Thursday, May 21, 2015

Book Review: The Woman in the Movie Star Dress by Praveen Asthana


Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this ebook, free of charge,from Doublewood Press, via neGalley, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

I was able to catch up on some review reading while I was off on vacation last week, so lots of book reviews this week!


Synopsis:

What if the clothes you wore carried ghostly fragments of your soul, and somehow those fragments got transferred to one who wore those clothes next? 

A young woman comes to Hollywood to escape her past. She finds work in a vintage clothing store that sells clothes used in the movies. One day she discovers a way to transfer human character through these vintage clothes, and she uses this ability to transform from a lonely, insecure young woman to a glamorous heartbreaker. But she also discovers that with the good comes the bad as character flaws are transferred too. She begins to worry: what if one of the vintage clothes she has sold to some unsuspecting customer had been previously worn by a deeply troubled soul?

 One day her fears become crystallized—intrigued by a man who comes asking about a beautiful scarlet dress she has recently sold, she looks into its history and discovers a secret that terrifies her. So begins a quest to find the scarlet dress complicated by a budding romance and the threads of her past, which intervene like trip wires. Emotions run high, and in the background the quickening drumbeat of the race to find the scarlet dress, potent as a loose, loaded weapon. 


From the Author:

Many readers ask me how I got the idea for this book: Well, when I was a child, I often had to wear hand-me-downs from my cousins. But my mother was always careful to choose which clothes to accept from relatives--she would only take ones from well behaved kids because she worried some of the character of the bad kids could get embedded in the clothes and transferred on to me. I thought that was a fascinating concept and I used it in this novel.

In my research I've found that people from diverse cultures share this fear that clothes can carry 'curses' or 'behavior.' Even evangelical minister, Pat Robertson, famously warned a couple of years ago that there could be demons attached to your thrift store clothes (reported in Salon).

Oh, by the way, there is indeed a store in Los Angeles that sells clothes that were once worn in the movies.


Review:

This was an interesting book, melding vintage movie noir, with a modern chick lit approach, and coming into a story that will have you eagerly turning the pages to see what happens to Genevieve next! It's definitely fiction, as the men she ends up with would make her a perfect candidate for severe psychiatric therapy in real life! This is a book to while away the hours by the pool or on the beach with- if you're a fan of vintage Hollywood, you'll be recognizing films and lines and reading with glee!  It's different and fun, even if you end up shaking your head at the end! 


About the Author:

Praveen Asthana is a traveler, photographer and student of the human character. He grew up in Ethiopia and Zambia where he learned the oral tradition of story telling. He has subsequently lived in India, England and the United States. He writes both fiction and nonfiction. His non-fiction has appeared in leading magazines and he has won awards for his short fiction including one in the prestigious Lorian Hemingway competition for emerging writers.

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