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Extended Audio Sample Girls in White Dresses Audiobook, by Jennifer Close Click for printable size audiobook cover
2.59 out of 52.59 out of 52.59 out of 52.59 out of 52.59 out of 5 2.59 (34 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jennifer Close Narrator: Emily Janice Card Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2011 ISBN: 9780307939333
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Wickedly hilarious and utterly recognizable, Girls in White Dresses tells the story of three women grappling with heartbreak and career change, family pressure and new love—all while suffering through an endless round of weddings and bridal showers.

Isabella, Mary, and Lauren feel like everyone they know is getting married. On Sunday after Sunday, at bridal shower after bridal shower, they coo over toasters, collect ribbons and wrapping paper, eat minuscule sandwiches and doll-sized cakes. They wear pastel dresses and drink champagne by the case, but amid the celebration these women have their own lives to contend with: Isabella is working at a mailing-list company, dizzy with the mixed signals of a boss who claims she’s on a diet but has Isabella file all morning if she forgets to bring her a chocolate muffin. Mary thinks she might cry with happiness when she finally meets a nice guy who loves his mother, only to realize he’ll never love Mary quite as much. And Lauren, a waitress at a Midtown bar, swears up and down she won’t fall for the sleazy bartender—a promise that his dirty blond curls and perfect vodka sodas make hard to keep. 

With a wry sense of humor, Jennifer Close brings us through those thrilling, bewildering, what-on-earth-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life years of early adulthood. These are the years when everyone else seems to have a plan, a great job, and an appropriate boyfriend, while Isabella has a blind date with a gay man, Mary has a crush on her boss, and Lauren has a goldfish named Willard. Through boozy family holidays and disastrous ski vacations, relationships lost to politics and relationships found in pet stores, Girls in White Dresses pulls us deep inside the circle of these friends, perfectly capturing the wild frustrations and soaring joys of modern life.

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Quotes & Awards

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Is this just another fluffy piece of chick lit about 20-somethings finally finding love? Not with Close’s wry wit and deadpan delivery, which 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
  • 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. It is modern and funny, with original, wry observations. 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
  • “Funny and often poignant…The vignettes of White Dresses are intricate and often absurd, yet instantly relatable.”

    Winnepeg Free Press

  • “Modern and funny, with original, wry observations. 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)

  • “[An] irresistible, pitch-perfect first novel.”

    Marie Claire

  • “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

  • “[Close’s characters] grumble good-naturedly through their friends’ weddings and the births of their babies…with the pluck and gimlet eye of Carrie Bradshaw’s younger, smarter sisters.”

    Vanity Fair

  • “Remarkably relatable…Close’s debut is an addictive, thoughtful, slice of life.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “This debut will ring bells. Wedding bells…An uncanny portrait emerges of a time in life marked by too many hangovers, bad dates, and bridal showers—as well as an abundance of solid friendships.”

    People

  • “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.”

    New York Times

  • [Close’s characters] grumble good-naturedly through their friends’ weddings and the births of their babies, supporting one another as they stumble through the minefield of rotten jobs and disastrous romances, with the pluck and gimlet eye of Carrie Bradshaw’s younger, smarter sisters. Vanity Fair
     
  • This debut will ring bells. Wedding bells. . . . An uncanny portrait emerges of a time in life marked by too many hangovers, bad dates and bridal showers—as well as an abundance of solid friendships. People
     
  • Close’s cynical humor shines. . . . Close captures that mix of perplexing anticipation, tedium, poor choices, dashed hopes and resilience that characterizes young adulthood. The New York Journal of Books
     
  • “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

  • “Is this just another fluffy piece of chick lit about 20-somethings finally finding love? Not with Close’s wry wit and deadpan delivery, which 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

  • “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.”

    Columbus Dispatch

  • One of the most buzzed-about reads of the summer. . . . Funny and often poignant; the tone of the book is reminiscent of Melissa Bank's popular 1999 novel The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing. . . . The vignettes of White Dresses are intricate and often absurd, yet instantly relatable. Winnipeg Free Press
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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. . . . Reminiscent of Melissa Bank’s The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing. It is modern and funny, with original, wry observations. 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)
  •  "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
  • "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
  • 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
  • "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 lifelong loyalties and unconditional love. Kate Christensen, PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author of The Great Man and The Astral
  • Selected for the August 2011 Indie Next List
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kimberly | 2/18/2014

    " This was a quick and easy read. A great chick lit story that's lighthearted and at times funny. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mallory Dean | 2/17/2014

    " Unlike most people I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the many short stories and how everyone is interconnected. Guess it's just not for some people. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Larissa Cook | 1/31/2014

    " First of all, three women? No. This book has so many characters I was constantly flipping back and forth to remind myself whose wedding we were at and which girl was she again anyway?? I did not find a single part of this book hilarious or witty and was so glad I only rented this from my library and didn't spend the money to read such adolescent fiction. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ang | 1/29/2014

    " Oh lord, this book was bad. It was like....thinky chick lit. Badly done thinky chick lit. Also, it had no ending. NO ENDING. Is there anything worse than a book that doesn't end? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shevy Friedman-Moser | 1/29/2014

    " this was really a 2.5 star book, but unforch closer to 2 than 3. i thought the book's format, i.e. disjointed stories in each chapter, led to poor characterization which doesn't exactly endear the characters to the reader in my opinion. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elixxir | 1/25/2014

    " Well written but boring, if that makes any sense. She's obviously a good writer and I've always been a big fan of the Sex and The City/single girl genre but I just couldn't connect with any of the characters and didn't much care how it ended. I was just glad it finally did. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julianna | 1/14/2014

    " didn't exactly love the third person voice it was written in for much of the book but definitely some lol moments!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara Estis | 1/6/2014

    " I really enjoyed this! It felt real and the story flowed - I thought it was a good read! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sara Jo | 11/2/2013

    " This book was one of the most disjointed pieces of junk I've ever read. It was random and made no sense half the time. The girls were weird as all get out and were drunk all the time. What is the point of that? "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Natalie | 10/9/2013

    " The characters ruin the book. These girls are all miserable. Each one, completely unhappy with their own decisions and blaming other people for their unhappiness. Ugh. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 9/13/2013

    " I thought this book was really cute. I listened to the audio and occasionally was confused about which character was which but I got alot of laughs out of this. It reminded me alot of dating in my 20's....all losers. LOL "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ashley | 9/3/2013

    " way too many characters to keep track of. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chantelle | 8/26/2013

    " I just adored this book. Maybe so much because of the place I am at in life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah | 8/13/2013

    " I can see why Isabella is probably going to be single/unmarried for the rest of her life. If girls are really like this... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracy | 6/20/2013

    " I actually kind of loved this book. It was funny and witty and totally told the story of how many women in their 20s feel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa Romeo | 4/14/2013

    " Fun narrative that zips along. I chose it to keep me company and in good spirits on long hours in a waiting room, and it did the trick. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Courtney | 1/13/2013

    " Got all the characters confused. Ok stories but wasn't really invested in anyone. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Caroline | 1/8/2013

    " I thought this book was a bit boring and all over the place. It was hard to keep track of the characters. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sarah Ely | 12/5/2012

    " Don't understand the hype around this book. I'm still not sure who the main characters are. Don't read it "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kmaryanderson | 7/26/2012

    " Great story lines, but there are a lot of characters to keep up with. It's cute, and I giggled out loud a few times, but the ending was very stale. It was a non-ending. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ruth Strackany | 6/29/2012

    " the book grew on me and I would maybe have given it three stars, but I found the first half uninteresting. there were too many characters and the storyline was too disjointed. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Marina Kassis | 5/25/2012

    " This book is terrible. It is not funny or hilarious. It's just a bunch of out of sequence dialogue (which is unrealistic and terribly spoken) that has absolutely no descriptions at all! Terrible and I'm glad it's finally finished and out of the way! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristy | 2/10/2012

    " It was ok, kind of a fun easy read, but lots of characters that I couldn't quite keep straight and didn't really care much about anyway. But I liked the picture on the cover, does that count for something? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 12/27/2011

    " Really enjoyed this book. It's a collection of linked short stories. I was kinda lukewarm on the first one or two, but then I started to like it more and more. I thought the writer had a great voice and I think she could easily give several of the characters their own novel. Fun book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brenda Case | 12/5/2011

    " Kept my interest ALL the way through. There were definitely some laugh-out-loud moments! A little hard to keep up with the characters, since there were other girls throughout the story as well, but that was not enough to take away from the overall enjoyment of the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 11/4/2011

    " Cute story of life after college. I burst out laughing a couple times. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Leana | 11/2/2011

    " The subject material had the potential to be entertaining and humorous; however, the author falls short. The characters are too cynical and petty without any humor. I think the only reason I made it through the entire book was because the writing was so simplistic. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lmholmes | 11/1/2011

    " It was funny in parts and was a good concept , but most of all the characters were priviledged and whiny. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mischa | 10/31/2011

    " This was different then I expected, but still a fun read. Easy, finished it in a day. Deals with friendships and the way they change as we grow up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leahsal | 10/26/2011

    " One of the most original voices I've read in a while. Loved this. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristen | 10/24/2011

    " Couldn't finish this one. Tried and tried but finally gave up. A combination of inconsistencies, and a general lack of interest on my part. The story just didn't hold my attention. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michele | 10/23/2011

    " Cute story, good characters - just too many of them. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Laurie | 10/20/2011

    " What a waste of my time. I can't believe I kept reading it and didn't give it the heave-ho after 38 pages. Dumb me. Dumb book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rebecca | 10/19/2011

    " I wanted this book to be good, but there just wasn't enough character development. Seems you only got to know the characters (and there's a lot of them!) superficially...just no connection. I finished the book but wouldn't recommend it. "

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About the Author
Author Jennifer CloseJENNIFER CLOSE is the bestselling author of Girls in White Dresses and The Smart One. Born and raised on the North Shore of Chicago, she is a graduate of Boston College and received her MFA in Fiction Writing from the New School in 2005. She worked in magazines in New York for many years and then as a bookseller in Washington, DC.
About the Narrator

Emily Janice Card (a.k.a. Emily Rankin) is an actor, writer, and singer from North Carolina, now residing in Los Angeles. In addition to being a narrator, she has directed numerous audiobooks, including the 2007 Audie® and Earphones Award winner Hubris, Legacy of Ashes by Pulitzer Prize winner Tim Weiner, and Them by Nathan McCall.