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Lies in White Dresses

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  143 ratings  ·  50 reviews
In the 1940s and 50s, women who needed a fast divorce went to Nevada to live on a ranch with other women in the same boat. This historical novel was inspired by the true stories of those who “took the Reno cure.”

Francie Meeker and Vi Carothers were sold a bill of goods: find a man, marry him in a white wedding gown, and live happily ever after. These best friends never
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
I had heard of the term “the Reno Cure,” but I had no idea what it really was.

In the 1940s and 50s, women sought refuge in Nevada while awaiting a fast divorce.

Francie and Vi fell for the whole fairy tale. If you married, it was a happily ever after situation. They are best friends, on a train together to Reno, sad about the fates of their marriages.

While aboard, they meet June, with her daughter in tow, who is fleeing an abusive husband. A divorce takes six weeks in Nevada, and the three agree
Sofia Grant has written an enlightening and engaging story about a part of history I did not previously know about. In The 1940s and 50s women seeking a divorce would take up residence in Reno Nevada where they could acquire a divorce in six weeks, the “Reno Cure“. This was the story of best friends Francie and Vi Who are traveling together on a train to Reno both seeking a divorce for very different reasons. While on the train they come across June a young lady fleeing an abusive husband, the ...more
Laura • lauralovestoread
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Once again, Historical Fiction has taken me by surprise with a little known fact I knew nothing about. Women in the 40’s and 50’s thought that happiness could only come in the form of a white dress in their Happy Ever After, but what about when marriage didn’t last?

Heartbroken, Francie and Vi discover this very thing, seeking refuge as they await divorce. I loved this story of healing and friendship, and overcoming a hard time in the women’s lives. Again, it makes me grateful to be a woman born
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sofia Grant’s latest historical fiction release is Lies in White Dresses. It is set in the 50’s back when women were expected to get married in a white dress and live happily ever after. Getting a divorce at that time was much different than today – during this time, many women traveled to Reno Nevada and stayed for six weeks in a hotel in order to get their divorce. Lies in White Dresses is the story of three women heading to Reno to get a divorce. Frances & Vi have been neighbors and best ...more
Joan Happel
It is 1952 and two society matrons, Vi Carothers and Francie Meeker, are traveling from their homes in San Francisco, to Reno, Nevada in order to divorce their husbands. While on board the train they meet June Samples who along with her four-year old daughter Patty, is escaping her abusive husband and also seeking a divorce in Reno. The three women check into the Holiday Ranch, where after a 6-week stay women could obtain a legal divorce in a time when most states still did not allow women to ...more
Denise  Reed
This book seems to be wildly popular from the reviews I have read on here; but for me, it was wildly predictable and rather mundane.

I thought the premise was intriguing - a book focused on the "Reno Cure" - a period of time in the 1950's when women boarded trains and headed west on a six-week journey to Reno, Nevada, to take advantage of the state’s liberal divorce laws. The book focuses on three such women, Vi, Francine and June, and their journey to divorce. It is told in alternating POVs and
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally published at Reading Reality

This is a story about secrets, and lies. The lies we live with, and the lies we discover that we can’t. It’s also a story about female friendship and paying it forward and figuring out who we are when we have to stand on our own.

And it’s a slice of a tiny but important portion of women’s history, when divorce, while still not commonplace, and still stigmatized, was at least possible – if you had enough time and enough money – or enough moxie to carry you
Connie Fischer
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Francie Meeker is traveling by train to Reno, Nevada with her friend Violet (Vi) Carothers. Both women will be staying in Reno for six weeks, which will then allow them to get a divorce from their husbands. It is a popular spot for women seeking what is known as “the Reno cure.”

As they head to the dining car, they see a young mother with her little daughter. The woman is being turned away from the first class dining car. Irritated at the slight, Francie insists that they join them at their
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with "The Daisy Children," Sofia Grant uncovers a piece of history that many of us may not be aware and brings it to life. In this case, the "Reno Cure" is featured. Vi, Frankie and June are all waiting for their divorces to be final -- each heartbroken over the turns their lives have taken since they wore their white dresses and said their vows. A pivotal event occurs early in the book that will impact each one of their families in unforeseen ways. Spunky Virgie Swanson was by far my most ...more
Tonya (Rustic Book Reviews)
I am excited to find out that I have won the Goodreads Giveaway for this book! I can't wait to get this book in the mail. I have read so many great books the last 2 months. I love a good Historical Fiction book!!

Goodreads Synopsis:

In the 1940s and 50s, women who needed a fast divorce went to Nevada to live on a ranch with other women in the same boat. This historical novel was inspired by the true stories of those who “took the Reno cure.”

Francie Meeker and Vi Carothers were sold a bill of
Kristina McMorris
Loved getting an early peek at Sofia Grant's latest gem. Here was my quote:

More than a skillfully woven novel, Lies in White Dresses reads like a black-and-white film that pulls you in from the very first scene. The escalating adventures of three women seeking swift divorces in 1950s Reno are propelled by intrigue, charm, and twists that will keep you guessing until the final credits roll. A memorable, atmospheric tale to savor with a friend and a rum-ginger fizz.
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lies in White Dresses begins in 1952. Longtime best friends Francie Meeker and Vi Carothers are traveling by train to Reno, Nevada to take the "Reno Cure." They will spend six weeks at a ranch in Reno in order to complete residency requirements for a divorce. On the train they meet a young single mother, June Samples, with her daughter Patty. June is a financially struggling abused wife, also traveling to Reno for a divorce As they settle in at the ranch something unexpected happens that changes ...more
Sofia Grant's Lies in White Dresses takes readers back to 1952, and to a subject that I haven't seen
addressed in a novel before. Do you know about Nevada's residency requirements for people seeking divorces during that time? It wasn't always easy to get a divorce in the U.S. In her author's note, Grant explains that Reno put itself on the map in 1909 by shortening its residency requirements to six months. By the 1950s, that requirement had been shortened to six weeks. The proprietors of the
Leslie Lindsay
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Historical women's fiction set in the early 1950s when women were expected to fall in love, slip into a white dress and live happily-ever-after...but what if they don't?

I've heard of the 'Reno Cure,' before--that is, back in the 1940s and 1950s, women who required a speedy divorce headed to 'ranches' where they were await the six-week residency requirement to file for a divorce. That's exactly what transpires in Sofia Grant's LIES IN WHITE DRESSES (William Morrow, September 2019).

It's 1952 and
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was all a lie. Women were told that if they found a man and got married in a white dress they would have a wonderful life. Francie Meeker and Vi Carothers know this lie all too well. In 1952 they are on a train to Reno, Nevada, for The Reno Cure. Reno passed a law and all women had to do to get a quickie divorce was to stay for six weeks at one of the ranches set-up for women. After six weeks of residency, they went to court and their divorces were finalized.

Francie and Vi, best friends and
C.P. Lesley
Francie Meeker and her best friend, Vi Carothers, bought into the promise offered to middle-class, especially white, women in the mid-twentieth-century United States: find a man with a good career, marry young, stay at home, raise the children, keep house, and all will be well.

By 1952, despite some successes, reality has killed this dream. So at the beginning of Lies in White Dresses—the sparkling new novel by Sofia Grant, who is also the author of The Dress in the Window and The Daisy Children
Nice book. Will probably be well-received in book discussion groups. But underwhelming overall.

Have always heard of Reno, NV referenced for divorce (and gambling), but it never once occurred to me to wonder why it had that reputation. This story explains that using the individual stories of women in bad marriages who, by law, must wait a long time to resolve their situations.

Definitely shines a light on how women still did not have much in the way of legal resources in the first half of the 20th
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Francie and Vi are older, well to do women who are divorcing their husbands. In order to do so they are going to Reno, Nevada, where they only have to stay for 6 weeks and they will be able to obtain their divorce. At least this was a simpler way of dissolving a marriage in the 50ies. These two old friends get on the train and head into the desert. On the way they meet a young woman (June) traveling with her daughter and they befriend her recognizing that she is running from more than just a bad ...more
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the 1950's, women came (or were sent) to Reno, where after establishing six weeks of residency, they could file for divorce from their husbands. Best friends Francie Meeker and Vi Carothers are taking the "Reno cure" when the fairy tale story of "find a man, marry him as a virgin and live happily ever after" that their lives were supposed to follow falls apart. En-route they encounter June Samples and her daughter Patty, also headed to Reno, being ordered back to the part of the train where ...more
Jamie Rutland Gillespie
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book. It is set in the 1950's, when women had little to no rights. The only place for a woman to apply for a divorce was in Reno Nevada, where the divorce laws were much less stringent for a woman wanting a divorce. Two women (Francie and Vi), who have been neighbors and friends for 30 years, both set out to Reno to get divorces from their husbands. Along the way, they meet June and her daughter, Patty. June is also looking to get a divorce from an abusive husband. Vi takes June ...more
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in 1952, Lies in White Dresses by Sofia Grant is a poignant yet ultimately uplifting historical novel.

Best friends for over thirty years, Francie Meeker and Vi Carothers are going to Reno, NV together to divorce their husbands. While en route to their destination, they befriend another divorcee to be, June Samples and her four year daughter, Patty. The three women are trying to make the best of their decision to divorce their husbands, but their futures are a bit uncertain. Vi and Francie
Kathleen Gray
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vi and Francie, best friends and neighbors for 30 years, have finally decided to divorce their husbands; Vi's is a hound dog and Francie's is a homosexual. The fastest and easiest way to do this in the 1950s was to spend 6 weeks in Nevada- in this case Reno. The pair meet June and her little daughter Patty on the train; June's obviously not as wealthy as they are so they invite her to stay with them. The first night, Vi dies- swept into the river. What follows is the story of Francie, Vi, the ...more
Jessica Hughes
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
**received a free ARC for an honest review**

Life in the 40s/50s was much different for women. They were expected to get married young, stay at home and raise the babies and maintain the house, all while turning a blind eye to anything the husbands did on the side. Divorces were taboo and required jumping through hoops of fire if the women were to pursue one...that is everywhere except in Reno. The story follows an unlikely trio of women as they embark out on creating a new life for themselves.
Aug 12, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Life in the 50s for women was very restrictive. They were supposed to marry young, have babies and take care of the home, no matter what their husband did. If they wanted a quickie divorce, they'd go to Nevada, establish 6 weeks residency and leave as a divorcee. Lies in White Dresses is about 3 women who took the "Reno Cure".

Francie and Vi had been neighbors and best friends for years and decided to go to Nevada together to get their divorces. Both are unhappy with this part of their lives -
Amy Broome
Aug 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaaway
Received as a Goodreads giveaway. This book came at the same time as another and as I thumbed through the first few paragraphs, it got set aside. That first bit - and a few other sections - could stand with a bit of careful editing. However, once I got through that convoluted bit, it got better. As a historical fiction piece, this book delivers and I wouldn’t mind having more detail there. I found our three initial ladies quite interesting as each navigated through her own divorce. The author ...more
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won Lies in White Dresses through a Goodreads giveaway and thank Goodreads and Harper Collins for the free copy.
The synopsis for this book reminded me of an old B&W movie, The Women, from the late 30s. The movie has an all female cast with a similar story line involving The Reno Cure.
I loved the characters in this quirky, if somewhat predictable, story about life and death, friendship and kindness. It was a fast paced, very readable story that flowed smoothly. It did take a couple wild
Sharma Brenneman
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
I was thrilled when I won this book in the HarperCollins Publishers Giveaway. The book was eye opening experience to someone of my age who was born in the late 60's. What was suprising to me is how powerless women were in the past. To obtain a divorce when the man was at fault one option was for women to be sent away to Reno for six weeks to expedite the divorce proceedings. Most women in that era stayed in unhappy loveless marriages because they had no power. This book deals with four women ...more
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Just finished reading "Lies in White Dresses" that I won in a recent giveaway. It was a very good book about getting a divorce in the 50s. The characters were all developed well. It was a little confusing in the beginning keeping everyone straight. I wish more detail was given as to why they went to Reno and how the whole process worked at that time. It seems they just had to stay separated for 6 weeks then the divorce was final. I will definitely recommend this book when it is published .
Nov 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: friends, marriage, family
This story takes place in Reno, Nevada in the 1959's, Two dear friends have gone to Reno to get divorces. Along the way, they meet a young mother with her little girl and befriend her. After an unexpected situation, the women band together and try to make the best of a bad situation. There is plenty of turmoil and a lot of back stories but all turns out well in the end.
This is a quick read, great for a long weekend.
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Called a “writing machine” by the New York Times and a “master storyteller” by the Midwest Book Review, Sofia Grant has written dozens of novels for adults and teens under the name Sophie Littlefield. She has won Anthony and RT Book Awards and been shortlisted for Edgar, Barry, Crimespree, Macavity, and Goodreads Choice Awards. Her latest novel, THE DRESS IN THE WINDOW (William Morrow, July 2017) ...more