Friday, August 21, 2015

White Dresses by Mary Pflum Peterson | Review

White Dresses by Mary Pflum PetersonWhite Dresses: A Memoir of Love and Secrets, Mothers and Daughters by Mary Pflum Peterson
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Published: 352
Pages: September 15, 2015
Received: for honest review via publisher and TLC Book Tours
Find Online: Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | Goodreads

A poignant memoir of three generations of women and the white dresses that adorned them

As a successful journalist at Good Morning America, Mary Pflum Peterson's persona is at odds with her complicated childhood, where she watched her brilliant yet emotionally vulnerable mother, Anne, unravel before her eyes. But their love of white dresses always united them—from their baptism dresses to their wedding gowns, white dresses embodied hope and new beginnings.

After her mother's sudden death, Mary dug deep to understand the events that led to Anne's breakdown. At twenty-one, Anne entered a convent, but lengthy periods of enforced fasting, isolation, and constant humiliation drove her to flee almost a decade later. Hoping to find new purpose as a wife and mother, she married, and was devastated when Mary's father revealed himself to be gay.

Anne retreated into chaos. By the time Mary was ten, their house was cluttered with broken appliances, stacks of mail, and teetering piles of assorted "treasures." But in spite of everything, their bond endured. Through the white dresses, pivotal events in their lives were celebrated, marking the journey through loss and redemption as Mary tried to save Anne from herself.

my thoughts

I adored this book. I honestly thought it would just be a great memoir about Mary and her mother and how they overcame their issues, but it was much more than that. It was a memoir that made you think about your own mother, how she grew up, what she did to give you a good life, support you and always be there for you. It's about missing her and remembering her. I cried during the last few chapters, thinking about my mother and remembering so many things. That is what a great book will do for you. 

This is the one quote that brought me to tears:
"If I live to be a hundred," I said, shaking my head once more, "that would mean I would live more than half my life without her. I don't think I can do that. I don't know how I'm going to get through even two weeks without her!" -pg. 307

Chrystal's Wedding Dress/White Dresses
Pulled out my wedding dress to think of happy days.
Mary has a way with words and brings you into both her world and that of her mothers via the white dresses of their most important moments in life. Anne, Mary's mother, loved white dresses and the new beginning and possibilities that white represented and that followed Mary through her entire life. I see how that wonderful idea could bring change or open their eyes to other options.

Anne's life was rough and that added to her depressive tendencies. This was the perfect storm to create a hoarder. Anne's hoarding life affected Mary's life by making her want to get away and be more. As much as Mary didn't want to become her mother, she loved her with all that she had. She also realized that her mother did so much to be sure that she was happy in her life. Anne also lead on extraordinary life - teacher, nun, wife, and mother to name a few of her jobs in life.

I love how Mary has all of these white dresses to look back on and remember so many amazing pieces of her past and that of her mothers. She used these dresses as a means to tell the stories of their lives and can now look at them and remember it all.

Mary's story shows how much she wanted more for her mother - to help her out of her hoarding problem, to help her be happy, and to not feel disappointed that she couldn't totally help her (until her Mom wanted help). But it also shows how much she loves her and cares for her.

I think it's a great story to bring you closer to those you love, to ask more questions about their lives before you came into the picture and learn all that you can about them. I'll be sending this book out to my best friend soon. I just know that she will love this book as much as I did.

Also, I can't wait to see what other books Mary will write.

About the Author:
Mary Pflum PetersonMary Pflum Peterson is a veteran multi-Emmy-Award winning producer at Good Morning America, the nation’s number one morning news show. Her work at GMA has taken her to papal funerals in Rome, to the ravaged remains of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, to the royal wedding in London and to numerous Oscar ceremonies in between. Prior to joining GMA, Pflum Peterson was a producer and reporter for CNN, where, from her post in Istanbul, she traveled in and out of numerous warzones, including Afghanistan. Today, her warzone of choice is Manhattan’s Upper West Side where she resides with her husband, Dean, and their four young children, ages 1 to 7.



  1. Books like this that make me reevaluate my own life and my own relationships often turn out to be my favorite.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!

    1. I love them too, because they are so inspiring.
      Thanks for having me on the tour!


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