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The Dress

(Everyday Magic #1)

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3.42  ·  Rating details ·  1,509 ratings  ·  162 reviews
Meet Ella and her mother Fabbia Moreno who arrive in York, one cold January day, to set up their vintage dress shop.

The flamboyant Fabbia wants to sell beautiful dresses to nice people and move on from her difficult past. Ella just wants to fit in. But not everyone is on their side.

Will Fabbia overcome the prejudices she encounters? What's the dark secret she's hiding? And
...more
Kindle Edition, 193 pages
Published September 24th 2011 by Ruby Slippers Publishing
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Average rating 3.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,509 ratings  ·  162 reviews


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Lina
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, en-inglés
The Dress is a short candy that makes you enjoy and taste it like a sweet. It reminds a little bit to Chocolat, with the same magic and the same nice characters. The most important thing in this romance is not what happens but how Sophie Nicholls tells the story.

Beautiful.
Artemiz
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, netgalley
The Dress by Sophie Nicholls is for me mix of book The Dressmaker and a movie Chocolat (I have not read book Chocolat so I can not say, it was like the book). And somehow, this book had The Casual Vacancy feel too. So little bit from here and little bit from there, a bit interesting, a bit romantic, but not really very engaging.

The story is about mother and daughter, Fabia and Ella, who have just moved to York, Fabia opens vintage dress shop and Ella goes to new school. Fabia is a bright spot in
...more
Kel (Faerie-bookworm)
Oct 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2011, ebooks
It was different, at times I forgot that it wasn't based in history. The characters really drew me in and I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. I would love to read more about Ella and her mother Fabbia. Made me want to check all my clothes to see if there were any words stitched into the seams.
Sarah
Nov 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016-books, book-club
Nothing much really happened in this book, apart from towards the end. The Signals were never really explained (although this may happen in the second book), and it just left me with a sense of dissatisfaction.
Jody
Jul 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review first posted on my blog 'A Spoonful of Happy Endings': http://spoonfulofhappyendings.blogspo...

Fifteen-year-old Ella and her mother Fabbia Moreno have left their life in Eastbourne behind to start over in York, where Fabbia has plans to start her own vintage clothing store. Fabbia has always had a love for glamour and beautiful clothes and loves nothing more than to share her passion with others and help them pick out the right outfit. Ella can’t help but struggle with her mother’s person
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Angela Holtz
Jan 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
From Lilac Wolf and Stuff

This cover caught my eye, it's so classy. And you know how much I love chic-lit. It's not without it romantic moments, but that's not the driver of this tale. This story is centered around Ella and her mother Fabbia. Fabbia is originally from Iran and Ella is the daughter of Fabbia and her Italian husband, Enzo.

Enzo died many years ago, so he isn't in the story. Fabbia and Ella begin this tale in York where they arrive to open a vintage shop. It's Fabbia's dream, but she
...more
Lucy
Jul 25, 2016 rated it liked it
So, I read this book days after I'd bought a 1970s long, brown pinafore with a orange flower print and a rather dramatic frill. Off the hanger it looks rather limp and disgusting, but on me it looks rather avante-garde and pretty amazing. So yeah, you could say I'm into vintage fashion.

However, I didn't read this book and become amazed that it was better than I expected, like the pinafore, but rather the opposite. This book is not a terrible book, it's just a bit, well, forgettable, and it's som
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Liza
Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: e-book, fiction, 2013
I was expecting something bigger. I don't know why; this is the second book by Sophie Nicholls I've read. The ending did not connect with the rest of the book. Perhaps it was meant to be understated, but? It was disappointing. The book itself had rich details and I enjoyed it, but then, somewhere towards the end, nothing connected, and... I feel like I'm waiting for the real ending.

Thought about it a few more minutes, and decided that there were too many loose ends. Why was Eustacia's letter int
...more
Sabrina
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is nothing like I was expecting. The description is quite misleading as the story really is not centered around a particular dress. The mentioned dress could be one that comes near the end but it still wasn't featured much. I thought the writing was good, but didn't feel like there was much of a story to the book at all. There is a secret hidden but no real urgency to it. I kept forgetting about it until reminded now and then. When it comes you wonder why it was such a secret in the fi ...more
Angelnet
Jan 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really want a shop like this to browse around and more than anything I want inspirational words secretly sewn into the seams of my clothes.

Amazon lumps this book in the Romance category which is a huge injustice as it is much more than that.I'd love to read more about Fabbia's earlier life in both Iran and Paris.
Izabella (Pages Full of Stars)
I had a bit of a rocky start with this book, picking it up and putting it down only after a few pages, because it seemes so much like Chocolat by Jacqueline Wilson, I couldn't believe it. But thankfully I gave it a second chance and it developed into an amazing, compelling story.

This book tells a story of a mother and daughter moving to a new place and trying to settle down, in a society that doesn't always accept strangers easily. After my initial frustration with how some elements seemed taken
...more
G.J. Minett
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A warning first of all. This novel possibly won't appeal greatly to thrill-a-minute seekers who take their pleasure from bite-sized chapters, frantic action and cliffhanger endings every five pages. I read a lot of novels of that particular genre and had a few reservations about taking on 'The Dress' because vintage fashion and hints of magic realism press very few buttons for me as a rule. It came with a strong recommendation however and I was ready for a temporary break from world-weary detect ...more
Kristen
Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is fast becoming one of my favourite series of the year. I love the feirceness of the beautiful moms and daughters in this story. I love their passion, their magic, their love and acceptance of each other.
So keen to read more about Farah and Ella! They're just magic.
Eustacia Tan
Dec 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook
When I got this ebook from Ms Sophie (Librarything Giveaway), I was told that "there's a little surprise waiting for you in the pages of The Dress." Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed. In Chapter 10, a character Lady Eustacia Beddowes is introduced! How psyched was I? Very! My name is rare enough that it's hard to find it mentioned in a book. Plus, I become a "Lady".


But I'm sure no one is going to rush out and get it just because my name is there, so here's my hones opinion: even if my name
...more
Sarah
Jan 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chick-lit, kindle
Well, this book was simply beautiful, I loved everything about it. Nicholls' writing style was wonderfully clear and easy to read, the story was compelling and the future for the characters of Fabbia and Ella looks bright - there seems to be so much more to explore with them.


The story is set in York, and the character of Fabbia is a dress maker. The way that Nicholls writes about and describes the dresses and garments is beautiful. This really hit a chord with me, as in the past year I've begun
...more
Laura
Jan 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A.B. Shepherd
Oct 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Three and 3/4 stars for this one.

Sophie Nicholls was kind enough to send me this book to read and review. Thank you Sophie!

The Dress starts out as a sweet, gentle story of a vibrant, exotic mum who opens a vintage dress shop, and her self-conscious teen-aged daughter - the new kid in town who is having trouble figuring out where she fits in. The first half of the story continues in this vein as we get to know Fabbia and Ella. Enjoyable reading.

About half way through things take a slightly darker
...more
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
I bought this book because it was sold in Amazon's Science-Fiction & Fantasy category but it is neither. It definitely belong to the women's fiction or chic lit category, which I rarely read and very seldom enjoy. I did give this book a try but just found the story boring and the characters uninteresting. ...more
Ivana
Mar 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: drama
An okay book, that's all I can write about this book and story.

It has some really good and interesting elements, I liked Ella and Billy and was interested to see where there story would go. But it also has some parts that, for me personally, weren't very interesting, like Fabia's memories.

So, I'm not very unhappy that I've read this book, but I'm pretty sure there won't be a second read.
Aunty Janet
Dec 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story. Beautiful descriptions of fabrics, vintage clothes, great characters and a sprinkle of magic. The story somehow suited my mood and I was sorry when it ended. I look forward to reading more by this gifted author.
Donna
Nov 27, 2015 rated it liked it
I really wanted to like this book. I have a soft spot for dressmaker stories, and the details and imagery in this book are lovely. But the story doesn't GO anywhere, and my interest finally waned and withered before I finished.
Meredith Morrison
Oct 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was a very charming book, I really enjoyed it! I will definately be reading the spin-off series when it comes out!
Claire
Oct 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
A dress-making version of Chocolat. Light, frothy, the perfect book to see me through a cold.
PrettyFlamingo
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
WHY is everyone spelling the lead character's name incorrectly, including Goodreads? It is FABIA. Like the Skoda car! Anyway, back to the book.

I read this almost straight after The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna van Praag and although it had similarities (a present day setting which felt further back in time, a little practical magic stitched into the dresses, romance) there were enough differences (main character with secrets) to remind me I was reading a different book.

Fabia (with one "b") Mor
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Kathleen Jones
Feb 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Of course, as it implies in the title, ‘It all began with a dress....’ This is an unashamedly romantic novel - romantic in the best sense - not really a love story, but a novel that has a deep belief in the intrinsic goodness of individuals, that ‘all manner of things will come to good’ in the end. It’s also a coming of age story, about a young girl of mixed heritage, whose life so far has been nomadic, finding out who she is and where she belongs.

But it was the writing, rather than the plot su
...more
Michelle
Aug 26, 2017 rated it liked it
This story is mainly told through Ella's eyes. She's a teenager and has just moved with her mom Fabia. They open a special little vintage shop and Fabia also does some alterations and designing of her own. They both have a bit of their family's magic, Fabia's magic is something she uses in her designs.

But Fabia keeps her past very secret. She fears for her safety and Ella's.

I read this book fairly quickly but I struggled to get very involved in the story.
It's a magical dress shop, why didn't I
...more
Adzuki
Jun 11, 2018 rated it liked it
The book started with a promising storyline. A stylish widow with a teenage daughter moves to a new village in the UK to start a vintage clothing store. She has a complex, tragic past, which is slowly revealed. Her daughter senses she may have some magic like her mother, as she starts to experience unusual insights and awareness of the people around her. The third person narrative is changed into the first person narrative in the last quarter of the book to the daughter's point of view. This is ...more
Sultana
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story is based around a woman and her teenage daughter who move to York and open up a vintage clothes shop.

Generally this was a lovely story with just a little touch of magic that was nice to read. I would definitely recommend that you give this book a go if you like contemporary fiction with a bit of a difference.

I would definitely try more books by this author in future. The characters are so real you can see them which is what I love in a good book.

I have always loved a book with a lit
...more
Zoë Marie
I was so looking forward to reading the book I was promised by the blurb - a story of magic, secrets and romance set in the beautiful, mysterious, historic city of York, and interwoven with the magic of dressmaking.

What I read was a watered down, soppy, lazy teen love story, which attempted to explore heritage, but only when it suited, and hinted roughly at magic but then never explained it utilised it. The revelation at the end came from basically nowhere, and I felt awful for not caring about
...more
Heather
The Dress was a gentle novel, although a fairly slow read, and each chapter felt like a little story in itself. I enjoyed how the plot was woven around vintage fashion. Thanks to Fabbia's knowledge of clothes and with a touch of magic she was able to make the women who entered her shop feel special. In this way the book reminded me of Chocolat. Overall, a light, forgettable Chick Lit novel.
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Sophie Nicholls is a best-selling author and an award-winning poet based in York in the North of England.

She teaches Creative Writing at Teesside University and is Programme Leader of the MA Creative Writing by Online/Distance Learning.

Other books in the series

Everyday Magic (2 books)
  • The Dream (Everyday Magic, #2)

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