I recently read The Magic Room as part of the BlogHer Book club. I cringed when I saw the subtitle “A Story about the Love We Wish for Our Daughters.” just because I want a bigger love for my children than the stories told in this book. I want them to find love with someone else special which may or may not lead to marriage. That’s a given. My life would be incredibly lacking in many ways without the enriching and consuming love in my life.
More than that, I want them to fall in love and love themselves-take care of themselves, honor their being, and be happy with who they are and who they are becoming each day.
Then there is the book. We have been on one wedding dress shopping trip so far. It may be our only one. I’ve no idea whether the other children will get married. The whirlwind shopping experience involved one store and several dresses, but one had already been identified as “the dress” in our minds before she even tried it on. Indeed, it was the dress. No magic room. Not an amazing small business passed down through the family, just a chain store and a mass produced dress–but it was the right dress for her.
Back to the book, first, I found the male father voice a bit vexing as the narrator. He made a lot of pronouncements as if they were true for all fathers and of all mothers. They weren’t. In fact, at points those things irritated me so much I wanted to toss the book aside.
Then there were points where indeed I wanted to go and have a magical mother/daughter bonding trip to buy a dress to send my daughter into her future. There is a story there in my life of mothers and daughters and raising my daughters that might benefit from the ritual at least in my mind.
I sorted that out, as I have done before, by reminding myself and one of my daughters that we can go buy a special dress and have a special party without it having to be a wedding. When the time is right and she feels ready–we don’t need a groom to have a ritual saying “this is my child, of whom I am most proud and blessed to have in my family. She’s now mature, ready to make adult choices and live an adult life. While bittersweet, this is a joyous time and celebration. Please surround her now with your joy, love, and blessings as she follows her life path.”
Ritual and tradition is important in marking our life journeys. I truly believe in it.
I believe there’s a story in everyone and it often comes to expression in these moments where a dress is bought, a love shone brightly, at least a love story of some sort. In the book, stories are told, of great mother/daughter relationships, of horrible ones, of tragic ones, of relationships with lovers, children, fathers, grandmothers and more. Those stories could have been more magic than the magic room itself. Unfortunately, the narrator left me wishing for more of the stories and less of his opinion, of the lens he put on the stories, which indeed was the only thing he could do, because love stories always are seen through your own lens.
It did make me want to take a road trip to The Magic Room though. I will be looking for such a business if the time comes to buy a special dress.
I was compensated for this BlogHer Book Club review but all opinions expressed are my own.