where they live, what they do, who they care about) or relationship to one another halfway through the novel.

Basically the book read like a co-workers' endless anecdote about a group of people you don't know, don't care about and will never meet. "So, I was at my cousin Stacy's wedding and Stacy's best friend, Nancy, has been dating this guy Phil for three years, but he's a real jerk and Phil's friend Ellen was there and she'd just broken up with her boyfriend Ben. Do you remember I went to school with Ben? Well, Ben and Stacy used to date and Ellen was jealous and Nancy heard Ben tell Phil that ...
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible January 2, 2012
By kate108
Format:Kindle Edition
This book consists of short choppy paragraphs that do not even flow from one paragraph to the next. It feels like a little kid wrote this. Isabelle moved to NY. She met a boy. They went to dinner. Etc... There is no depth or subtance to the characters. SAVE YOUR MONEY!!
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Did the blurb writers read the same book I did? February 6, 2012
Format:Hardcover
I cannot fathom how this tedious book about whiny, directionless 20somethings earned all the glowing blurbs on the back cover. Every one describes the characters as smart and funny. Really? They drink too much, accomplish nothing, aspire to nothing, date loathsome men, and talk crap about their friends behind their backs. For page...after page...after page. Do yourself a favor and give this one a pass.
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86 of 111 people found the following review helpful
By Isabeau
Format:Hardcover
The friendships between several of the characters sounded true to life...sarcastic but loving, snarky but truthful...and that was good to read. It is the way a lot of women actually relate to their good friends. But, I got tired of, and then offended by, the author's use of the terms "retard" and "retarded" to describe behaviour that is being made fun of and by the author's obvious disdain for anyone that could be overweight. These were cheap shots, and had nothing to do with the plot (such as it is). There really is no "plot" and nothing of climactic import happens to these characters or, if it does, is mentioned briefly and life for the characters just moves along, in a somewhat boring fashion for all of them. The ending is the same way...nothing really truly settled for any one character, it just ends. All of these women just always seem vaguely dissatisifed and you are always left with the impression that they are all either settling or questioning themselves about "is this all there is?"
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Like reading a boring diary October 9, 2011
By Diane C
Format:Hardcover
This book looked so interesting. The reviews on the back were so positive ("I laughed, I cried"), and so on. But it was kind of like reading someone's diary. Very little descriptive writing, just little connecting stories about a few girls that knew each other. It read sort of like; Isabella went to work. She came home and ate supper. Then she went out to a bar with her friends. It was so boring I quit after Chapter 3. Sometimes I can't figure out how these books get published. Maybe it's all in who you know, not in what you know. That was kinda mean to say, but it is a mystery to me.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely amazing.
For all the 20 something's out there. You must read this book. Hits home. Basically puts down on paper everything you think when everyone around you is getting married and you... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Alexandria Petit
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny and real
It took me a little bit to get into but once I did I found myself laughing out loud, tearing up and relating to these girls. I really liked that the girls were 'real'. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Valerie L Betz
1.0 out of 5 stars This book was so boring and lacked depth
This book was so boring and lacked depth. Women about to embark on the real world, this book is nothing like what real life is going to be!
Published 10 days ago by Rachael witter
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh....
the biggest surprise on this book..the horrible abrupt ending. It just seems like these girls were desperate to settle down and 'settled' not truly being in love with their men.
Published 10 days ago by Garden Gal
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Slow start, but overall a good read. Lots of different people narrating so it can get a little confusing at times but once you get used to it it is easier
Published 18 days ago by Shauna
2.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to like this book so bad
I wanted to like this book so bad... but it was difficult to follow with all the jumping around of characters. Read more
Published 22 days ago by valorie
1.0 out of 5 stars I felt like there wasn't a real point to the book
I felt like there wasn't a real point to the book. It just seemed like a bunch of stories that never really connected. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Pooh85
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Blah
Published 24 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Fun read
Published 29 days ago by Meagan Lynch
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good book but sometimes hard to follow as so many characters
Published 1 month ago by Kathy Henderson
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