From Publishers Weekly
Blogger McKean's retro fashion-forward coming-of-age debut follows Dora Winston as she sashays toward a degree in "vagueness studies" while engaged in a fruitless flirtation with her coffee shop boss. She's got no idea what to do with her life, and then her adored grandmother, Mimi, has a stroke, and Dora is whisked back to Mimi's vintage clothing store, where she learns more about Mimi, thanks to the secret (and ploddingly overwritten) stories Mimi has stashed away on pieces of paper stuck in the pockets of her most intriguing inventory. Flashbacks flesh out Mimi's wisdom and wit, while store workers Gabby and Maux complete the trilogy of strong and funny women who run the business and help Dora find her way. The prose hovers somewhere below lackluster, however, and Dora's journey is as comfortable and unsurprising as a favorite sweater. (Feb.)
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College junior Dora drops everything, including her iPod, to rush home after hearing that the grandmother who raised her, her beloved Mimi, has had a stroke. Once there, she runs Mimi’s, a vintage clothing store, to honor her love for the hospitalized owner. Romance abounds in this fun novel set in western North Carolina. The story gets its suspense from Dora’s crushes, the dippy Gary she left back at college and the newly met Con. Whom will she choose? And, of course, there are the greedy relatives who try to take over the store. But she has wonderful friends to support her as well as a considerable amount of pluckiness of her own. This book originated on McKean’s blog,A Dress a Day, which is currently archiving volumes about the secret lives of 18 dresses from the dresses’ points of view. Those “biographies,” given to the new owners of vintage outfits, are amusing and intriguing additions to the plot. Romance readers and fans of small-town fiction will love this positive and enjoyable book. --Ellen Loughran