Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Magic Room by Jeffrey Zaslow

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

I read this review of the book in my local paper and immediately put it on reserve at my local library.  I've been married 3 years this June and still sigh with content when I look at our wedding photos and remember that day. I fell in love with the book cover showing a photo of a bride looking at her reflection in the mirror and sighed again remembering how I felt the first time I tried on my gown.

Jeffrey takes us to a bridal store in a small town: Fowler, Michigan. Becker's Bridal has been in business over 70 years, going back three generations of the shop's current owner. Women from miles away come to Becker's to find THE dress for their big day. Jeffrey slowly tells the history of the shop, while winding in true stories from six different brides that have come to Becker's for their bridal gown. He also tells how the bridal industry has changed, and how women have changed in the way they look for and eventually purchase their gowns. I kept thinking how thoughtful and insightful Jeffrey remained throughout the book; after all, this is a MAN writing about a bridal shop, and dresses and women and so on. (He is a father of three daughters, I later learned.)  The book's title comes from the room designed by the shop's current owner. It is reserved for the bride who is almost certain about the gown she will wear on her wedding day. The room has mirrors all around, a pedestal in the center, and the mirrors give an effect of the bride's reflection going on and on to infinity. There is soft lighting and the entire setup took my breath away  as I read it and quite frankly, I wish I could put on my gown again and have my picture taken in that room! (You must watch the related video on the page and get the full effect!

There are so many reality shows on television now about weddings, wedding dresses, brides, bridezillas, and so on. They show so much materialism, drama and negativity and so little about the romance and love we usually think about weddings. I loved how this book stayed away from those negative influences. Jeffrey wrote the real stories about 6 very different brides, and the real story of the current owner and the real history of the bridal shop. 

I was so sad to learn that the author died earlier this year in a car accident. He was only 53.  I feel so much empathy for his wife and three daughters and especially hope his daughters find comfort in this book for the rest of their lives.

FTC: I checked out this book from my local library.

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