Patricia Hickman

Dear Readers,
I have a love/dislike relationship with Patricia’s book. It isn’t that I “hate” them, I have just found a couple of them a little dry. With Painted Dresses I found one I enjoyed. It is the story of two sisters who are different as sister can be. One of the them is the good one and the other isn’t. One has always tried to do what was right and the other just does her own thing without worring about anyone else.
Gaylen returns to her home town after father falls ill and dies. As she tries to decide what to do for her sister and how to take care of her. With her marriage on the rocks and not wanting to offend anyone, she is trying to do what is right, even if it isn’t what is best for Delia.
When Delia takes a shot at a drug dealer’s sister and on the run they go to keep Delia out of jail, but also to save her from the hitman that they hired to kill her. They decide to stay at an Aunt’s cottage and find several pictures made of painted dresses. Each one tells a story and each one is left to a different person.
Each delivery reveals a little more about their family’s history. Stuff that shouldn’t have been hidden. Stuff that made their family the way it was. Things that they could have worked through and been able to heal.
Gaylen is dealing with a sister she doesn’t like, a marriage that is struggleing, and these new stories that are awaking the nightmares of the past. Which do you deal with first? Which is more important? Can one lead to the healing in different areas?
This is not as complicated book as I have just made it sound, but it is one of secrets kept and people who have been hurt because of it. It is a terrific look at a family in crisis and how hiding the bad things is not helpful. I found that in some ways I really felt for Gaylen and yet sometimes I was a bit frustrated with her. Delia I found terriably annoying and yet in some ways I have to admit I did admire the way she is able to not be worried about what others thought of her.
Without giving the story completely away, this is a story that can help someone either going through the same crisis or someone trying to understand what happen to themselves or someone else they are walking with. I am would say this is a must have for every church library.

Happy Reading

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