Sunday, February 22, 2015
The Funeral Dress by Susan Gregg Gilmore
Published by Broadway Books
The Funeral Dress starts in the year 1974. Emmalee has decided to quit school and is hoping to get a job at the local shirt factory. She does get the job.
The next chapter skips to 3 years later. Emmalee is now 19 and has a baby.
The book skips from chapter to chapter going back to the past and then back to the present. At first I didn't like this. I wanted to know what was happening in the present. I soon figured out that the past tied to the present and was important to the story.
See, Emmalee lost her mother years before to sickness. She was raised by her alcoholic father in nothing more than a shack. They had no running water and barely any food. Now she is trying to take care of a baby with little no-how and still no running water, and barely any food....also barely any heat!
I don't want to tell much else about the book or it will give away most of the story, but a lot of the book revolves around Emmalee making the funeral dress. Emmalee just can't seem to catch a break for a better life.
Below is a picture of the copy of the book that I was sent for this review. You will notice that they also sent me a package of tissues as well.
There are definitely tear shed moments throughout the book. You can't help it. You want to scream at the same time and ask why?
Here is what I was sent about the book:
" The Funeral Dress is a deeply touching Southern story filled with struggle and hope. Emmalee Bullard and her new baby are on their own. Or so she thinks, until Leona Lane, the older seamstress who sat by her side at the local shirt factory where both women worked as collar makers, insists Emmalee come and live with her. Just as Emmalee prepares to escape her hardscrabble life in Red Chert holler, Leona dies tragically. Grief-stricken, Emmalee decides she’ll make Leona’s burying dress, but there are plenty of people who don't think the unmarried Emmalee should design a dress for a Christian woman - or care for a child on her own. But with every stitch, Emmalee struggles to do what is right for her daughter and to honor Leona the best way she can, finding unlikely support among an indomitable group of seamstresses and the town’s funeral director. In a moving tale exploring Southern spirit and camaraderie among working women, a young mother will compel a town to become a community."
I don't have the time (or should say take the time) to read books anymore like I should. The majority of my reading is done in bed with my nightstand lamp. This book kept me up rather late for many nights. I wanted to stop reading and get to sleep, but I also wanted more to know what was going to happen next in the book. Very good read! I highly recommend it.
They suggest this to be a good book for your reading club and I do agree. In fact, you can go to SusanGreggGilmore.com for more information and for extra book club materials like a hash brown casserole recipe, a reading group guide, and a Q&A with the author.
Disclosure: I rec'd a copy of The Funeral Dress and further information for the purpose of this review. I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own. This post does contain affiliate links.