Review: Magic in Mauve

Magic in Mauve by Nonona Gerikh is a book that appeared in my inbox as if by magic. It is a similar take on The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants with a more feminine flair since the traveling clothing item in question is a frilly mauve skirt that makes its way to a number of women around the world including a Middle Eastern princess. The book is a quick read that doesn't spend a lot of time delving into the lives of each woman who was touched by the "magical" skirt, which makes it a light-hearted book for a rainy afternoon. I would recommend this to someone who is looking for a quick fix of female empowerment and doesn't want to think too hard.

Magic in Mauve by Nonna Gerikh

Magic in Mauve has four and a half-ish protagonists, but its real starring role goes to the mauve skirt that brings them all together. The skirt is crafted by a woman named Monique, who dreams of her magical wedding and honeymoon as she lovingly chooses the fabric and assembles it on her sewing machine. Her dream of marriage doesn't exactly go as planned when she realizes that her fiancĂ© is not the man she thought he was, but the skirt brings her something unexpected when she donates it to goodwill. She realizes that perhaps the love she wanted through her marriage could be obtained in other ways, such as forming a sisterhood with the young women whose lives were touched by the magic of the mauve skirt.

The most unique character in this book is Zorina, a princess from the Middle East who, like many princesses, struggles with an arranged marriage. I am no expert on Middle Eastern culture, but I got the impression that the author did not do much research before writing this character. Zorina comes off more like a fairy tale princess than a real one. While I have no problem with that personally, I did think that it detracted from the more realistic setting of the rest of the book book. From a pure entertainment perspective, though, I thoroughly enjoyed the trials and tribulations that Zorina faced by attempting to break tradition and be with her true love, Tahir.

The main thing this book lacks is a good conflict. The closest character it has to a villain is Monique's fiancé, Sidney, but the only truly bad thing he does is give her a reason to call off their wedding and send the mauve skirt on its journey. This book is filled with too much optimism and fluff to give its characters any real struggles. Therefore, it holds more value for someone who is looking for an uplifting story than for someone who wants a deeply moving tale of suspense and turbulence. The other two women the book focuses on are Holly, an ambitious nurse, and Alison, an aspiring fashion designer in Paris, both of whom are very one-note but likable enough to finish the book.

At its core, Magic in Mauve is a story about how all women want to feel beautiful and loved no matter where they come from or what stage they are at in their lives. It is a simple book with a simple message that makes for a quick and pleasant read. I like that it highlights the fact that not all love stories have a happy ending and that sometimes love can be found in unexpected places. I would recommend Magic in Mauve to teenage girls or young adults who are feeling lonely in their lives and desire a push in the right direction.


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