Girls in White Dresses
by Jennifer Close
Reading the jacket copy for Girls in White Dresses, I was expecting a fairly conventional chick lit novel—which is something I enjoy every now and again. However, as I delved into this novel of connected stories (a format I always seem to enjoy), I was delighted to discover something more substantive than I was expecting. Jennifer Close’s debut is so much more than 20-something women moving through a succession of weddings.
Girls in White Dresses is a coming-of-age novel, not of a single girl, but of an entire group of interconnected young women. They know each other from schools or jobs or through the friends of friends. The stories chart a progression of large and small events as these women move from their early 20s to the end of that pivotal decade. It’s about the growing you do as you enter adulthood, and the mistakes and detours you make along the way. I can honestly say that my life in my 20s bore almost no resemblance to the lives depicted on the pages of this book. Even so, there was a universality to that period of life that I absolutely recognized, and could enjoy looking back upon from the greater confidence and security of my 40s.
I don’t know that you’ll find larger truths or messages in this book, but for whiling away a few hours, you could do far worse. I would love to follow these young women into their thirties and beyond.