Official Review: A Dress the Color of the Sky

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Laura Bach
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Latest Review: A Dress the Color of the Sky by Jennifer Irwin

Official Review: A Dress the Color of the Sky

Post by Laura Bach » 01 Sep 2018, 12:59

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "A Dress the Color of the Sky" by Jennifer Irwin.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Sometimes I am wondering what happens to people in rehab. They seem to disappear, right? An addiction specialist told the author that the book could diminish people’s fear of rehabilitation. In my case, it did.

A Dress the Color of the Sky is a steamy, raw, eye-opening contemporary book about addiction and redemption. The story empowers women. Our main character is Prudence Aldrich, a sex addict who checks in at Serenity Hills, a rehabilitation center. She confronts her traumatic past, dealing with an abusive childhood and an alcoholic husband named Nick. She is also a rape survivor. She meets people who help her gain control over herself. Prue is also the mother of a boy of fourteen years old named Christian. The story is a memoir of the author, who was trapped in an abusive marriage like Prue’s. As the story progresses, we enter deep into Prue’s troubled past. We see how her parents split, how she was treated by the men in her life, and where her addiction comes from. While we are traveling in her childhood memories, we also see her in the present, at the clinic. These alternations between past and present are going to captivate you, making you turn the pages faster for the next short chapter. The painful details of the past point to Prue’s struggle of regaining control of her life.

Prue's development of character is the most valuable element of the book. Her progress is amazing. In spite of everything she went through, Prue stays good at heart. She knows she has to take care of her child, and she is desperate enough to give her body to strangers for money. Because of that, I compare her to Fantine from Les Miserables. If you liked it, you should also check out this book. Prue’s strength is admirable. I think her being a mother was the only reason she wasn’t completely lost. It is impossible to not feel something for her. You will see her reaching out for help throughout the book. I would’ve liked to know her in real life. Being in an abusive marriage, her husband Nick amplifies her negative feelings and her self-destructive behavior. The problem is that in every abusive relationship, the person abused can’t leave the abuser. She is convinced that she is to blame for everything that goes wrong in their marriage.

In the beginning, her progress means that she simply has to abstain from intimate relations with men. That’s why she wears a pink label for her category of addicts, and a neon-pink sticker with “Females Only” written on it. But when Alistair, a cocaine addict, comes along, things become a little bit complicated. Will she be able to resist him and continue her treatment, or her desires will simply be too powerful? Another thing that threatens her progress is when Family Week comes, and Prue has to confront the problems with her family.

At the clinic, Prue mostly attends group meetings and therapy. I liked a method used in the book. They had a wall poster with eight basic emotions written on it: Anger, Fear, Pain, Joy, Passion, Love, Shame, and Guilt. The patients needed to use the words to describe what they felt, and thus their progress was monitored. I feel like that might be a good thing to try myself at home. Although it appears simple, it was interestingly used in the book.

I wish other characters were developed more. I wanted to know more about some of them, like Prue’s brother. But I understand that the other characters are there to amplify Prue’s insecurities, or to offer support to her recovery. They have a clear purpose in the development of Prue’s character. For that reason, I won’t take any stars off. I appreciate that we saw people with other addictions and their meetings, for example, the AA meetings. Prue forms strong friendships with other addicts and doctors. I enjoyed the most her relationship with Christian, her son. She is a good mother to him, but he is just a child who can’t understand why his mother leaves him alone at night.

The beginning was slow for me. Unfortunately, the story didn’t grasp me at first. As it progressed, I got to see just how deep it went into psychology, and I started liking the serious subject. Eventually, the book remained stuck in my hands, and pages started flying. I enjoyed Prue’s little sarcastic thoughts. The writing was light and flows gracefully.

Prue involves herself sexually in a lot of dangerous relationships. The explicit scenes might make the reader uncomfortable, as they are more tragic than erotic. Those who don’t like disturbing stories should stay away because this book is going to have an impact on everyone. Not to mention, only adults should read it.

In the last pages, there is a series of questions about the book meant to be answered in a group discussion. I’ve never seen that before, and I find it helpful because it feels like chatting with the author. I recommend this book to fans of adult fiction, to people who enjoy strong female characters, to those passionate about psychology, and to everyone looking for a book about love, addiction, redemption, family, and friendship. It is professionally edited, but I managed to find a few grammar mistakes, for example, missing or added prepositions.

In conclusion, I enjoyed the development of the main protagonist, her relationship with the people who cared about her, the positive light in which the rehabilitation center is showed, and the list of questions the author asks at the end. I didn’t enjoy the under-developed second characters, but I understood their purpose. For the reasons listed above, I give A Dress the Color of the Sky 4 out of 4 stars.

******
A Dress the Color of the Sky
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Bushra Nasim
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Post by Bushra Nasim » 03 Sep 2018, 12:39

Thanks for your honest review. I always look forward to the stories that portray women as a survivor and not as a victim. Surely, this book is gonna be in my reading list :)

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Post by Kibetious » 03 Sep 2018, 16:39

Wow, this is an awesome review. I have been passing the opportunity to read this book repeatedly. Now I know what it entails. It sounds sad that Nick who should be helping Prue to overcome her struggles is the one who is amplifying the problem. The situation is made worse by the fact that Prue cannot leave him since she blames herself for the problems in their marriage. It is a good read for sure. Thanks for the review.
​​​​​​He gives strength to those who are tired; to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy :techie-studyinggray:

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Laura Bach
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Latest Review: A Dress the Color of the Sky by Jennifer Irwin

Post by Laura Bach » 03 Sep 2018, 21:49

Bushra Nasim wrote:
03 Sep 2018, 12:39
Thanks for your honest review. I always look forward to the stories that portray women as a survivor and not as a victim. Surely, this book is gonna be in my reading list :)
Strong women are my soft spot too. I hope you like the book. Thank you!

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Laura Bach
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Latest Review: A Dress the Color of the Sky by Jennifer Irwin

Post by Laura Bach » 03 Sep 2018, 21:58

Kibetious wrote:
03 Sep 2018, 16:39
Wow, this is an awesome review. I have been passing the opportunity to read this book repeatedly. Now I know what it entails. It sounds sad that Nick who should be helping Prue to overcome her struggles is the one who is amplifying the problem. The situation is made worse by the fact that Prue cannot leave him since she blames herself for the problems in their marriage. It is a good read for sure. Thanks for the review.
Nick certainly is a powerful element that keeps her away from her path to redemption. Since I finished the book I'm thinking a lot about abusive relationships. I hope none of us experience them. Thank you for your interest!

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Post by Dolor » 03 Sep 2018, 22:26

A memoir that chronicles Prue's rough journey in life (struggle, addiction, abuse, dysfunctional family, bad marriage) and redemption. I am thinking of keeping a box of tissue with me while reading this book. Thanks to your candid review.

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Post by Laura Bach » 05 Sep 2018, 13:46

Dolor wrote:
03 Sep 2018, 22:26
A memoir that chronicles Prue's rough journey in life (struggle, addiction, abuse, dysfunctional family, bad marriage) and redemption. I am thinking of keeping a box of tissue with me while reading this book. Thanks to your candid review.
A box of tissues would have been a good idea for me also, but I always had hope for Prue. Thank you!

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Post by topdan30 » 07 Sep 2018, 08:52

This is a book that will changge people attitude towards rehab. Thanks for the review

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Laura Bach
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Latest Review: A Dress the Color of the Sky by Jennifer Irwin

Post by Laura Bach » 07 Sep 2018, 12:36

topdan30 wrote:
07 Sep 2018, 08:52
This is a book that will changge people attitude towards rehab. Thanks for the review
People think of rehab like some kind of Area 51. Those who go there simply disappear. I hope the ones who read the book will be more open to thinking and talking about it. Thank you!

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Post by laneyboggs30 » 09 Sep 2018, 18:53

It's very refreshing to know what I'm getting into before reading a book and your review was awesome! It sounds very interesting as I am someone who enjoys learning about recovery and psychology. So it's going on the reading list! Keep up the good work!

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Latest Review: A Dress the Color of the Sky by Jennifer Irwin

Post by Laura Bach » 11 Sep 2018, 06:26

laneyboggs30 wrote:
09 Sep 2018, 18:53
It's very refreshing to know what I'm getting into before reading a book and your review was awesome! It sounds very interesting as I am someone who enjoys learning about recovery and psychology. So it's going on the reading list! Keep up the good work!
Thank you very much! I am glad when people decide to read a book I enjoyed. The author deserves a prize for writing the book so catchy. I hope you like it!

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Post by Fozia-Bajwa » 16 Oct 2018, 16:24

Prudence Aldrich has a terrible past, terrible present, and the terrible future. This is a suspense described in a good manner in this review.

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Post by Book Lover 35 » 18 Oct 2018, 23:06

Sounds like a good book. Glad you enjoyed the main character a lot. She sounds like a strong woman. Thank you for the review!
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