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Immediately, Gertrude loves this wedding coming through her door. Imagines it in terms of gleeful fittings. Nodding as Perfume explains the photo she'll have taken at the entrance. In that moment Gertrude is thinking, why not the store entire as well, why not, A Rose as altar, the ceremony inside with the racks of dresses moved back and chairs, perhaps a piano, the fish tank, extravagant, built right into the spiral staircase, adorned with lights, confetti.
After fifty years together, Gertrude and Mildred are facing some serious life changes. The bridal shop they own, A Rose on Corydon, has been a meeting place for their small community of friends and customers, with whom they have long shared joys and sorrows, worries, and triumphs. Unexpectedly, a series of events threatens the foundation of the life they have made together and tests their relationship in new ways. Mildred's 73-year-old hip is no match for an icy sidewalk, and long-time friend Wordie stares cancer in the face. Thirteen-year-old Arlie, aged beyond her tender years by the same illness, is a stalwart support, as is the thrice-married Perfume, on her way down a fourth aisle to eternal happiness—holding, perhaps, the key that makes the changes more bearable.
This poetic and graceful novel explores the secrets and promises sustained by a love affair whose dimensions render speechless the most experienced of lovers.
Winner, Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction
Turnstone Press Ltd.
206-100 Arthur Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada