Series: Heirloom Secrets #1
Published by Bethany House on December 1, 2020
Genres: Christian, Fiction, Historical
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Harper Albright 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 to sew. As she rethinks her own future, secrets long hidden about Millie's past are brought to light.
In 1946, Millie Middleton 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 and 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.
The Dress Shop on King Street by Ashley Clark is really a surprising novel for a debut. I found it to be an incredible story that is a richly woven tapestry of textures and designs. It has love, racial tensions, and difficulties. It is also about family, about friendships, and so much more.
Harper was such an intriguing heroine. Her lifelong dream of owning her own dress shop is what has kept her going. Then, when that dream is quickly snatched away, she’s left without purpose, not knowing which way to turn. Harper‘s always known, even from a young age, that she wants to be in the fashion industry, and her deepest dream was to own her own dress shop. Then, when she submits a project for review and gets negative criticism, that dream crumbles in front of her very eyes. This causes her to go back to Fairhope, to where her love of fashion and sewing all began. Back to Millie, the lady that taught her to sew.
Clark interweaves this narrative with a historical one revolving around Millie Middleton. She was also an inspiring character. She saw some hard things in her life, and had to make some seemingly impossible choices, and all because of love. It was fairly obvious to me, at least in part, how these two different time periods matched up. I loved getting to know Millie in both time periods. Her history was just beautiful. Seeing her family, her culture, her background, all the details and settings that made her into the woman she became.
The Dress Shop on King Street also includes two sweet love stories. Nothing overdone, but just right. Millie and Harper each have their own, and I loved seeing these grow and develop. Ashley Clark beautifully pulls these two time periods together, one intricate piece at a time, leaving you with bits and pieces of the puzzle to solve as you read.
This story is just an all-around beautiful tale, and I loved it from the beginning to the very end. In the midst of all the hard times, there are those bursts of hope that carry the story through, and keep it moving ever onward.