Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Book Review - The Magic Room: A Story About the Love We Wish for Our Daughters by Jeffrey Zaslow


I photograph weddings (well I am on a sabbatical right now) so this book intrigued me as the book was set at this bridal shop in a little town in Michigan. I also had a long engagement (4 years) so I got to try on lots of dresses before the wedding :) I pretty much tried on every style there was, and in the end, I chose what I'd thought I'd choose right from the beginning - a simple bias dress with no beads or lace. Though I had a dramatic necklace and a long veil. The dress was easy to transport (rolled it and threw it in the suitcase from Australia to the US, as we had to get married within 90 days after I landed in the US, so no time for gown shopping then!) but it was very me.

As I was reading this book, it brought back memories of my own wedding dress shopping. And what it went through my mind as I prepared for that next chapter of my life - not just about getting married and being a wife, but also having to leave my family and friends behind to live in a new country.

The book was more than about buying a wedding dress. It talked about how Becker's Bridal Shop got started, and how this family business and been passed on from one generation to another; and how the society had changed regarding marriage and wedding dress and wedding dress shopping. What did not change was "the love we wish for our daughters" - as the subtitle suggested. The book really was a book of stories - of the current owner, and several brides who went dress shopping at Becker's - of how they found love, of what wanted in their life, and also of the bond between the brides and their family (mostly mothers, but there were some exceptions like grandmothers and daughters.)

Some of the stories were quite touching and I got a little teary. However, I am not sure if I like the way the book was organized - it talked about Person A (part 1), then Pearson B (part 1), Person C (part 1), Person D (part 1), Person A (part 2), Person C (part 2), Pearson A (part 3), Person B (part 2)... okay this wasn't the exact order, but you got the gist. So it was a bit confusing to go back and forth among the different persons. If I read this book fast (within a few days) I probably would have remembered everyone's stories a bit better. But since I am reading at a much slow pace right now, I read this over 3.5 weeks, and I forgot a lot of the back stories... The only nice thing about this structure was that at the end, it talked about each bride's wedding day so everything came together... The book also included some pictures of the brides and dresses, though I wish the pictures showed the dresses a bit better! :)

You might remember about 1.5 months ago, I found out that the author died in a tragic accident (see post here). It was kinda coincidental that this was his last book - this book had such an emphasis on the parent-daughter relationship. I am sad that he won't get to walk his three daughters down the aisle or get to see them grow or get to meet his future sons-in-laws or grandchildren. I couldn't even imagine how his daughters would feel - that their dad's last book was written to them. For them.

3.5 / 5 /

Note - I received a free copy of the book as part of the Crazy Book Tours.

All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.


  1. I may need to check this one out! I read The Girls From Ames and thought that was ok but not what I thought it would be... this one sounds good!

  2. The tragedy of his dying while promoting this book, a love letter to his daughters, is heartbreaking.

  3. I want this one on audio.

    So glad to hear it's pretty good.

    OMG he died? * sadness* I remember your post but didn't realize it was this guy.