A Modern Day Fairy Tale

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The Dress Shop on King Street by Ashley Clark {Book Review}

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for consideration. All thoughts are my own. 

Harper Dupree has pinned all her hopes on a future in fashion design. But when it comes crashing down around her, she returns home to Fairhope, Alabama, and to Millie, the woman who first taught her how to sew. As Harper rethinks her own future, long-hidden secrets about Millie's past are brought to light.

In 1946, Millie Middleton--the daughter of an Italian man and a Black woman--boarded a train and left Charleston to keep half of her heritage hidden. She carried with her two heirloom buttons and the dream of owning a dress store. She never expected to meet a charming train jumper who changed her life forever . . . and led her yet again to a heartbreaking choice about which heritage would define her future.

Now, together, Harper and Millie return to Charleston to find the man who may hold the answers they seek . . . and a chance at the dress shop they've both dreamed of. But it's not until all appears lost that they see the unexpected ways to mend what frayed between the seams.

Ashley Clark writes romantic women's fiction set in the South, and The Dress Shop on King Street is her debut novel. With a master's degree in creative writing, Ashley teaches literature and writing courses at the University of West Florida. Ashley has been an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers for almost a decade. She lives with her husband, son, and two rescued Cocker Spaniels off Florida's Gulf Coast. When she's not writing, she's rescuing stray animals, dreaming of Charleston, and drinking all the English breakfast tea she can get her hands on. Find her online at www.ashleyclarkbooks.com.

While it may not sound like it means all that much mid January to say that this is the best book I've read all year, believe me when I say that I don't say this lightly. This book was absolutely fantastic... and beautiful on the inside as it was on the out (and let's be honest, it was the beautiful cover that first drew me in)! 

The Dress Shop on King Street is a story that introduces us to two women with a shared dream of owning a dress shop. In the current day, we meet Harper as her dreams seem to be crashing around her and she finds herself rethinking her future. She turns to her childhood neighbor and sewing teacher Millie and through this beautiful dual timeline, we learn the tragic story of Millie's past. A past filled with heartache, racial inequality and the search for identity. 

While I may know nothing about the topic at hand, I couldn't help but feel deeply for Millie's character. The author portrayed her story in such a way that I couldn't help but connect with her, to grieve with her, to hope with her. I loved seeing the way that their stories were sewn together, and the beautiful messages of faith throughout. This is certainly one of those books that will stick with me for many, many years to come. If you love historical fiction or a good dual timeline read, this is one not to be missed. I love it. 


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