The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee is set in Leonora, a small, quaint town that is snuggled up nicely between a beach and a forest. Rose Lovell, a 15-year-old high schooler, has just moved here with her father. She is now adjusting to life in a new town just as she has so many times before due to having to constantly move around with her father. When Rose breezes into town, it is the time of the Harvest Festival; a festival where girls put together their best dresses and organize a parade. Rose is a bit apprehensive at first, but with the help of an old dress maker, and some motivation from a new friend, Pearl, she makes the dress of her dreams…..at a price.
The way the book is set up is very unique. Foxlee has formatted the book so that you see two timelines: Before the festival, and after. At the beginning of every chapter, we see the story from the view of a cop investigating the murder of a girl post-Harvest Festival. Then we switch to Rose’s perspective chronicling what happened before the festival. ThI found the changing perspectives format very unusual but a welcome change from the average day-by-day format of a regular novel. Overall, I feel like it works very well for this book as it makes readers ask,”What led up to this? Why is this happening? Who did it?” The author definitely keeps you on your toes.
Overall, there wasn’t much I disliked, other than a few unrealistic situations. (Only a few.) Otherwise, the story is really interesting and it kept me hooked right to the end. If you’re looking for a mysterious story that will keep you guessing, I’d recommend The Midnight Dress for you!