"Jennifer Dupee's debut novel is a delight...a story about discovering your authentic self when things get hard, and the joys you can find when you live from your heart." —Louise Miller
Is a lie of omission still a lie? Larisa Pearl didn't think so and it got her into a heap of trouble.
When Larisa Pearl returns to her small seaside hometown in Massachusetts to manage her beloved great aunt's estate, she's a bit of an emotional mess. She's just lost her job and her boyfriend and she's struggling to cope with her mother's failing health. When she passes by the window of The Little French Bridal Shop, a beautiful ivory satin wedding gown catches her eye...
Now, to the delight of everyone in town, Larisa is planning her wedding. She has her dress, made floral arrangements, and set the date. The only thing missing is the groom. How did this happen? All she did was try on a dress and let her fantasy take flight. But word about her upcoming nuptials has reached the ears of Jack Merrill. As teenagers, they spent time together on her great aunt's estate, building a friendship that could have become something more had they chosen different paths.
Lost in a web of her own lies, Larisa must first face some difficult truths, including her mother's fragile future, before she can embrace her family, straighten out her life, and open her heart to finding love.
Dupee's uneven debut features two protagonists drawn together by their love for a seaside Massachusetts house and shared ambivalence about marriage. As teenagers, Larisa Pearl and Jack Merrill met at Larisa's Aunt Ursula's home, Elmhurst, where Jack worked as caretaker. Now nearing 40, Larisa returns to prepare the house for sale following her aunt's death. Her personal life is in shambles: she recently lost her job and provoked a dramatic breakup with her boyfriend. Upon arriving in town, she impulsively buys a wedding dress from the eponymous shop despite having no intention to marry. Her purchase inevitably sparks small-town gossip, which snowballs until Larisa is planning a wedding without a groom. Jack, meanwhile, has grown into "a bad husband, a mediocre father." After getting the boot from his wife, Holly, he moves into Elmhurst and offers to help Larisa with renovations. The story begins with the feel of a romantic comedy, but becomes increasingly heavy in tone and subject matter with subplots about Larisa coming to terms with her mother's dementia and Jack's half-hearted efforts to save his marriage despite his attraction to Larisa as Dupee expands on the theme that "everyone is hard to live with... even oneself." This will appeal to readers looking for more sober romance. \n