A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Sunday, May 2, 2021

The Dress Shop on King Street by Ashley Clark- Feature and Review


Harper Albright has pinned all her hopes on a future in fashion design. But when it comes crashing down around her, she returns home to Fairhope, Alabama, and to Millie, the woman who first taught her to sew. As she rethinks her own future, secrets long hidden about Millie's past are brought to light.

In 1946, Millie Middleton boarded a train and left Charleston to keep half of her heritage hidden. She carried with her two heirloom buttons and the dream of owning a dress store. She never expected to meet a charming train jumper who changed her life forever . . . and led her yet again to a heartbreaking choice about which heritage would define her future.

Now, together, Harper and Millie return to Charleston and the man who may hold the answers they seek . . . and a chance at the dress shop they've both dreamed of. But it's not until all appears lost that they see the unexpected ways to mend what frayed between the seams.



The Dress Shop on King Street (Heirloom Secrets, #1)The Dress Shop on King Street by Ashley Clark
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Dress Shop on King Street by Ashley Clark is a Bethany House publication.

Such a wonderful uplifting story!!

In 1946 Millie, a young woman of mixed heritage is leaving Charleston by train, with a couple of heirloom buttons and the dream of owning her own dress shop, when she meets a train jumper who changes her life…

In present day, Harper Albright has returned to Alabama after her dreams of a career in fashion are dashed. Here she reconnects with Millie, the woman who first taught her to sew. Millie senses Harper needs some time to regroup and offers her a place to stay at her boarding house.

This string of events will merge the past with the present, as Millie’s story is finally revealed, possibly leading to an opportunity for both she and Harper to realize their true dreams.

I loved this story! It’s so sad and heartbreaking, but is also moving, inspirational and heartwarming. As is usually the case with multiple timelines, the historical side of the story was the most effective, in my opinion. Millie’s journey is riveting as she navigates through treacherous waters, finds true love, but faces the most heart wrenching choices along the way.

The characterizations are rich and vivid, and the story is teeming with tension, and joy, highs and lows and triumphs and failures. It’s about life and the unforeseen curveballs and trials, and a reminder that we don’t have to carry our burdens alone and, that maybe things work out best in God’s good time.

The author does an incredible job of handling sensitive topics, incorporating a gentle message, and creating such a beautiful story, it lingered in my heart and mind for long after I turned the final page.

Overall, this is such a refreshing story and an impressive debut!! Will read this author again!


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Ashley Clark writes romance with southern grace. She's dreamed of being a writer ever since the thumbprint-cookie-days of library story hour. Ashley has an M.A. in English and enjoys teaching literature courses as an adjunct. She's an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When she's not writing, Ashley's usually busy rescuing stray animals and finding charming new towns.


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