Book Review: A Modest Proposal by Michele Ashman Bell

This past weekend, I finished reading the first book on my Summer Book Trek list - A Modest Proposal by Michele Ashman Bell.

Blurb from the back of the book:

All my life I had dreamed of changing the ordinary girl’s world of fashion by designing modest formal gowns—ones that you’d actually want to wear. With my super-hero stitching I would save you mothers and daughters crying in dressing rooms over yet another “the straps are just too small” prom dress. Don’t worry, I even thought of a catchy tagline for my brand: “Modest Is Hottest.” I told you I was good!

So I moved to New York and am finally living that dream . . . well, almost. I am at one of the top fashion companies, and my designs are definitely modest—but let’s face it, when it comes to outerwear, would you want to buy a skimpy trench coat? Didn’t think so.

Even though I don’t have my dream job, my family is a mess, and my love life stinks, I have a feeling things are going to change. I mean, they have to soon, or I’ll be forced to marry Jace. I did promise to become his wife only if I turned thirty and was still single, but I honestly didn’t think it was possible. Now twenty-nine, I’m cutting it way too close. Right now I’m flying back to Utah for our Butterfly Girls reunion. And since it is the Mormon Mecca, I might find myself a modest proposal. Utah engagements can take mere weeks. Never mind, I’m not that desperate. Really.

But maybe the girls can help. We’ve been best friends since high school. We Butterfly Girls are not the typical Pink Ladies, although we’ve definitely had our share of drama. We’ll laugh and cry over memories, from pageant glory to tragic endings, but the ones stored inside our butterfly box will surprise you most. We only open it when we’re all together, and our lives never seem the same after.

QOTC Review:

So, this book is about Lauryn Alexander and her quest to become a modest fashion designer. When you start the book, you find her working for an excellent and very respected NYC fashion designer - designing outerwear. Yeah, you know, like jackets, trench coats, and rain coats. Even though Lauryn is frustrated and a bit discouraged, she keeps designing the dresses and clothing that truly inspires her and continues to hope her boss will one day see the potential in her dress designs.

While traveling, Lauryn meets some very influential women who fall in love with dresses Lauryn's working on. Then, a competitor design firm offers Lauryn an offer she can't refuse - her own dress line. But is it the right thing to do?

About this same time, Lauryn is getting ready for the annual Butterfly Girls reunion. But this year is special cause she just might get to reconnect with her former high school best friend (of the male variety), Jace. Is he still single? If so, will he want to keep their silly high school promise?

This book fascinated me. I love fashion. I can't resist cute clothes! So I loved the theme of someone trying to break into the fashion world with modest designs.

I also really liked the relationships of the Butterfly Girls. It reminded me of my best friend from high school (Ashley) and my best friend from college (Amy). We still keep in touch and get together whenever we are in the same state. But even though we live far apart and only contact each other a couple times a month (sometimes only a couple times a year!), we just pick right up where we left off and it's like no time has passed at all. We have this incredible bond of friendship that knows no limit of time or distance. The Butterfly Girls are just the same. I connected with them right away.

Of course, my very favorite part of the book was the storyline between Lauryn and Jace. (I know, I know - I just can't hold back the romantic side of me!) I loved the tension Lauryn felt while wondering if he was married or single, if he would remember their promise, and what in the world she would do if he actually showed up! I love the little parts of their relationship . . . and the surprises they both find along the way.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It's a perfect summer read for teens and adults alike.

My rating: Five Stars!

To go along with the theme of modest fashions, I'm including a bunch of modest fashion links I found online. Some are for formals, others are for every day. Enjoy!

Shabby Apple

Beautifully Modest

Latter-Day Bride


Divine ModesTee

Christa Taylor

Funky Frum

Would you like to comment?

Jennie said...

I enjoyed this book too and will post my review of it next week.

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Wow! I pulled up your comment and realized you were Jennie Hansen! My hubby and I totally enjoy your books. :)

I'm looking forward to reading your review. Thanks for stopping by!

Tristi Pinkston said...

The book sounds great -- and I love the cover. How darling is that!

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Isn't it fantastic? I was very drawn to it. I love the colors, design, & everything. I know you're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover, but there's definitely something to be said for a nicely designed cover. It just makes me want to pick it up, hold it, and see what it's all about.

LDS_Publisher said...

Good review—and you really went the extra mile with those links. Thanks!

Danyelle Ferguson said...


Thank you! I hope you got a chance to check them out. There are some really cute modest fashion designs.