One of my favorite things to do when visiting Chicago is making a stop at the Museum of Science and Industry. Most recently when I was there they had a new display of technology, with the creators of each item and how they came up with the idea. My favorite item was a dress (shown below). Wouldn’t you love trying to find somewhere to wear this dress?
That’s why when the opportunity came up to read Sherrill Bodine’s book “A Black Tie Affair”, I jumped on the chance. I love romance books that aren’t typical and this one is based on an actual incident in which Tim Long, costume curator at the Chicago History Museum was poisoned by a Dior dress in 2006. Sounds too good to be true right? I found an article/interview with Tim Long over at Laura Barnett Designs. Plus, this author is somewhat local to me, being as she is based in Chicago, where her story is located. The story is amazing, Sherrill has taken quite a lot of her story from actual places, people and events. After reading her story, it was interesting to me that the fallout shelter in the story does exist somewhere in an Illinois cornfield. Plus, I’m always traveling to Chicago, I am definitely making a stop at the Chicago History Museum the next time I’m there to see the amazing Costume collection.
Athena, the focal character, is a fashion curator. She is working on building a costume collection with different dresses from various time periods. The only problem is trying to get a few dresses from the Claysworth. At the beginning of the book she is driven to the family vault by the aunt of the Claysworth family. Driving from downtown Chicago, they head out into the farmland and, looking around, Athena is not sure where they are. She is told by Bridget, the aunt, that the fallout shelter holding the dresses was designed so not to be seen from the air. This is how they end up in a soybean field, where the roof is soybeans. Pretty neat idea I thought for covering up where it’s located.
Once inside, Athena gets to work with looking over the dresses. This is another place it gets interesting; she puts on gloves and crawls under the dress. Did you know that fashion curators have to look on the inside of the dress to figure out how the dress is made, and what undergarments are appropriate to be worn with them? I learned while reading this book, as well as the article about Tim Long, that curators will have those undergarments made so that when the dress is put on display it is shown in the correct way with all the support necessary for it to look great. Anyway, when Athena is examining the dress, she is poisoned, and thus starts a chain of events that you have to read to believe.
I highly recommend this book with a 5/5 rating. It has some adventure, romance and fiction based on factual incidents and places. For more about Sherrill Bodine, check out her website. She also has a book out called Talk of the Town, hope you check it out! And if you’re interested, it’s also available in electronic format!
Not only did I give it a 5/5 rating, but I also have FIVE copies to give away to FIVE lucky winners (one copy each, of course). Want to know how?
The Prize: “A Black Tie Affair” book by Sherrill Bodine (5 winners)
…must provide a US or Canadian shipping address
…must provide an email in the first comment, email me directly with an email address or have email accessible from their profile.
Sometime on March 4, 2010, five winners will be chosen at random (using random.org) from all valid comments left. Winners have 72 hours from posting/notification to respond. If winner cannot be contacted, I will move on to the next random selection.
How to enter: (CONTEST CLOSED)