Katy is a career mum in her 40s who's stressed out, time-starved, and disenchanted with her successful life. She has a handsome husband, a house in London, and two teenage children. Her therapy practice in Harley Street is thriving, but she feels empty and lost. She's forgotten who she is and what makes her tick. An impulsive decision sets in motion a domino effect that changes her life. A series of events, a meeting with someone from the past, and a sequence of numbers, send her on a rollercoaster ride to finding herself. With some trepidation, Katy embarks on a path of spiritual awakening and embraces a new way of thinking.
Bridget Finklaire is an author, teacher and facilitator for change. She has a background and training in psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and healing. She was a professional therapist for 15 years, including 3 years in London's Harley Street. She left her native London in 2012 for the shores of Cape Town, where she now lives with her South African husband.
It's a great page turner offering unusual perspectives from quirky characters and leaves me wondering 'what happens next?'. I found myself immersed in Katy's world and driven by a subjective sense of what she 'should' be doing that's drawn from own personal journey. I think readers will find their own points of relevance in the stories of the characters. A great piece of spiritual journey fiction that I'm sure will find its way into the hearts of the right readers.
What a read .. a very well-written fictional book with many life lessons interwoven. I found I related to so much of Katy's story. Many ah-ha moments and some interesting new perspectives. This book is for anyone who is intrigued about their life and how to make positive changes. It's witty, honest and relatable. Totally loved it!
I absolutely loved this book - I felt like I was the main character as she journeyed through life and integrated her spiritual learnings along the way with her very normal life and relationship struggles. It felt like entertainment and therapy all at one. Highly recommended
Katy has this life that is by all accounts a "success"; one for which she should be grateful! Yet as a professional, a mother, a partner and an aspiring but never quite succeeding superwoman; I relate to her discomfort and disconnection in her apparently successful life; and to the "busyness" that she uses as a distraction from acknowledging her unmet needs. Part romance; part therapy; part self help; it was both entertaining and uncomfortable to follow Katy as she steps into a more intuitive, authentic version of herself; it reminded me so much of my own journey; past, present and future. I loved reading it!!
This is not something I would normally choose to read, but I was hooked. A great story of a woman feeling trapped by responsibility, whilst wrestling with the desire for freedom from a bad marriage. A rekindled old flame that appears to be her salvation is not what it seems and can she find the strength to stand alone without hurting those she loves the most.
Katy is in her 40s and has it all, a good husband, loving kids and a successful career. But she finds a little to no time for herself. This book walks Katy's journey, finding herself, her purpose for life and her higher self. The plot deals with the spiritual development and motivation. The self evaluation and the purpose of life. I liked reading it. Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the ebook in exchange of an honest review.
Thank you to Netgalley and the author for providing me an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.
- mild spoilers below -
From the beginning, this book was not right for me however I’ll begin with the positive aspects of this book before moving on to the negatives.
The chapter lengths and writing style of this book make it enjoyable and an easy read, I managed to finish it in just under 3 days despite not necessarily enjoying it at all. The book flows easily and I personally found it easy to tell between the different POVs and enjoyed the different point of views instead of it being from the main protagonist. That’s where my enjoyment ended.
Red Dress looked like a comfort self-help book with the cover instantly making me interested since it alongside the description seemed motivational and something lighthearted to read that wouldn’t be depressing. I was /extremely/ wrong, this is why people say not to judge a book by its cover.
/All/ of the protagonists were insufferable, with very little redeeming points and although that might be preferable for some, it doesn’t work for me. Katy, the female protagonist came off as a higher class, irritating ‘cool’ mom who feels oppressed because her relationship with her husband has fallen apart and turns to soul searching and therapy to find what she’s supposed to do. The husband Richard, is a stereotypical businessman with a misogynistic outlook that he’s the master of the house and needs attention from his wife. And finally, Tony, the blast from the past who is barely fleshed out and his entire arc felt like some badly paced action movie.
The characters aren’t /terrible/ but the pacing of Red Dress doesn’t do them justice, all of them seem to be constantly whining about things not going right in their life and then expecting them to magically mend themselves. Most of the plot could have been solved if Katy and Richard just tried to actually talk without expecting each other to start.
However, one of the major downfalls of this book is the dialogue. It is so awkward and downright awful at times, it made me consider whether the author has actually had a conversation with a teenager or child or other people at all. It was fine at the beginning, but as the novel progressed it just became even more awkward if possible and despite having so much interest in thought processes and fate, none of this was conveyed through the dialogue: everything felt robotic and fake.
Finally, another one of my pet peeves with this book was the use of terminology as well as putting too much with too little explanation, there was so much obvious extensive research about self-help and the Aura-Soma practices etc yet not much of it was explained clearly so that non-experts could enjoy it as well. Luckily, I already had some knowledge about soul searching topics but for others, it could become really confusing.
Although the book is an easy read, the fast pace of the novel as well as the awkwardness of the dialogue and the bad characterisation makes it really hard to enjoy however, this makes it a little humorous which adds to the experience.
I enjoyed this book immensely as it mirrored my own life journey of seeking meaning and purpose and made me laugh out loud many times! The characters are interesting and well fleshed out. It touches on so many situations and emotions that women encounter through their lives as multi-taskers, homemakers and lovers. It is well written and all round a good satisfying read. I wait in anticipation for the sequel.....
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for a honest review.
When I first read the blurb, I have to say that I was not expecting to reach such a story. While adding spirituality to a book can also add real depth, I found it a bit over the top here and that it was preventing me to fully enjoy the story. Because I did enjoy reading about Katy, struggling in her marriage and going through a life and identity crisis. And I was also interested when Tony and his own issues were introduced. I thought however that the spiritual, and mystical side was getting in the way. I found myself repeatedly skipping paragraphs when Katy was having conversations (sometimes with herself/the Voice) about the True Self, numerology and other concepts, hoping we would soon go back to the story.
I would recommend this book to people who absolutely enjoy reading about spirituality, soul contracts, twin flames, and similar notions.
The main character has the perfect life on the surface- attractive successful husband, 2 kids and successful therapy practice. In reality, she is very unfulfilled in a marriage with no communication or understanding g. She tries a number of new wave therapies to improve her life.
Red Dress provided an interesting blend of spirituality, metaphysics, and mystical aspects combined with the realistic experiences one woman goes through while navigating her modern world. Katy appears to “have it all” with her husband, Richard, yet as with most things in life, looks can be deceiving. Behind closed doors, she feels as though she’s an accessory for her loved ones; someone who is around to tend to their needs, yet no one tends to hers. It’s a big reason she branches out and looks into other ways to gain more fulfillment, and that’s where the mystical aspects come into play.
I felt like I was getting a refresher course in various subjects I’d been interested in decades ago. When Katy learns from something she refers to as “the Voice,” I absorbed the information right along with her! Over time, she starts to see changes in her outlook and the way she perceives her situation in life, but even with that, she fights against it. It was obvious how torn she was between her duty and responsibility to her family, and the newfound respect she’s found for herself–and Richard’s personality and his own secrets made it more than easy as a reader to encourage Katy to stand up for herself and maybe even walk away.
The introduction of someone from Katy’s past was really surprising. Even with the massive green light in allowing the past back in, something kept niggling at my brain, like it was a red flag showcasing major caution. Even though the relationship is described as a “twin flame,” I kept encouraging Katy to slow everything down and be careful. Which I know sounds strange, considering Katy is a character within the pages of Red Dress, but that’s how engrossing it got for me. I wanted to reach right in and grab her by the shoulders, and tell her to tone it down a couple of notches!
My only complaint with Red Dress was the abrupt ending. I wanted more. It felt like there were some unresolved scenarios and the story might have done well with another chapter or two. But other than that, I appreciated the unique perspectives from Katy and the other characters in the book, which led to her spiritual awakening.
I am intrigued by stories about people who do not settle for unfulfilling lives. Things like what drives them to change things; the courage it takes to upend what, in most societies, might appear the ideal life, relationship and/or career; and how they go about trying find happiness and satisfaction fascinate me.
In Red Dress, Bridget Finklaire tells the story of London-based mother, wife and therapist, Katy Stone whose dissatisfaction with life intersects with a series of events and encounters that set her on a path of enlightenment and change. Her lot includes dealing with an emotionally absent, manipulative partner and a moody daughter. Finklaire, who is also a therapist and spiritual teacher, takes Katy (and readers) on an engaging and relatable journey through a series of practices, including yoga, meditation and various spiritual methodologies—all the while maintaining an interesting narrative arc.
Witty, lively and beautifully written, Red Dress is an insightful and enjoyable book. I learned about spiritualism, enjoyed the little gems of wisdom and was happily caught up in Katy’s story and passage to an improved life throughout.
Thank you to NetGalley for providing a digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. On the exterior, Katy appears to have it all - married for a decade to a handsome husband, two children, nice home and a successful career in therapy. On the inside, she's crumbling. She's spread too thin with a busy practice, no help from her husband or children at home and limited time for herself. Thus, she seeks help through therapy from a colleague that ultimately leads her on a spiritual journey. I was only able to get through 31% before deciding to put it down – and I had high hopes for this book! From my summary, you can almost predict the story and assume it would be an easy read with a positive outcome. However, a big part of the writing is around spirituality with various entities and interpretations of this. The author's background is in psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and healing and that definitely shines through. Don't get me wrong, I'm a spiritual person but this is a big part of the book and the topic of spirituality is individual and may not be well received by others.
At first the family life of Katy and Richard seemed to hit home and I could feel myself connecting with the overwhelming lifestyle that accompanies motherhood and that precarious balance of work and life that Katy was juggling. But when Katy starts talking to the mysterious light in the mirror - things took a turn for me. The dialogue of existential crisis between Katy and the energy was arduous and lent more in the "telling" not "showing" the story - and to be honest i was skimming it and still getting the gist.
Sections that were jumping between Richard and Katy were confusing as there wasn't a definite gap between the scene changes and I was left having to re-read to work out where I was.
Things with Tony and Katy were interesting, and gripping - but then left me wondering as it was clipped and no real conclusion.
Red Dress by Bridget Finklaire tells the story of Katy, a 40 something mum on overload, who journeys on a spiritual awakening. I really enjoyed Finklaire's writing style. It's refreshing and added depth, dimension, and texture to the scenes and characters. However, I didn't find any of the characters particularly likeable. While Katy's discontent is relatable, Katy's husband, Richard, was loathsome. Unpleasant, unsympathetic, and generally uncaring. It was no wonder Katy was disenchanted with her marriage. However, it was difficult to connect with her spiritual journey. It was not my cup of tea, especially The Voice. The book "jumped the shark" for me there. In the end, I found myself really not caring how any of it ended up. Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I wanted to start by thanking the author for the ARC of this book. I wanted to start off with the things I liked about this book. Overall, the book focused on personal growth for the main character and shows the hardships working mothers often face. The book continues with Katy's personal development and also takes on a spiritual element. Moving on, I was unable to connect with any of the characters in this book and if I am being honest, I'm not even sure I liked any of the protagonists. Richard was unbelievably misogynistic which made it really hard for me to read this book. I do think that while this book wasn't the right fit for me, it might just be the perfect book for someone else.
Red Dress is a portrait of career-oriented women in the '80s and '90s when being successful in their careers was the most important thing and having the perks that come along with the positions. Every woman had difficulty finding a balance between the office and home, work and family, mother and lover, provider but submissive if needed, and the list goes on. There still are many Kathys in the world and hopefully, they are being able to find their inner balance in a more straightforward way than women in the past. I totally identified with the story and still see much of the dilemma among friends. I downloaded a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
*ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
When I received this ARC through NetGalley, I did not realize how New-Age'y this was gonna get. And sadly, that's really not my type of book. The mirrortalk didn't work for me either. Furthermore, the way Katy and Rick interact from the very beginning made me dislike them both quite alot, which made it hard to want to read on, which combined with the way the POV changed from sentence to sentence threw me off enough to DNF this book.
This book is a very good read, it zips along at a good pace with some twists and turns. Some interesting characters along the way too. Although I don’t think I belong to the target audience, (I am a man), however, I found the book very illuminating and gave a good insight into how women feel. It has helped me to understand my wife’s feelings better. Katy’s experiences with spiritualism is a constant thread, but not a dominating theme. I’ve learned a bit about spiritualism. All in all an entertaining and well written book.
A feeling of disatisfied regret but not sure about what exactly. Katy turns back to her mentor to get to the root of the issue whilst exploring a spiritual path. A name change, old boyfriend contacting her sends her world in to chaos. Which path will Katy choose?
Abruptly Ends I loved the story but hated the abrupt and unresolved ending! It felt like the author just got tired of writing and just stopped mid story! No climax or resolution. That’s poor planning. Is she setting up for a sequel? Ugh!