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Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Book Review: What Might have Been by Lynn Steward

As a fashion buyer at one of New York’s most glamorous department stores, Dana McGarry is a tastemaker, her keen instinct for fashion trends and innovative ideas coupled with a razor sharp business sense. But like the elegant and conservative store that employs her, Dana is caught between two eras—between being liked and standing her ground, between playing by the rules and being a maverick. Dana is sensitive and beautiful, but what you see is not what you get. Behind the cool and attractive facade, Dana is both driven by her need to control yet impeded by her expectation of perfectionism. As she competes to replace women at the top of their game, she is challenged by jealous colleagues. And when a wealthy love interest wants to open doors and support her ambition, she embraces Coco Chanel’s mantra of “never wanting to weigh more heavily on a man than a bird.” As the women’s movement paves the way, Dana finds a path to the career she wants at the expense of happiness that was not meant to be.

Steward captures the nuances of 70s life in New York City and provides the perfect backdrop for an independent woman determined to make her mark. What Might Have Been is a story that transcends any period.

Title:  What Might Have Been
Genre:  Literary fiction/women’s fiction
Author: Lynn Steward 


Lynn Steward, a veteran of the New York fashion industry and a buyer on the team that started the women’s department at Brooks Brothers, created the Dana McGarry series, set at a transformational time in the 1970s world of fashion and in the lives of multigenerational women. What Might Have Been is the second volume in the series. A Very Good Life, Steward’s debut novel, was published in March 2014.

Twitter: @LynnStewardNY

My Review:

This book had me at its cover. The cover is a pretty enticing considering that this is a novel set in the time that is depicted thoroughly in how the cover has been done. 

Coming over to the plot, it is a treat for the readers who crave for a strong female protagonist. The book actually talks about her professional pursuits. Sure, relationships are a pivotal aspect of all of it, but this novel is quite different from any cliches or predictable, beaten plots I've read before. 

The best part to watch out for is the letter. One could easily cry at that juncture. What makes this novel worth it is the freshness in the plot: "She had a million things to do and she didn’t
know where to start. And that, of course, was exactly how Dana liked it."
The setting builds up slowly, but in meticulous detail. 

This review is a part of the Book Tour hosted by DDS at b00kr3vi3ws

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