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Nine Women, One Dress
Cover of Nine Women, One Dress
Nine Women, One Dress
A Novel
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A charming, hilarious, irresistible romp of a novel that brings together nine unrelated women, each touched by the same little black dress that weaves through their lives, bringing a little magic with it.
Natalie is a Bloomingdale's salesgirl mooning over her lawyer ex-boyfriend who's engaged to someone else after just two months. Felicia has been quietly in love with her boss for seventeen years and has one night to finally make the feeling mutual. Andie is a private detective who specializes in gathering evidence on cheating husbands—a skill she unfortunately learned from her own life—and lands a case that may restore her faith in true love. For these three women, as well as half a dozen others in sparkling supporting roles—a young model fresh from rural Alabama, a diva Hollywood star making her Broadway debut, an overachieving, unemployed Brown grad who starts faking a fabulous life on social media, to name just a few—everything is about to change, thanks to the dress of the season, the perfect little black number everyone wants to get their hands on . . .
From the Hardcover edition.
A charming, hilarious, irresistible romp of a novel that brings together nine unrelated women, each touched by the same little black dress that weaves through their lives, bringing a little magic with it.
Natalie is a Bloomingdale's salesgirl mooning over her lawyer ex-boyfriend who's engaged to someone else after just two months. Felicia has been quietly in love with her boss for seventeen years and has one night to finally make the feeling mutual. Andie is a private detective who specializes in gathering evidence on cheating husbands—a skill she unfortunately learned from her own life—and lands a case that may restore her faith in true love. For these three women, as well as half a dozen others in sparkling supporting roles—a young model fresh from rural Alabama, a diva Hollywood star making her Broadway debut, an overachieving, unemployed Brown grad who starts faking a fabulous life on social media, to name just a few—everything is about to change, thanks to the dress of the season, the perfect little black number everyone wants to get their hands on . . .
From the Hardcover edition.
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Excerpts-
  • From the book PREFACE
    The Runway
    By Sally Ann Fennely
    Age: Just 18


    "Pin It!" The dressers were all riled up.
    "Pin what?" I thought. "Ow!" There was my answer: pin me.
    It was madness. I had been measured at least five times at casting. I thought that would have been the worst part, fifty eager models lined up in black slips, dreaming of cheeseburgers. It was a different kind of cattle call from what I was used to back home in Alabama.
    I barely uttered my first words of the day, "It's big on me. Maybe you should put it on a bigger girl."
    "There are no bigger girls," the pin-happy dresser mumbled under his breath.
    I looked around—he was right. Last week I was skinny, skinniest girl south of the Mason-Dixon line. They called me String Bean Sally; asked if I had to dance around in the shower to get wet. Now I'm the big girl.
    "Get in line!" he yelled. I got in line.
    I concentrated on the mantra in my head: breathe, breathe, one foot, the other. Breathe. Breathe. The girl behind me broke my concentration with the strongest New Yawk accent I'd ever heard.
    "I think you may have on the dress," she said. It sounded more like a warning then a statement.
    "The dress?" I didn't understand what she was talking about. I was having a hard time just breathing. We were getting closer to the runway. She continued.
    "Every year there's one dress. The front row people out there, they choose it. See 'em?" She pointed to where two cavernous curtains met. As they rippled and settled I got a quick glimpse of the crowd. I wished I hadn't.
    She continued, "Come fall, those front row people are gonna plaster the dress on the covers of magazines, red carpets and store windows. And it's usually little and black—like yours."
    Her voice near 'bout erased her beauty. She was like one of those silent film stars my Grandma used to go on about who went bust the day talkies came out. She sounded so foreign to me. I reckon if I spoke with my Southern drawl she would feel the same way about me. I'd hardly spoken since I'd been in New York for that very reason. When I do speak it's real short and careful. I can fake my way through a sentence or two but it's not easy. I try and triple my usual talking speed or people look like they want to wring the words out of me like I'm a wet rag. And my thinking has to keep up with my speaking, which ain't easy either. It's clear that they don't understand me just as much as I don't understand them. You would think that would make us all equal, but it doesn't. Not here.
    It's not just talking the talk that throws me, walking the walk is equally hopeless. On my first day here I made the mistake of stopping mid-stride to look up at a building when BOOM, a man crashed right into me. He yelled, "You crazy Mama?" Like I had slammed dead on my brakes in the middle of Interstate 10. I pictured the domino effect—a whole city toppling over on account of little old me.
    The next day it rained. The city was hard enough to navigate dry, let alone in a downpour. I was so intimidated by the natives dodging puddles and raising and lowering their umbrellas in perfect synchronicity that I never made it past the overhang of my building. It was as if everyone but me had been taught the day's choreography in advance. I stayed put till the sun came out.
    The girl with the voice was still going on about the dress. There were about a dozen girls between the runway and us.
    "There was another possibility from a show yesterday that my friend Adeline wore. That may have been the dress. Adeline said the flashbulbs went crazy, especially when...
About the Author-
  • JANE L. ROSEN is an author and Huffington Post contributor. She lives in New York City and Fire Island with her husband and three daughters. She often takes inspiration from the city she lives in and the people she shares it with. She is the author of a young adult novel, The Thread, which she self-published with a print-on-demand company. In addition to her writing she has spent time in film, television and event production and is the cofounder of It's All Gravy LLC, a web and app-based gifting company.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 23, 2016
    Like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, Rosen’s witty debut novel features a transformative item of clothing, not for four girls coming of age, but for nine women living in present-day New York. Max Hammer’s little black dress, as executed by 90-year-old pattern-maker Morris Siegel and singled out by Women’s Wear Daily, becomes the dress of the season. Rosen adroitly ties together her stories: the author is at her most romantic with Natalie, a Bloomingdale’s saleswoman, and Felicia, a middle-aged woman secretly in love with her widowed boss; she is at her most clever with Sophie, an underemployed Brown grad using selfies and hashtags to fashion the life she wants. And using multiple points of view enlivens and adds a lightheartedness to the book’s romantic story lines—Natalie and Felicia tell their stories, but so do the men in their lives, Jeremy and Arthur, not to mention a host of others united by the fateful dress. This is a fun book, tightly plotted and perfectly timed for the summer season. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, ICM Partners.

  • Kirkus

    May 1, 2016
    A charming story that twists the lives of New Yorkers around a little black dress. Or is it the other way around? A little black dress catches the eyes of the buyers lining the fashion runway and becomes the dress of the season. The dress finds its way in varying degrees into the lives of nine women as it is bought, returned, and borrowed from the third-floor dress department at Bloomingdale's. The title may sell the novel short--the story is not just about nine women; it's as much, maybe equally so, about the men who share their lives. The back story hearkens to the days when families fled Europe's looming Holocaust. Two young immigrants build a dressmaking business, and decades later their little black dress catches the eyes of New York buyers as Sally Ann Fennely, fresh from Alabama, makes her debut stroll down the runway. And thus begins the love affair with the LBD--a Max Hammer creation featured on the cover of Women's Wear Daily. It's a testimony to Rosen's artful vision that she fills the pages with so many characters, each with a unique story, without muddling the waters. There is the dressmaker and his son, a movie star and his "beard," Bloomingdale's employees who take the lives of their customers into their own hands, an attorney, his girlfriend, his executive assistant, a private detective and the husband she spies on, a young Muslim girl who finds the dress and offs her burka for a try-on, and more. It all works. Each scenario is revisited and broadened as the chapters unfurl. If there's a flaw, it's in the voices of the characters (each within their own chapters), which sound too similar, recounting their tales with the same subtle, ironic humor. Rosen's debut novel is rich in relationships, written with clarity and humor and surprise twists that bring the tale to a satisfying conclusion. A pure pleasure to read.

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from May 1, 2016

    Imagine the movie Love Actually in book form and you've got this charming debut. The story follows an "it dress" from New York's fashion season and how it affects the lives of the women who wear it. Felicia, longtime assistant to widowed Arthur, receives the garment from a matchmaking staffer at Bloomingdale's. Jeremy, a movie star who was recently wrongly outed, goes on a publicity date with Natalie, who wears the little black number. There are also vignettes with Sally, who first modeled the dress in a fashion show; Max, the patternmaker for the dress's designers; and Medina, a young Muslim woman who sheds her burqa to see herself clad in Western fashion. We also meet the clerks at Bloomingdale's, who know their customers and are not afraid to work a little magic in their lives, using only fabulous clothing. VERDICT Chick lit at its best. If this book were a dress, it would fit everyone perfectly and flatter everyone's figure.--Jennifer Mills, Shorewood-Troy Lib., IL

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Huffington Post "First class chick lit as well as a love letter to New York, this delightful charming story around the happenings of one little black dress and the women who wear it is a sweet, simple, satisfying, and cheeky summer read. You'll want to dig your little black number out of the closet and play along."
  • Shelf Awareness "Jane L. Rosen delivers a frothy, fast-paced story of a dress and its odyssey."
  • Library Journal, starred review "Chick lit at its best. If this book were a dress, it would fit everyone perfectly and flatter everyone's figure."
  • Book Bitch "Nine Women, One Dress is a completely compelling, utterly charming book and I loved every page. I still can't shut up about it."
  • People "This delightful ode to the power of the perfect frock follows nine women--each of whom dons the season's "it" dress--as they fall in love, suffer betrayal and start anew."
  • Jerusalem Post "A fantastic comedy of errors-romance-drama which is entertaining, funny, and makes you want to run to the nearest shopping center to get a good LBD for yourself."
  • Booklist "The influence of this particular dress on nine women (and a few men) is loosely woven together in this lovely novel....a delightful set of stories...revolves around Bloomingdale's....This quick read is at turns poignant and laugh-out-loud funny, and readers who like chick lit will find it absolutely adorable."
  • InStyle.com "If you enjoyed The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants as a tween, you'll relish in this adult-friendly story about nine New York women whose lives are forever changed after they slip on a very special LBD."
  • RT Book Reviews "Unique, refreshing and heartwarming, this novel is full of humor and personality....At times hilarious and other times touching, Rosen's latest is impossible to put down."
  • Kirkus "A charming story that twists the lives of New Yorkers around a little black dress... It all works. Each scenario is revisited and broadened as the chapters unfurl... Rosen's debut novel is rich in relationships, written with clarity and humor and surprise twists that bring the tale to a satisfying conclusion. A pure pleasure to read."
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