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 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.
'Reminiscent of Love Actually and P.S. I Love You, this cute little book is recommended to readers who want to be charmed by the possibilities of love' LibraryReads (Top Ten Pick)'[Menna] van Praag has a deliciously innate capability to weave the totality of characters of The Dress Shop of Dreams into a compelling tale. Each character, from Cambridge to Oxford, augments and refines these dynamics. Ultimately, van Praag cracks the code that deciphers magical fate when it comes to couture and the complexities of love' New York Journal of Books '[A] brightly colored fabulist confection... sure to delight those looking for a little fairy dust in their romance' Kirkus Reviews 'The Dress Shop of Dreams is a delightful blending of many love stories plus a tale of murder and suspense. Van Praag has a knack for balancing a large cast of engaging characters, and her references to beloved authors and historic scientists are enjoyable touchstones between doses of mystery and magic' Booklist 'The Dress Shop of Dreams is a light, sweet and shimmering confection, well worth a read' BookLoons 'Bighearted, beautiful, and brushed with magic, this novel celebrates life's moments of joy, possibility, and transformation. Menna van Praag's writing is bright with sparkles and lovely grace notes' -Susan Wiggs, bestselling author of The Beekeeper's Ball 'The Dress Shop of Dreams is a dream come true for lovers of romantic tales with a twist of fantasy. Utterly enchanting! Menna van Praag's imaginative, endearing characters will stay with you long after you close the book' -Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times bestselling author of The Summer Wind 'Dresses, dreams, magic, and mystery swirl in this enchanting novel. The Dress Shop of Dreams is the book to read before turning off your bedside light' Nancy Thayer, New York Times bestselling author of Nantucket Sisters
Menna van Praag was born in Cambridge and studied Modern History at Oxford University. She lives in Cambridge and sets her novels among the colleges, cafes and bookshops of the city. www.mennavanpraag.com