This is the book that I intended to get from the library when I got The Girls From Ames. The Magic Room was suggested by someone, somewhere (I actually think it was Ladies Home Journal editor-in-chief Sally) and is about a bridal shop and girls and getting married. Now, I'm not always sentimental... I sold my wedding dress in an upscale consignment shop. However, I do remember when my mom and I bought it. She and I shopped for my dress... I didn't drag around my entire wedding party. And we tried several places, but ended up in JC Penney's. That's right... I got my wedding dress at Penney's. They were closing down their bridal department way back there in late 1990 and I got my dress on clearance. And when we put it on, we knew. We really just knew. We went someplace else after that, having put it on hold, but of course we went back and got it.
This book talks about that moment for several women. It also throws in some history of the shop and the 4 generations of women that have worked there. And it covers how the bridal gown, in fact the wedding industry has changed over the last 80 years or so. The author also did a fair amount of research that he throws in about marriage, happy marriages, not happy, divorce rates and many other things related to relationships/marriages that you couldn't begin to imagine on which some school out there has done studies. That gets a little dry. And it is obvious that he conducted HOURS of interview that he weaves throughout the book helping to sell the story. It is fascinating, but a bit longish. And I got confused during the read and had to go back and reread old chapters to refresh my memory. He would end chapters talking about a bride in a most abrupt manner. Eventually, he'd return to their story and it took me a bit to catch on to that. So my advice would be to check the table of contents, read the chapters about the store/its owners and then the chapters about the brides, each brides chapters together, then finish the book. Because he does a swell job of tying up the loose ends for us. Or read it front to back like I did. Perhaps your brain is better equipped to remember each bride, their family members, what part of their story you've learned, what you really want to learn etc., than mine was.