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A Modest Proposal (Butterfly Box, #1)
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A Modest Proposal (Butterfly Box #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,866 Ratings  ·  285 Reviews

All my life I had dreamed of changing the ordinary girl's world of fashion by designing modest formal gownsones that you'd actually want to wear. With my super-hero stitching I would save you mothers and daughters crying in dressing rooms over yet another "the straps are just too small" prom dress. Don't worry, I even thought of a catchy tagline for my brand: "Modest Is Ho

Paperback, 373 pages
Published January 28th 2008 by Covenant (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

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Mar 25, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance
A little bit better than expected, not nearly as good as I hoped. I keep on hoping for an LDS chick lit writer who I can really enjoy--a touch of clean, entertaining romance without feeling preachy or religiously overloaded. I realize that faithful religious people make their religion a big, important part of their lives, but I think there's got to be a better balance between gospel topics and other stuff. And most of all, there's got to be some way of writing religion without preaching and feel ...more
Stacey Wacknov
May 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Oh dear. Where to begin...

I picked this up in Salt Lake City, curious to see what makes an LDS-approved fiction book. I am not a chick lit fan, but something about the "girl makes it in fashion in NYC despite challenges along the way" piqued my interest. Plus, you know, the unexplained intrigue at reading such a targeted book.

First, the good: I can see how a devout Mormon woman would LOVE this book. Beyond the uplifting message and fun beach read, I'm sure it's comforting to see character action
Nov 20, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: just-good, lds
There's two phases in my reading career that I often refer to- pre-Book Thief and post-Book Thief. I read this book in both stages. In 2011, I loved it! However, four years later after being exposed to life-changing literature, I can't help, but to feel a little disappointed with the novel. It wasn't as good as I remembered it. However, if you are looking for a fun, light, happy read, then I think this is just the book for you. As cheesy as it was, I couldn't put it down. After four years, Jace ...more
Anneliese Bennion
Sep 18, 2008 rated it it was ok
This was a combination between An Affair to Remember and Sweet Home Alabama. It had a cute plot, for an LDS fiction book. I used to read this genre all the time. However, many years ago I moved on to bigger, better books - usually of the romance genre. This book was ok, but the beginning was slow - so much so that I skipped almost the first 100 pages. After that it gets better. Still, there are things about LDS fiction that is just too cheesy for me. But if you like the genre, you'll love the bo ...more
Mar 27, 2009 rated it did not like it
This is the perfect book to show how NOT to write conversations. My goodness!!!! This book is 300+ pages and it should be about 100. Boring dialog. I couldn't for the life of me figure out why this people were friends-they had nothing in common. If this is going to be a series I suggest she make her story lines less obvious-too skinny=anorexic, husband has a job making "clean" videos=pornography problem, during high school friend goes to visit grandma for several months=she had a baby and gave i ...more
Nov 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
I certainly enjoyed this book. I am still perplexed by some of the unresolved issues, but that is to be expected since this is the first of a series. I'm just sad that I have to wait for the next book! I love this author and I'm glad she has more good books to come.
Mar 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It's sooooo good. I live in St.George at this moment, so when she's talking about what St.George is like, I totally understand. I'm also LDS so I love the story line!
Jun 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
Tried. Couldn't get past the first few pages.
Nathalie S
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
I don't usually like to read LDS fiction but I was needing something to listen to and I decided to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised. The story kept me wanting to hear more.
May 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Finally finished it. Cute enough plot, but very preachy and cheesy.
Nov 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is LDS “chick lit”. This, would be, what I would term a “light read”. I was reading this at the same time as I have been (and am still reading) a serious piece of non-fiction. Both books kept my interest and gave me reading satisfaction. Ms. Bell created a story that provided me with situations and characters that I found endearing and interesting.

Lauren is a 29 year old Southern Utah gal who is living in New York City and working as a designer for a woman who has achieved a recognized nam
Aug 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-reports
I chose to do my book report on A Modest Proposal by Michele Ashman Bell. This story takes place in Manhattan, New York, where Lauryn Alexander works as a fashion designer and in St. George, Utah, where Lauryn grew up and where her friends live. Lauryn is an amazing person. She is kind, hard working, helpful and caring. In the book it describes her as a pretty blonde. Jace is another main character and he is generous, caring, loving and almost perfect. He is a tall brunette with dark blue eyes. ...more
Jul 02, 2009 rated it liked it
The storyline was well conceived, and the author had clear objectives in mind when writing this novel. The idea was similar to Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants i.e. a group of friends that trades a symbolic object. But then the author kept adding more stuff. From prophetic fortune cookies to a mysterious death, the storyline was weakened by the addition of subplots too numerous to mention, many of which remain unfinished. On top of that, the dialogue was pretty weak, both the attempt at witty r ...more
Aug 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
This new offering by Michele is one of my favorites. Michele really knows her stuff and she brings the modesty issue where it needs to be. I really like how she brings this Butterfly Box into the mix. The story is centered around 6 close friends in high school and the tragic accident that brings them even closer and allows them to get together once a year to celebrate their friendship and what matters most in life. Since this is the first in a series, we follow Lauryn in her dreams of becoming a ...more
Maria Thomas
Jul 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: clean, contemporary
I needed a book to listen to while traveling and picked this audio book up from the library. I give it 5 stars for being clean. It was kind of typical Mormon Chick Lit. While the religious side of it wasn't too overwhelming it was definitely there. Maybe because the audio book is abridged, the story didn't exactly fit what I expected from reading the back of the box to get an idea of the storyline but that was okay. I found some things in the story a little predictable but really had a hard time ...more
Jan 05, 2011 rated it liked it
From the time she was in high school, Lauryn Alexander has wanted to design evening wear. But not your ordinary strapless, low-cut type. She wants to design modest dresses that will flatter most body types. Unfortunately, she has been stuck designing outer wear for the past several years, and there doesn't seem to be much hope of advancing beyond that in her current job. Enter an enticing job opportunity from a very well-known designer. Nevermind that something seems a little off--when opportuni ...more
Life doesn't always go as you suspect it to but one group of friends has banded together meeting up every year to remember and celebrate their friendships.

This story is actually part of a series but is able to totally stand on it's own. It centers around Lauryn who is living her dream as a fashion designer in New York- except things aren't always as good as they seem.

The story takes you into her past to show how she ended up where she is and continues to reveal more challenges and struggles with
Jan 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
This author knows how to make you want to turn the page. Her storytelling style is really wonderful.

However, I couldn't say more than this book "was ok" (i.e. only 2 stars) because the plot was barely believable and had some gaping holes where motive should be (the whole rival designer thing was especially flimsy); the time line seemed off (particularly where the main character's fiance was concerned); and I was about to scream from the continual repetition of the nonsense about drapey dresses
Apr 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
I thought it was a cute story (I am a sucker for clean romances), but there were just too many elements involved. There were the friends dealing with a trajedy and all of thier adult problems, and then there was this past boy friend thing going on (The old "If we aren't married by 30 to other people, then lets' meet on the steps of the temple" deal.), and this conspiracy at work going on with the one, and then these multi-layered family problems thrown in. I think she needed to create a series o ...more
Jul 08, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: chick-lit
Like the other books on this shelf, I read this one for research purposes. It wasn't horrible, in that I didn't cringe too often, but it's definitely not stellar writing. It was well-plotted (albeit highly unbelievable, especially the Laslow character), but the dialogue was a little unnatural, and her whole work crisis thing actually didn't make sense at all. It felt like the author was basically saying, "Trust me, these people are bad guys and they're out to get her." Without making it believab ...more
Oct 16, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: lds-fiction
A group of girls who went to high school together meets every year to talk about their lives, their past, and their dreams for the future. "A Modest Proposal" is told through the eyes of Lauryn Alexander, an up-and-coming fashion designer who wants to break into the industry with her own line of modest dresses. Her aim is to show that you can look beautiful and still be modest at the same time, but her big break hasn't come yet.

This book seems divided into two very different segments - Lauryn w
Mar 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, fiction
What a pleasant surprise! The story was cute and entertaining. It's about a group of girls who experienced a horrific tragedy in high-school. To help them cope they invented the "Butterfly Box" where each girl put an item in the box to remind them of the good times they had together. Now that they're older they meet once a year for a little girls only vacation where they get out the butterfly box to reminisce. I liked how the story switched back and forth between the present and the past. It's k ...more
Jan 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
A Modest Proposal, by Michele Ashman Bell, is the first book in The Butterfly Box series. It is about a woman named Lauryn Alexander. Lauryn lives in New York and works as a designer. Her dream is to design modest evening wear, but being modest is holding her back in the fashion world. She has been stuck designing outerwear for years. Finally she gets a new job as an assistant to a big time designer. She thinks this could finally be her chance, but she is finding her new work environment very un ...more
Apr 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Eeee.. where to start. First of all I personally do not think that the title was fitting to the book at hand. In fact in the entire book there isn't even a wedding! SHOCKER I know! And the back of the book totally threw me off there too,
I was under the impression that there was a girl who was going to have to try and find herself a husband. (sounds strange I know) but honestly the storyline doesn't even get semiclose to that topic till about a hundred pages in.
Well I enjoyed the storyline eve
Jul 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Lauryn Alexander loves to design! Her favorite thing to design is dresses but she is at one of the top fashion designing companies in New York and is stuck designing outerwear. She designs dresses with her tagline "Modest is Hottest" in mind. Things just aren't going her way but she is determined that it will all change soon, after all she is almost 30!

Her best friends from high school have a reunion once a year to open their Butterfly box full of memories and hopes. They gain strength from eac
Aug 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
I thought the movie 'The Devil Wears Prada' was a lot of fun. This book provided the same kind of enjoyment for me--a nice, light LDS-fiction quick read.

I liked how there weren't any deep gospel issues trying to be resolved. Well, there are some heavy issues with some of the characters, but there aren't any long passages of quoted scripture, etc. This was in the tone of 'a fun night on the town as a college girl.' Of course the ending is unrealistic and the knight in shining armor is as well, bu
Lacee Lambert
Oct 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
This was a pretty quick little read. A little more geared towards the early twenties group of the population....but the concept of having modest and still georgeous evening wear was very appealing. I only wish the author had thought to include illustrations with this one. Oh well my imagination was sad substitute in this case...I unfortunately know very little about sewing or sewing terminology so I had a very difficult time trying to imagine these gowns. Oh well. Maybe somebody will take a hint ...more
Sara Register
Jan 19, 2009 rated it liked it
I have a love-hate relationship with this book. I really loved getting to know the characters. The author did a really good job of writing her characters so they seemed like real people. I love that. I also liked the story line. It was fun to be transported to the life of a fashion designer in NYC. What I did not like about this book was ALL the references to church. If you're not LDS (Mormon) then you will never understand this book. And yes, I realize that it is written for the LDS crowd, I gu ...more
Jan 07, 2009 rated it liked it
I think that this book has a wonderful concept although when reading it I felt that it went so fast in the beginning it didn't give me enough time to get attached to the characters. Lauryn's beliefs were truly noble and if she were a real person I think she'd be amazing. It was a bit cheesy when it came to the romance stuff the storyline was a bit like Sister's of the Traveling Pants mixed in with My best Friends Wedding. So it was a bit predictable yet an enjoyable light read that I would for s ...more
Mar 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book more than I did. The writing was just 'fair', there was so many details started in this story then it seemed like it was a rush to finish and nothing got 'fleshed out'. Just vague little story lines with not much life in them shoved together into a tidy little book and tied with a ribbon. I guess if this is going to be a series of books some of that may get resolved, but at this point I think it is unlikely that I will read another book in this series. I understand the ...more
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I grew up in St. George, Utah, where a lot of my family still lives, but now reside with my husband and family in the Salt Lake City area. My favorite thing to do is support my kids in their many interests. Between basketball, ballet and piano lessons we squeeze a lot into a week, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
More about Michele Ashman Bell...

Other Books in the Series

Butterfly Box (3 books)
  • Hometown Girl (Butterfly Box, #2)
  • The Perfect Fit (Butterfly Box, #3)

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