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

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  1,231 ratings  ·  289 reviews
The New York Times bestselling journalist and author of The Girls from Ames, Jeffrey Zaslow, takes us to a multi- generational family owned small-town bridal shop to explore the emotional lives of women in the 21st century.

You may not have heard of Fowler, Michigan, much less Becker's Bridal. But for the thousands of women who have stepped inside, Becker's is the site of...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published December 27th 2011 by Gotham
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Nancy
When I reviewed Jeffrey Zaslow's book The Girls From Ames, I liked it (very much, as a matter of fact) but was surprised about how little of Jeffrey Zaslow leaked into the content of the pages. The Magic Room is quite different: although Zaslow does not talk about himself and his daughters except in the preface, his tenderness for parents and daughters seemed to infuse warmth and grace into the stories he tells.

The Magic Room in question is a softly lit, mirror-filled room in Becker's Bridal, a...more
Lizz
First of all let me just say that I don't give 5 stars out lightly. When I first started on Goodreads I handed them out happily to every cute book I read, but then that left nothing for books that I found to be truly exceptional. This is one of those books. I have to confess that I love weddings, the dresses, the cakes, the invitations, the drama and the pageantry, all of it. I've been married two times, and neither wedding was anything like the wedding that my mother and I used to plan while ly...more
Roxanne
Immediately after finishing this book I learned that Jeffrey Zaslow died on February 10, 2012. He lost control of his car and was hit by a semi on a snow-covered road in Northern Michigan.

He leaves his wife and three daughters behind.

The Magic Room was written specifically by Jeffrey Zaslow to help all of us understand the best way a father can show his love to his daughters. Zaslow's wife Sherry gave Jeffrey the "wedding dress" theme with which to write his book.

I have such a heavy heart knowi...more
Sue Avis
This book is the story of a small, family run bridal shop in Michigan which has served the Midwest for nearly 80 years. Not only does it tell the story of the history of the shop and it's owners, but
also tells us about the brides-to-be who come to buy their dresses. All their stories are different, of course, and nearly all the brides the author chose to write about have overcome some kind of adversity or
have a unique story to tell. But all the stories share the common thread of the strength of...more
Amy
A quaint little shop where I bought my wedding dress. I do remember feeling like the only woman in the world when I stood in the magic room with my mom looking over my shoulder.

The stories were moving especially when you had some connections to the characters (albeit it not close connections--such as our nursing supervisor's sister Julie or Meredith who worked at Wolverine which is where my parents worked until they retired). Every girl has a story and you just never know it most of the time.

Bro...more
Janssen
I thought this might be a cheese fest, but it was really SO interesting and occasionally quite moving. Full review here: http://everydayreading.blogspot.com/2...
Cornmaven
This book was so much more than I thought it would be. I expected some nice, poignant stories about brides who come to Becker's Bridal in Fowler, Michigan to pick out their dresses. A lot of awwwwws and moist eyes. Instead, I got some very interesting sociological observances about how our society has changed over decades and decades. I got stories about the bridal store's owners, their various histories, which were almost pure paradoxes when set up against what the store is selling: the promise...more
Christi
Don't judge a book by its cover. Or maybe the lackluster cover is a good reflection of the shop featured in the book. From the outside, the former bank building that houses Becker's Bridal is nothing fancy. But inside are thousands of wedding dresses, a staff with decades of experience, a mirror that has captured the reflection of hundreds of thousands of future brides, and countless stories.

The introduction did not grab my attention and was pretty weighty. I kept on reading. Once the first chap...more
Alice
Let me start this review by telling you that I got married 10 days after we decided to tie the knot. The day after deciding that we didn't want to wait any longer, I ran into a local wedding-dress shop and asked for something simple and cheap. I tried on one dress off the clearance rack and said "I'll take it." I shopped alone and I called my then non-official fiance (he never really proposed) and asked him if he would o.k. me using $200 from my paycheck to buy the blasted dress.

I felt it approp...more
Nancy Kennedy
I'm about halfway through and I've been so moved and uplifted by the stories in this book that I don't want it to end. Every mother and father of a daughter would enjoy the heck out of this book. The author is a columnist for the Wall Street Journal (of all things) but it turns out he was "Ann Landers" for about 15 years, so he's heard it all! The actual Magic Room is actually a converted bank vault with a pedestal, beautiful lighting and infinity mirrors at a wedding store in Fowler, Michigan....more
Elizabeth
Just read this for the BlogHer book club, my review will be up on my book blog end of December. Interesting book.
Shirley Freeman
I've always enjoyed Jeffrey Zaslow's human interest articles in the WSJ and I loved his collaboration with Professor Randy Pausch on The Last Lecture. So when I saw this book in the bookstore, I wanted to get it but talked myself out of it the first time. A few days later, I was very saddened to see that Zaslow, age 53, was killed in a car accident while on his way home from a book promotion visit. It seemed especially sad since the book is about the love we, as parents, wish for our daughters-a...more
Mamers
4.5 Stars

This book made me tear up no less than ten times and at first I couldn't decide if this was because of the touching stories or because I knew the author would never get to walk his daughters down the aisle for their weddings. I've decided it was both and that almost makes me love it more. I also must add that I'm from Grand Rapids, MI, so some of the stories hit pretty close to home. I'm one of those crazy people who has a hard time separating her love for nostalgia from her intellect...more
Susan
"The Magic Room" is named after a room in Becker's Bridal, a shop in tiny Fowler, Michigan. The magic room's walls are covered in mirrors and soft lighting, and prospective brides step onto its pedestal to determine whether or not a specific wedding dress is "the one." This book tells the tales of several brides, most with heart-wrenching stories on the way to the altar: one was in a serious car wreck that mangled one hand and part of her face. Another waited 40 years to marry. Another waited un...more
Jeannie
I am saddened that the author passed away! Although the stories about the brides weren't "unique" or "astounding" in any particular way, I enjoyed this book for its statistics and facts. I liked the different stories of each of the girls, and I could see them each categorized as a genre of women in our day. I enjoyed the hard work ethic of the owner and that she managed the shop from several generations ahead of her own family. This brought back memories of when I worked at my own parents' resta...more
Sarah
In a small town in Michigan, there is a room. This room is on the second floor of a bridal shop that's been a cornerstone of Maine Street for decades. This room is lovingly called the Magic Room and this is where generations of future brides have looked upon themselves in the dress they have decided is the perfect one.

Zaslow seems to have made his writing career by focusing on stories that are intended to pack an emotional punch - he was the coauthor of "The Last Lecture" and wrote another book...more
Carol
The Wedding Dress! Three simple words packed with such feeling, mystique and expectation.

Many of us, the female persuasion, have thought about our wedding days from the time we were little girls. Though The Dress was not high on my list, I can appreciate its significance in the wedding plans.

In a series of essays, Zaslow, the father of three girls, brings to life reflections on love, using the backdrop of Becker’s Bridal in Fowler, Michigan. He describes Fowler as a town with 1,100 residents an...more
Emily
Jeffrey Zaslow has written a book capturing women and their families as they embark on buying a wedding dress / marriage at a small town shop, Beckers Bridal, in Fowler, MI.

As soon as I saw this, I had to read it. I went to Becker's to try on dresses for MY wedding. While, I did not end up getting a dress there, I will say the shop is super cute and completely overwhelming with the amount of gowns! I think I tried on 3 or 4 there and wasn't impressed and so we continued on to a couple other sho...more
Diane
The Magic Room is located in a bridal salon in a small town in Michigan not far from Detroit. This particular store is a destination stop for brides throughout the Midwest. But this story is not the story of bridezillas and their families as they are portrayed on television. This book goes into the back story of a number of young women who are arriving at this particular moment in their lives (impending marriage) surrounded by love in all its many forms. Some have gone through hardship to arrive...more
Joanne
The Magic Room is a former bank vault upstairs at Becker's Bridal. Shelley Becker, the owner, has purchased the business from her mother, making her the fourth generation owner. Shelley created this magical room for brides to enter, wearing the gown that they have chosen for their special day. The room has a pedestal in the middle and is surrounded by mirrors, so the bride can catch herself at all angles and feel very special.

Becker's Bridal has been open for business since 1934 in Fowler, Michi...more
Lisa
This was a nice glimpse into bridal store culture. It made me think about the various stores I visited looking for a wedding gown. At the time, big, pouffy dresses were in, when all I wanted was a simple A-line dress. I had to travel 1.5 hours away to find my dress, which was a pain for alterations! I remember the differences among shops, how some wouldn't let me look at dresses myself, and overall, how proprietary the staff was.

Becker's Bridal is truly one of a kind. I wonder if this book has r...more
Stephanie
This is not typically the type of book I'd seek out - a somewhat sappy, overblown tale of the magic of wedding dresses, as seen through the eyes of 8 brides who journey to the "magic room" at Becker's Bridal, a family-owned business since 1934 in rural Michigan, to try them on. However, I've enjoyed Zaslow's previous books and reading this became all the more poignant knowing he had been killed this past February in a car accident while on tour for the book. He ends the book talking about the po...more
Kricket
mixed feelings about this book, which could have been aptly titled "chicken soup for the stereotypical michigan bride's soul." one day it was on the hold shelf for me, and i hadn't even remembered putting it on hold. but it takes place in a family owned bridal store in michigan, and the author died shortly after its publication...so i guess that explains my interest (ie i like michigan and also i'm morbid.)

zaslow follows a handful of engaged white ladies shopping for dresses at becker's, the af...more
P
I put this book on my "to-read" list as soon as I saw it. I read The Last Lecture and The Girls from Ames and I really enjoyed Jeffrey Zaslow's storytelling. Then the oldest of my three daughters got engaged and suddenly this moved to the top of my list. As usual, Zaslow's ability to find the real stories of the people in his books makes for a terrific read. When I went dress shopping with Tess, I was in the middle of the book. Enjoying the experience with all three of my girls, while mourning t...more
Madison
Ehh. I thought the book came across as critical of the younger generation of brides (anyone under 30). I'm not sure if it was Zaslow's view or Becker's view but a good portion of the book was spent talking about how times have changed for the worse. Brides no longer have respect for their mothers (i.e. Mothers no longer pick dresses for their daughters and sometimes daughters don't care if their mom likes their dress or not), brides are so self- absorbed (i.e. they spend hours trying on multiple...more
Pr Latta
We all come to the idea of weddings emotionally. In addition, Zaslow's introduction tweaked my tear ducts with his obvious devotion to his three daughters since we know he died suddenly. I'm not a real wedding person -- I didn't have a hope chest or have my wedding planned out before I had a fiance and, in fact, would have eloped if my husband of almost 34 years and I figured our families would never meet if we didn't have a wedding. The text, while well written and engaging, just never caught m...more
Lynda
I love the concept which I won't reiterate here since so many others have described it already.
I would not be critical at all if this was a novice writer. But I understand Mr. Zaslow was (before his untimely death this year) an accomplished writer and journalist for the Wall St. Journal. This book felt like too much of something and not enough something else. Weeks after I read it, I still can't put my finger on what that something is. Of course, I loved the insight into the brides' lives, the i...more
Sarah
I loved this book. It was like "Say Yet To the Dress" in a small town. Everything I love and hate about weddings all rolled into one delicious non-fiction read. Sometimes true stories are better, and this book that is certainly true. It made me homesick for growing up in a small town in the middle of Michigan. There is nothing better.
Laurel
Not at all what I expected. A bittersweet and moving read rife with both historical info and personal narratives.
Anne
Jul 30, 2012 Anne added it
Local story of the owners/customers of Becker Bridal
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Through his Wall Street Journal column and bestselling books, Jeffrey Zaslow has told the stories of some of the most inspirational people of our time.

The Last Lecture, written with Randy Pausch, has been translated into 48 languages, and was #1 on best-seller lists worldwide. Five million copies have been sold in English alone, and the book has remained on The New York Times best-seller list for...more
More about Jeffrey Zaslow...
The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women and a Forty-Year Friendship Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters Tell Me All About It: A Personal Look at the Advice Business by "the Man Who Replaced Ann Landers" The Last Lecture O Momento Mágico

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