Thursday, December 9, 2021

The Christmas Dress by Courtney Cole


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 My holiday reading continues with this entertaining tale that takes place in Chicago. 

Meg Julliard has returned to Chicago after her father dies and leaves her to manage the apartment building he's owned and managed for decades. It's an apartment building for senior citizens, and Meg grew up there with her family but  fled to New York City after her sister died and the memories were just too painful. Now she's had to leave her fashion career to take on the management of the apartment building and she's got her hands full. 

This is no ordinary building, and the residents are no ordinary residents, either. From sassy Sylvie who knows all about running the building, to beautiful and elegant Ellie who once, a long time ago, had her heart broken on Christmas Eve at that very same building--the people who populate this novel are all warm, caring characters. 

Of course, there's the handyman with a heart of gold and a good-looking face, too! Logan is immediately drawn to Meg, and together they discover some important historical facts about the building that may just save it from disaster.

Did I also mention the Christmas dress? It's a bit of magic, for sure--not only does it perfectly fit any woman who wears it, but it inspires Meg to create a line of women's wear that may revive her career and win her some much needed funds to repair the building. Gosh, there's a lot going on in this novel, but it all flows together and made this a very enjoyable read. 

Holidays are always a bit sad for anyone who has lost loved ones, and this novel touches on that quite a bit. Meg is grieving her father, and also her sister and mother, too. Ellie is also grieving her long-lost love, and as we all do as we age, we think about what might have been and if the right choices were made. 

This was a really good read--the mark of a good story for me is if I can't wait to pick it up again and keep reading. I'll find a few minutes here and there in my day to read a few more pages. I especially liked the history involved in the apartment building and how that was worked into the plot and ended up being the big driver of the story. I'm always happy when a historical building can be saved, and its history uncovered. 

Rating: 5/6 for a novel that has a bit of history, some romance, humor, fashion, and yes, a bit of holiday magic, too. It also faces head on the grief people experience during the Christmas season, but happy memories help soften the sadness. 

Available in paperback, e-book, and audio. 

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