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Rene Denfeld: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Rene Denfeld



Describe your latest book. The Enchanted is a story narrated by a man on death row. The novel was inspired by my work as a death penalty... Continue »
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The Funeral Dress

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The Funeral Dress Cover

ISBN13: 9780307886217
ISBN10: 0307886212
Condition: Standard
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Reading Group Guide

Please note: In order to provide reading groups with the most informed and thought-provoking questions possible, it is necessary to reveal important aspects of the plot of this novel—as well as the ending. If you have not finished reading The Funeral Dress, we respectfully suggest that you may want to wait before reviewing this guide.

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Silvers Reviews, October 12, 2013 (view all comments by Silvers Reviews)
A child herself, unwed, a baby, no mother, not attending school, working at a sewing factory, an abusive father, and no place to go. How much more could Emmalee take?

Emmalee Bullard quit school because her father told her he was tired of taking care of her, and she needed to get a job. She fortunately was hired at the town's sewing factory and met a wonderful woman, Leona, who treated her like family, but then that didn't work out either for Emmalee.

Emmalee had to make a funeral dress for Leona not long after Leona was going to help her. Emmalee's heart was broken, and yours will break for her as she suffers yet another loss in her life.

You will fall in love with Emmalee, feel her pain, and want to hug her and take care of her. You will want to take her away from all of this.

THE FUNERAL DRESS is about loving someone and wanting to remember them the best way you can. It is about caring for others even if they aren't family. It is about the bond women have for each other. Every part of THE FUNERAL DRESS is simply lovely even though it is sad.

Ms. Gilmore's writing style is easy and beautiful. You will be right there with the characters enjoying their time together as well as being there as they help each other through unhappy times.

This is the first book I have read by this author. It left me with a deep sentiment about the unspoken bonds women have and also with a better understanding of the plight of many women right in our midst.

THE FUNERAL DRESS will leave you with a lingering warmth and concern for the characters as you close the cover. Make sure THE FUNERAL DRESS is part of your "must read" list. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
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The Lost Entwife, September 22, 2013 (view all comments by The Lost Entwife)
I will admit to a bit of hesitancy when picking up The Funeral Dress by Susan Gregg Gilmore. Why? Because I did not have a good experience with Gilmore's previous works and was worried that this one would be the final nail on the coffin for me. Thankfully, I was wrong. Instead of turning me off, Gilmore did something incredible with this story of Emmalee - she tugged at my heartstrings and wrote a story that I just couldn't figure out an ending to - but when I read her ending, it fit well. So, essentially, she wrote something that I totally did not see coming.

I don't know if you have read much in this specific genre but, if like me you have been widely exposed, then let me say that in order to write something that is unpredictable you would have to try really, really hard and, even then, the savvy reader will still be able to figure it out. What Gilmore did with The Funeral Dress was surround Emmalee with so many impossible situations that I found myself all flustered by the sheer amount of bad luck in the poor girls life and could not figure out how things would be different.
Gilmore switches between the lives of Emmalee and Leona, telling two heartbreaking stories about two women who are bound together, even in death. Both stories unfold slowly, but I found Emmalee's the more interesting of the two simply because the outcome of Leona's was already told at the beginning of the story. But what really caught me about this story was that it could be very, very true. There are people like this living here in the States right at this moment - and unfortunately not enough Leona's in the world to help them. The stark reality of this story is what made it stand out for me and, as an awareness piece, I would say that it packs a powerful punch.
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The Lost Entwife, September 22, 2013 (view all comments by The Lost Entwife)
I will admit to a bit of hesitancy when picking up The Funeral Dress by Susan Gregg Gilmore. Why? Because I did not have a good experience with Gilmore's previous works and was worried that this one would be the final nail on the coffin for me. Thankfully, I was wrong. Instead of turning me off, Gilmore did something incredible with this story of Emmalee - she tugged at my heartstrings and wrote a story that I just couldn't figure out an ending to - but when I read her ending, it fit well. So, essentially, she wrote something that I totally did not see coming.

I don't know if you have read much in this specific genre but, if like me you have been widely exposed, then let me say that in order to write something that is unpredictable you would have to try really, really hard and, even then, the savvy reader will still be able to figure it out. What Gilmore did with The Funeral Dress was surround Emmalee with so many impossible situations that I found myself all flustered by the sheer amount of bad luck in the poor girls life and could not figure out how things would be different.
Gilmore switches between the lives of Emmalee and Leona, telling two heartbreaking stories about two women who are bound together, even in death. Both stories unfold slowly, but I found Emmalee's the more interesting of the two simply because the outcome of Leona's was already told at the beginning of the story. But what really caught me about this story was that it could be very, very true. There are people like this living here in the States right at this moment - and unfortunately not enough Leona's in the world to help them. The stark reality of this story is what made it stand out for me and, as an awareness piece, I would say that it packs a powerful punch.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307886217
Author:
Gilmore, Susan Gregg
Publisher:
Broadway Books
Author:
Gregg Gilmore, Susan
Subject:
Literature-Coming of Age
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20130931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
8 x 5.4 x 1 in 0.7625 lb
Age Level:
Literature-Coming of Age

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The Funeral Dress Used Trade Paper
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Product details 368 pages Broadway Books - English 9780307886217 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Emmalee Bullard pays tribute to the dead in a peculiar way--fashioning large wooden crosses together for each member of her community who passes away. When she drops out of school, this craftiness helps land her a job sewing collars at the Tennewa Dressmaking Factory, where she befriends her boss and mentor Leona Lane. One day Emmalee goes into work with stomach pains only to learn she is pregnant later when goes into labor. Forced to live with her abusive father, Emmalee and her newborn's future is bleak until Leona offers up a room her and her husband's trailer for them to stay. In an unfortunate twist of fate the very next day, Leona and her husband die in a car accident. Emmalee mourns the loss of her friend by making her a burial dress , requiring her to leave the baby with estranged relatives for a day. A decision that lands Emmalee in a nasty custody battle with family, and forces her to divulge the controversial identity of the baby's father. Gilmore (The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove) tactfully draws parallels between the two main characters, Leona's life and Emmalee's present — a classic formula that makes for dynamic characters. The friendship between these two protagonists serves as a streak of light in this mainly morbid tale. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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