Girls in White Dresses

Brimming with characters you feel you’ve known forever, Girls in White Dresses announces a strikingly original new voice, chronicling the struggles and unexpected joys of modern life.

Isabella, Mary and Lauren’s friend Kristi is engaged and they are all bridesmaids. Despite being happy for their friend, by the sixth shower they are really sick of celebrating her. Saturday after Saturday they coo over toaster ovens and deep fat fryers. They collect wrapping paper and ribbons, tying them to paper plates. But beneath the toasting and clapping, we see these women struggling amid the celebration. Isabella dreams of quitting her job at a mailing list company, where she’s both extremely successful and wildly unhappy. Mary falls deeply in love, realizing too late that her new mother-in-law is really her husband’s favorite. And Lauren, single and adrift, finds herself drawn to a man she’s pretty sure she hates.

Wry, hilarious, and utterly recognizable, Girls in White Dresses follows these women as they maneuver their way through blind dates and ski vacations, boozy lunches and family holidays, through relationships lost to politics and others found in a pet store.

Reviews

Close’s witty voice …  charts the romantic shenanigans of a bevy of New York women in their 20s, before career success or Botoxed foreheads. Dating is a phenomenon to be analyzed in improvised group therapy over cocktails.”
The New York Times
 
“Follows three women and peripheral friends as they alternately flounder and flourish through their 20s. Weddings provide the backdrop as the women feel their way in and out of inert relationships and crappy jobs, trying to figure out who they want to be.”
The Washington Post 

“Remarkably relatable … Close’s debut novel is an addictive, thoughtful slice of life.”
Entertainment Weekly
 
“Close’s sardonic, well-crafted female characters and the all-too-familiar feeling of wedding fatigue will capture a large audience.”
Metro News (New York)
 
“It’s a pleasure to get to know the characters and be able to leave them behind, knowing they’ll keep muddling on toward some version of happiness.”
The Columbus Dispatch
 
“So many books aimed at 25- to 35-year-old women say they perfectly capture the angst and soaring joys of post-college life, but Girls in White Dresses truly does. Told in intersecting stories of a group of friends, Close is able to nail the complexity of the times—who to date, what job to take and what to wear to the endless weddings.”
Metro News (Toronto)
 
“[Close] turns her wry sense of humor toward the showers, dresses and expenses, instead of the actual ceremonies…. Reading each story feels like catching up with an old friend… . Although the majority of the stories are humorous, they are never mean-spirited, and the friendships Close portrays feel incredibly realistic.”
National Post

“Close straddles the line between melancholy and breeziness as she chronicles the exploits of recent college grads trying to make it in New York City … Hints at something deeper and truer: not just the adventure of being young, but the unmooring of it, too.”
—Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

“Anyone who has seen The Sound of Music—that is, everyone—will likely recognize the title of Jennifer Close’s Girls in White Dresses as a certain Oscar Hammerstein lyric. But given the tone and tenor of this debut novel, it shouldn’t surprise that the reference isn’t particularly affectionate… . Close, who is 32, captures the extended post-collegiate ennui associated with her generation… . Quite endearing.”
—Elysa Gardner, USA Today

“Mixed in with the trials and tribulations of the protagonists are humorous vignettes from the lives of some of their other friends and acquaintances—many of whom are on their way to the altar or trying to find a way to get there. This series of linked short stories is reminiscent of Melissa Bank’s The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing. Close’s debut novel will appeal to both fans of contemporary women’s fiction with a hip vibe and readers who enjoy old-school chick lit.”
Library Journal (starred review)

“Funny… . These stories will resonate with readers in the throes of the quarter-life churn.”
Publishers Weekly

“You’ll relate, but mostly you’ll laugh as Close turns her sweet-tart wit on the dating and mating shenanigans of this tight-knit group of friends.”
Redbook
 
“[An] irresistible, pitch-perfect first novel.”
Marie Claire
 
“With a light touch and utterly believable characters, Close’s … appealing debut manages to capture the humor, heartache and cautious optimism of her protagonists.”
Kirkus Reviews
 
“Close’s wry wit and deadpan delivery … make this debut novel a treat to read… . An original confection with echoes of The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing and a dollop of Sex and the City.”
Shelf Awareness
 
“Jennifer Close’s debut, Girls in White Dresses, follows a group of young women doing all the things they know they shouldn’t—falling for one’s boss, dating gay men—all while drinking far too many mimosas at other people’s weddings.”
Vogue.com

“Close is adept at capturing those moments between getting drunk with your college friends and moving into the ‘grown up’ world of weddings and babies in a way that will have any woman in her late 20’s or early 30’s nodding in agreement… .Compelling and comfortable.”
—The Winnipeg Free Press

“This hilarious, pitch-perfect debut more or less took over my life for three glorious days. I cancelled dinners, ignored deadlines and went without sleep, all because I could not stop reading it… . A total original… . Only once in a blue moon does a book captivate me as much as this one did. Read it immediately and prepare to be up all night.”
J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times bestselling author of Maine and Commencement.

“These Girls are smart, funny and extremely engaging. You will adore them and their poignant–and often hilarious–romantic yearnings.”
—Danielle Ganek, author of The Summer We Read Gatsby
 
Girls in White Dresses is a dark, funny, intimate romp through boyfriends, first apartments, and great friendships–but beneath the surface lurks the jealousy, disappointment, and love that didn’t quite end up the way you thought it would. Jennifer Close’s brilliant, deadpan humor made me laugh so hard my own roommate thought I was nuts.”
—Margot Berwin, author of Hothouse Flower
 
“The only way to express my love for Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close is to tell you that this is the one book that I will be recommending over and over again to all of my friends. I laughed, I cried, I nodded knowingly as the characters waded their way through the hits and misses of their twenties and thirties. I can’t remember the last time I loved a book as much as this one.”
—Allison Winn Scotch, New York Times bestselling author of The One That I Want and Time of My Life
 
“If Elizabeth Bennet were post-collegiate, hungover, lovelorn and living on the Upper West Side, she would definitely be rooming with the Girls in White Dresses. This debut is hilarious, warm-hearted and wise, and I couldn’t put it down.”
—Holly LeCraw, author of The Swimming Pool
 
Girls in White Dresses is about a group of smart, funny, unapologetically grouchy, always-hungover female friends who kvetch their way through one another’s weddings and showers, stare blearily at one another’s offspring, sometimes barely tolerate one another’s men, but nonetheless have one another’s backs through thick and thin. Jennifer Close has written an unsentimental, frank novel about female friendship—its permanent, lifelong loyalties and unconditional love.”
—Kate Christensen, PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author of The Great Man and The Astral 
 
“What a delight! The young women in this hugely appealing book are charming, funny, rueful, poignant—just like their creator, in other words, one of the freshest and most appealing new voices in fiction. I can’t wait for more work from Jennifer Close.”
—Ann Packer, bestselling author of The Dive from Clausen’s Pier and Swim Back to Me