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Little Black Dress: A Novel

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3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  926 Ratings  ·  180 Reviews
“I’ll read anything by Susan McBride.”
—Charlaine Harris, New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels

“I’m madly in love with this full-of-surprises story about secrets, family ties—and one magical little black dress. One of my favorite novels of the year.”
—Melissa Senate, author of The Secret of Joy

“An enchanting escape into a magical world.”
—M.J. R
...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published August 23rd 2011 by Avon
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Susan
Jun 08, 2011 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
My latest book about two sisters, one daughter, and a magical black dress that changes all their lives forever. It has a bit of history, plenty of mystery, family relationships, and lots of emotion. I hope you'll read and enjoy when LBD is released on August 23, 2011!
Danielle
Busy with life, Toni has everything her heart could desire. A successful growing business, a home of her own and a wonderful man who may pop the question any day. Her only regrets in life revolve around her mother and the separation that exists between them. In many ways the sudden stroke her mother Evie suffers is both a blessing and a curse. Leaving behind everything she loves, Toni returns to her parents home and winery to help her mother heal. The discovery of a magical black dress was the l ...more
Mary Gramlich
Jul 09, 2011 Mary Gramlich rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LITTLE BLACK DRESS by Susan McBride
08/11 - HarperCollins Publishers - Paperback, 320 pages

Do you have to believe in magic for it to happen?

This story is told in two distinctive parts from two unique points of view. You have Evie telling the life and times of her rocky relationship with her sister Anna. We follow this progression in the time frame of the 1950’s and read the lives of these two sisters and how events and decisions made by one can direct the life of the other. While Evie is steady a
...more
Laurel-Rain
Aug 14, 2011 Laurel-Rain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Antonia Ashton has it all: a thriving business in the city of St. Louis, a promising relationship, and some distance from the small town where she grew up. But one night, things go awry when she discovers that her relationship is not what she thought it was.

Back in Blue Hills, Missouri, Evie Ashton, Antonia's mother, is frantically searching for something in her old, dusty attic. She has had flashes of visions and dreams of her long lost sister Anna, and is determined to somehow reconnect with h
...more
Tara Chevrestt
This is a very engrossing read. I found myself wishing I had a dress like this, that conformed to whatever figure I have, that sewed itself up immaculately, and told the future.. but is know the future really such a good thing?

It can affect different people differently as we see here in this novel following the lives of two sisters and a daughter. Evie is the reasonable and smart older sister. She is the "good girl." When her younger sister, Anna, dons a little black future telling dress and jus
...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
“I watched her as she moved, saw the way the dress sparkled…….I thought it was evil at first, what the dress had done to us.” Page 286

A little black dress with plans?

Interesting......but don't we all have a little black dress somewhere? I bet we do, but not sure anyone has a little black dress with plans....well no one except Anna Evans and her sister Toni.

And what fascinating plans they were....they were plans that affected the Evans women from one generation to the next. Its plans were both
...more
Amy
Aug 12, 2011 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW! I would love to have a piece of clothing (of course a dress, I'm so girl) that is magic. However there are advantages and disadvantages to knowing your future. Only if magic was real.

I recommend this book to anyone, of course to all women who have that "black dress" or need to get that black dress (which is me)! How fun, secretive, mysterious, sad, full of love and heart warming, it must be to go back in time, learn more about your family, and put many pieces of your family history back to
...more
Chris
Jul 10, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book and thought  the characters were mostly well developed.  The plot was a bit predictable at times.  The viewpoint of the chapters alternates between Evie in the past and her daughter Toni in the present, and this flowed well.  I think it would be an interesting book to discuss at a book club because most people can relate to family dysfunction to some degree.  This quote will stay with me:  "Sometimes you just have to accept the magic that comes into your life and leave ...more
Elisamarie
Aug 26, 2013 Elisamarie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got this book from a referral on Facebook. When I got it I had no clue it was set in Ste Genevieve, MO so I was pleasantly surprised. It was slow starting for me, and I am so glad I kept reading. It is one of my favorite books this year. I highly recommend it to anyone who has a sister, aunt, mother or family!
Pam
Nov 07, 2011 Pam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book really met my expectations for magic realism that was light, but not fluffy. Told in alternate chapters by a mother and a daughter, this story comes around full circle from the past into the present. Full of secrets and family drama, this book was made even better by the Missouri wine country setting.
P.S. Thanks to the author for creating a main character that is in her forties : )
Teresa
Jan 10, 2017 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting book about a little black dress with mysterious and magical powers of foreseeing the future, both bad and good.

Once again, you are all probably tired of hearing this, it is a story about relationships, my favorite kind of book. The dysfunctional relationship between two sisters and the splintered relationship between a mother and daughter.

As the story opens 71 year old Evie suffers a massive stroke, medically induced coma type stroke. Her 46 year old daughter, Antonia, c
...more
Georgina
Aug 11, 2011 Georgina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As Coco Chanel once famously stated “every girl needs their little black dress” . Well Susan McBride’s new novel Little Black Dress follows this premise but takes it one step further. What if that wonderful little black dress didn’t just make you look and feel amazing it did much more? How much more? Well it showed whoever wore the dress what their future holds. Would Coco Chanel still be telling us all we need our little black dresses if they all did this?

Antonia (also known as Toni), is a succ
...more
Brenda
Nov 20, 2011 Brenda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of two sisters, one daughter and one amazing magical little black dress. Each is affected by the dress in a different way. It seems to be industructable, and fits anyone who puts it on no matter their size, and the magic happens when the dress is on, the person sees bits and pieces of their future as it should be.

Two sisters, one leaves their home on the day of her wedding leaving her groom at the alter and the family forever broken and hurt by that. They have no idea where she
...more
Alice Bola
Jul 07, 2011 Alice Bola rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of the hardest reviews to write are those for novels that I love. Yes, this was a hard one. I was hooked from the very beginning. Little Black Dress has dual protagonists: Antonia, a success business woman in her early 40s who did all she could to escape her small town life, and Evie, Antonia’s mother, a woman loyal to the memory of her family but distant from them.

The novel begins with Evie having a stroke and being put into a medically induced coma. Toni comes to her bedside, full of regr
...more
Lydia Laceby
Jul 18, 2012 Lydia Laceby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally Reviewed at Novel Escapes

Little Black Dress was a great little book with a mysterious little black dress! This story about family secrets captured my attention and I loved the slow reveal over the course of the novel.

I thought the alternating narrative suited this story and kept me intrigued as it passed back and forth from mother to daughter while unravelling their family secrets. There were aspects that I found predictable, which was unfortunate, and took away from the novel somewh
...more
Virginia
usan McBride wrote a perfectly charming romance with a touch of magic. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I loved the concept of a dress with a magical spell.

The story is told by two characters, Evie, the mother and Toni, the daughter.

Toni is having dinner with her longtime boyfriend. She thinks he is about to pop the question but instead he gives her a key to his apartment. Disillusioned, she doesn’t have time to give him an answer when her phone rings. Her mother is in the hospital. She
...more
Michelle
Little Black Dress by Susan McBride is one of those charming but forgettable woman’s lit stories. Revolving around a mysterious black dress and its impact on three members of a family, the dress now falls into the hands of the next generation at a time of another family crisis. Secrets will be revealed, and everyone will find their happily ever after in predictable fashion.

This is not to say that Little Black Dress is a horrible novel that no one should read. It is charming in its own right, as
...more
Julie Failla Earhart


Susan McBride is at her best in the little story about a staple in every woman’s closet: a little black dress.

The story centers around three women, Evie, her sister Anna, and Evie’s daughter Toni. The tale begins when an older Evie climbs out of bed and heads to the attic. She’s in search of something that she hasn’t seen in many, many years: the little black dress that tore her and Anna apart. She dons the dress, then has a massive stroke. Luckily the housekeeper finds her, but the damage is gr
...more
Sarah Beth
Aug 05, 2011 Sarah Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this book as a first reads giveaway on goodreads. First of all, there's no mistaking this book for what it is (chick lit) but it's very good chick lit so I'm giving it a 4 based on comparision to its literary peers.

This book alternates between the perspective of Antonia (Toni) and her mother Evie. They have a damaged relationship, complicated by the relationship between Evie and her sister, Anna. The three women in this family are all linked by a magical little black dress that reminded m
...more
Samantha March
Aug 23, 2011 Samantha March rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love me some books with a magical twist to them. And Little Black Dress by Susan McBride delivers just that in her latest, and spectacular, novel. Even though I appreciate a good paranormal twist in books, sometimes they can be hard to achieve. But McBride manages to pull it off, all while delivering an emotional story that had me cheering and crying at the end. The main character is Antonia Ashton, a workaholic who is forced to move home to Blue Hills after her mother, Evie, suffers a stroke. ...more
Angela Risner
Jun 03, 2012 Angela Risner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had not read any of Susan McBride's books before, but I have to say that I will be checking them out after reading this one.

Antonia (aka Toni) is a successful event planner with her own business. Her boyfriend seems on the verge of proposing, when her mother suffers a stroke. Toni heads back to her hometown to be at her mother's side.

While there, she finds the little black dress that her mother was wearing when she had the stroke. When she puts the dress on, she is amazed at how the dress fits
...more
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
Who would have thought that a little black dress could have so much hold and influence over women of multiple generations? As Antonia returns home when her mother has a devastating stroke, she begins to discover secrets about her mother's past and her mysteriously absent Aunt Anna. Central to that past is a beautiful, black silk dress with a magic all its own. When Toni wears the dress, she discovers its power for herself in ways she's not quite ready to accept, but she soon realizes the dress h ...more
Stacy
Nov 13, 2012 Stacy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Toni owns her own business planning celebrations, but on the night she expects a wedding proposal, she is disappointed. To make the night worse she also receives news that her mother has had a stroke and is in a coma back in Blue Hills, Missouri. Toni heads home to be with her emotionally distant mother and finds questions about her mother and family she’s never known.

The chapters alternate between Toni and her mother’s life. Anna grew up with family drama of her own, drama that led to the disco
...more
Nancy
Aug 05, 2011 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-read
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. I'm so glad I did, I loved it!

Two sisters whose lives seemed forever intertwined are torn apart when a magical little black dress gives each one a glimpse of an unavoidable future.

Antonia Ashton has worked hard to build a thriving career and a committed relationship, but she realizes her life has gone off-track. Forced to return home to Blue Hills when her mother, Evie, suffers a massive stroke, Toni finds the old Victorian where she grew up as crammed
...more
Beverly Diehl
Jun 24, 2012 Beverly Diehl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two sisters and a daughter - or is it a niece? - and a magic dress. We have a mother, Evie, suffering a stroke, her daughter Toni coming home to care for her, and a missing aunt, Anna. It turns out that a certain magical black dress is at the root of all mysteries - and solutions.

When you don the dress, it not only fits perfectly and in a flattering manner, regardless of your size and shape (which in and of itself it pure magic) but it gives you a glimpse of the future. Once you've glimpsed the
...more
G
May 08, 2011 G rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Susan McBride, you had me at Coco Chanel.

“A woman without a little black dress has no future.” -Coco Chanel

And so begins the charming and magical tale of Little Black Dress: A Novel, that takes place in the great “Show Me” state of Missouri and spans over the lifetime of three woman–two sisters, Evie and Anna, and Evie’s daughter, Toni. It is a story about fate, magic, and betrayal, family history and dark secrets, about living through sorrow and loss, finding love where you least expect it, an
...more
Christine
Feb 26, 2012 Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
I really enjoyed "Little Black Dress" by Susan McBride. It was a quick, page-turning read. This story is about three women, two sisters and a daughter, and a little black dress. Each chapter alternates between Evie and Toni's point-of-view. Evie's point-of-view takes place during the 1960s, while Toni's is current day.



Evie's sister, Annabelle, is the first of three women to experience the power of the dress, which when one of them puts it on, fits perfectly and shows them a brief vision of the f
...more
Marla
Mar 19, 2012 Marla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable book. Had I been able to, I would have read this in one sitting. This book is about a magical little black dress. It's about sisters. It's about relationships. It's about how one choice you make can have a domino affect on other people's lives. It's about the path other people think you should be on might not be the right path for you or for everyone in the future. This book goes back and forth between Evie and her daughter Antonia (Toni) telling the story. Evie the past and Toni ...more
Laura Spinella
Oct 02, 2011 Laura Spinella rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Little Black dress is a charming and thoughtful read, using the premise of an heirloom dress that predicts the romantic future for each of the main characters, Toni, Evie and Anna. The book is told from the alternating points of view of Evie and Toni, with Anna intertwined in both women’s lives. The dress offers the wearer an unalterable glimpse of what’s to come, in addition to looking stunning on three different women—really, what more could you ask of staple evening wear? Well, of course ther ...more
Tammy O
Sep 19, 2011 Tammy O rated it really liked it
Enjoyable story. It was especially fun for me to read because I grew up near Missouri and have German heritage...how fun to read references to Sarah Bernhardt (my Dad's middle name) and find Dittmer ladies (my Maiden name) in a book. I would have loved it even if the story was bad--but it wasn't. I liked the way Evie's story continued throughout the book, slowly revealing Antonia's story. And of course the "little black dress" was fascinating--I wanted to read even more about it. I always enjoy ...more
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Win 1 of 3 copies of Little Black Dress by Susan McBride 2 9 Aug 29, 2011 12:03PM  
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Susan McBride is the USA Today Bestselling author of Blue Blood and five more award-winning Debutante Dropout Mysteries from HarperCollins, including The Good Girl's Guide To Murder, The Lone Star Lonely Hearts Club, Night Of The Living Deb, Too Pretty To Die, and Say Yes to the Death. Susan has a second bestselling series with HC/Avon, the River Road Mysteries, that include To Helen Back, Mad as ...more
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