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Review: The Funeral Dress

December 5, 2013

The Funeral Dress

Emmalee’s mother died when she was young and her father was never much of a parent.  When she was 17, her father insisted she quit school and get a job and she did just that – sewing collars at the Tennewa Shirt Factory.  Emmalee finds herself in the family way and struggles once her daughter is born.  Her father’s no help and she doesn’t know where to turn when an offer comes from one of her co-workers.  Emmalee and her daughter are going to live with Leona and her husband, Curtis.

Tragedy strikes, though, and Leona and Curtis are killed in an accident the night before Emmalee is to move in with them.  Beside herself with grief, Emmalee feels she must do something to honor the woman who befriended her.  With no resources, she turns to the one thing she can do, and decides to sew Leona’s funeral dress.

The Funeral Dress, by Susan Gregg Gilmore, is a wonderful coming of age story filled with grit and determination.  Emmalee is a wonderful character who is somewhat naive in spite of her rough upbringing.  She finds herself in a tough situation and doesn’t know how to cope.  Luckily one of her co-workers comes to her aid.  Tragedy prevents her from helping but knowing that someone cared about her is enough to spur Emmalee to action.

This is not only Emmalee’s story, it’s Leona’s, too, and the point of view alternates between the two.  Emmalee’s story is set in the present and Leona’s in the past, so readers discover how these two women with tragic lives came together.  Their stories are sad, to be sure, but they had an affect on each other that was ultimately uplifting.

This book is sure to please anyone who enjoys Southern fiction and stories of women’s friendships.  It’s Gilmore’s third book and I think it’s her best one yet.  Be sure to pick it up!

Review copy provided by the author.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.
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22 Comments leave one →
  1. December 5, 2013 10:27 am

    Ohhh I want to try this book

  2. December 5, 2013 10:33 am

    This sounds like quite a story! I am glad you enjoyed it, Kathy.

  3. December 5, 2013 11:03 am

    This one is on my list to read. So glad to hear you enjoyed it.

  4. December 5, 2013 12:55 pm

    This sounds good! I am not usually big on coming of age stories, but there are exceptions!

  5. December 5, 2013 12:59 pm

    This sounds sad!

  6. December 5, 2013 1:43 pm

    This sounds like one I would like. :)

  7. December 5, 2013 2:06 pm

    This book sounds lovely…I love books like this!

  8. December 5, 2013 4:10 pm

    Sounds like a book I’d enjoy, even though it sounds really sad.

  9. December 5, 2013 5:49 pm

    Adding to my wish list… thanks for the recommendation!

  10. December 5, 2013 7:41 pm

    I’d noticed this was getting good reviews but had no idea what it was about. I’ve been enjoying dual narrative historical fiction a lot lately, so this sounds like one for the TBR list :)

  11. December 5, 2013 8:22 pm

    I have this on my wish list. Thank you for a great review.

  12. December 5, 2013 8:45 pm

    Oh, my! This sounds so good!

  13. Beth F permalink
    December 5, 2013 9:37 pm

    This sounds like my kind of book!

  14. December 5, 2013 10:19 pm

    I’d like to read this too.

  15. December 5, 2013 10:48 pm

    Looks good, but a little heavy for holiday reading.

  16. sandynawrot permalink
    December 6, 2013 5:52 am

    I absolutely ADORE her books. They aren’t all fluff and happy times, but she has very strong female characters, a good sense of the South, and big heart. This book is very high on my list of books I want for Xmas!

  17. December 6, 2013 10:22 am

    Sounds like one i will need to pick up for sure!

  18. December 6, 2013 11:57 am

    Sounds like a TBR to me! :)

  19. December 6, 2013 2:37 pm

    Sounds great.

  20. December 6, 2013 2:40 pm

    I have Gilmore’s first 2 books and loved both of them, so I’m going to add this to my list.

  21. December 6, 2013 7:50 pm

    This sounds like one I need to put on my list!

  22. bookingmama permalink
    December 9, 2013 9:48 am

    This was a good one. I still think LOOKING FOR SALVATION AT THE DAIRY QUEEN might be my favorite though!

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