Jeffrey Zaslow died on February 10, 2012, at age 53.
- The Zaslow Family’s Remembrance Site: Including eulogies, photos, and news
- The Wall Street Journal‘s online tribute
October 05, 2012
Jeffrey Zaslow was an author and columnist who often wrote about the love he had for his three daughters. Tragically, he was killed in a car accident earlier this year. His daughter Jordan talks about the paperback release of his book, “The Magic Room,” and the legacy he left behind.
A two-minute video of the Magic Room book party at Becker’s Bridal, Jan. 11, 2012.
PARADE MAGAZINE: Lessons in Love From a Bridal Shop
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: One ‘Magic Room’ That Links Generations of Brides
WALL STREET JOURNAL slideshow: The culture of the wedding gown
O Magazine and Oprah.com select The Magic Room as one of “Ten Titles to Pick Up Now”
“Forget bridezillas. A best-selling journalist visits a small-town wedding shop to uncover the poignant dreams of real women on the verge of commitment.”
BELIEFNET.COM Slideshow: 11 Lessons about the love within families
HUFFINGTON POST: Welcome to the Town With More Wedding Dresses than People
PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY, Galley Talk
“Jeffrey Zaslow has a remarkable ability to select a familiar topic—female friendship, for example, as in The Girls from Ames—and pursue that topic until he mines the diamonds, the stories, hidden beneath the surface. He displays this talent once again in The Magic Room. I can guarantee that after reading this book you’ll never experience a wedding the same way again—you’ll be thinking instead of the well-known Becker’s Bridal in Fowler, Mich., the setting for this lovely, heartfelt work.”
BOOKPAGE: “Making Magic on Main Street”
“When best-selling author Jeffrey Zaslow visits the store, his fascination with the lives of its customers catches fire. Weaving the stories of the women who built and nurtured the store with those of several brides-to-be, he captures the powerful allure of Becker’s and the hope and optimism that women bring with them to the Magic Room.”
“Author of THE GIRLS FROM AMES and a devoted father of three young women, Zaslow has written a tenderhearted portrait of a bridal store in a small Michigan town. Over 75 years, 100,000 brides and their mothers have grown teary in front of the shop’s Magic Room mirrors. In a handful of their stories, Zaslow gently dilineates the changing lives of women and finds — in among the mishaps, misunderstandings and tragedies that derail many relationships — ample evidence of the enduring power of marriage.”
MACLEANS in Canada: “While the concept sounds sappy enough for Disney, the book is clear-eyed about modern marriage and the wedding industry. Along the way, readers get a fascinating portrait of a one-horse town with a family business threatened by the Internet.”
LADIES HOME JOURNAL: The Magic Room tells brides’ tales from the gown-hunting trenches, but from a genuine, warm-hearted angle that underscores the process as a special milestone for mothers and daughters.
THE NEW YORK TIMES: “Shows the poignancy in everyday love stories.”
MARIA SHRIVER’S WEBSITE: The Men Our Daughters Might Marry
USA TODAY: Zaslow Goes Bridal in “Magic Room” (includes photo slide show from Kelly Lynne Photography)
BARNES & NOBLE Review magazine:
A cynical take on the bridal business would be easy to write, but that wouldn’t be Jeffrey Zaslow’s style. In The Girls From Ames, he captured the complex beauty of female relationships with insight and sensitivity. Here the Wall Street Journal columnist does the same for weddings and marriage, tenderly evoking the fantasies, expectations and personal stories of the women who step into a Michigan bridal shop’s special room — soft lighting, music, pedestal, mirrors and all — to try on dresses for their big day.
“Few people can tell stories with as much heart and feeling as Zaslow. Few men can tell the stories of women with the depth of understanding that Zaslow brought to The Girls from Ames and now brings to The Magic Room.”
BLOGHER.COM Book Club Selection of the Month:
“Pull up your chair, maybe grab a few tissues, and get ready to feel the love as you enter The Magic Room.” http://www.blogher.com/bookclub/now-reading-magic-room
“The Magic Room” is about romance, tragedy, persistence, and most of all hope. As the subtitle explains, it’s also “a story about the love we wish for our daughters.” And it’s yet another attempt by Zaslow, bestselling co-author of “The Last Lecture” and father of three girls, to understand women. That’s futile, of course. He’s as mystified as ever. But at least he knows now what his role will be if he ever escorts one of his children to a bridal shop, and the book itself — to use the manliest possible term — is lovely. As lovely as a bride.”
NBC Universal Life Goes Strong site: Love, Marriage and the Art of Storytelling
Wall Street Journal columnist Zaslow (The Girls from Ames, 2009, etc.) delivers an emotive excursion through the world of parents and daughters and the state of marriage in the United States.
The author approaches his subjects via a small-town Michigan bridal shop, a canny choice in that he can take measure of the heartland while framing the bigger picture through sociological studies and then tightening down to his own fears and hopes as a father of three girls. The town of Fowler has only 1,100 residents, but it is a major crossroads in many lives: Becker’s Bridal has sold more than 100,000 gowns over nearly eight decades and four generations of Beckers. Zaslow writes in a tone of inclusive intimacy, focusing on six women who went to Becker’s to find the right dress. The author plucks at the heartstrings as he relates all the yearnings of the brides-to-be and the travails they encounter on the way to the altar. Zaslow offers plenty of statistics about love and marriage, but they pale in comparison to the everyday stories of the complex circumstances that often surround the big day. “A wedding is a happy life-cycle event, yes, but the harsher life-cycle moments aren’t kept at bay until after the wedding […] weddings are often optimistic islands surrounded by oceans of uncertainty, loneliness, and grief,” he writes. “For some women, a bridal gown can feel like a life preserver.” The author’s vignettes of the six women are wildly dissimilar, but they weave together into a complicated damascene that holds true to much age-old wisdom: Marriage involves serious demands on patience, endless petty annoyances and many compromises, as well as modesty, respect and duty.
Zaslow’s profile of the bridal shop, from the geopolitics of dressmaking to the effects of TV shows like Bridezillas, is almost as riveting as the bridal tales.
“I admire how Jeff took a topic our culture mocks — brides — and uses it to convey real stories about love for daughters (Jeff has three). You realize how much heartbreak there is in life — car accidents, heart attacks, divorces — yet some still manage to triumph…The Magic Room really is magic, and grabbed me, one of those books you can’t stop reading.”
GRAND RAPIDS PRESS: What a Wedding Dress Really Means
2nd Grand Rapids Press feature: New book captures essence of Becker’s Bridal
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Best-selling journalist delves into emotional and colorful world of bridal shops, and finds life itself
LANSING CITY PULSE: “Zaslow weaves stories of individual brides and Becker’s into a fascinating non-fiction tale that is an exposition on the symbolic wedding dress, marriage and love.”
Second feature in Lansing City Pulse: Every Dress Has a Story
2nd Mittenlit feature: Author takes inspirational writing to the next level
FLINT (Mi.) JOURNAL: Profile of bride Danielle Wenzel
In the small town of Fowler, MI, Becker’s Bridal has served over 100,000 brides-to-be since the mid-1930s. Along the way, fashions and customs have changed as brides have visited the store’s so-called Magic Room to gaze at endless mirrored images of themselves in their wedding gown, an apt metaphor for Zaslow (columnist, Wall Street Journal; The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women and a Forty-Year Friendship) as they reflect on their lives, relationships, and dreams for the future. Zaslow shadows half a dozen of the women who go to Becker’s Bridal, listening to their stories and writing a compelling and sincere chronology of the experiences, tragedies, and love that led them to the shop. His narrative is sprinkled with fascinating statistical information concerning marriage and divorce, as well as his cultural analysis and observations concerning family and spousal relationships and insights into the lives and relationships of the four generations of Becker women who have worked at the store. VERDICT Not an examination of today’s marriage industry but a study of individual lives and dreams, this is recommended for casual readers and those with an interest in cultural and social customs concerning marriage, women’s roles, and parent-child relationships.
“A tender, intimate study of the changing nature of wedlock. ”— Publisher’s Weekly review
“The Magic Room might be considered a corrective to Bridezillas. The brides Zaslow chooses to spotlight are considerate, caring, responsible and clean-living. Many have faced obstacles with courage”
“For mothers and daughters alike, “The Magic Room” is a bouquet of perfection.”
Vows Magazine (pdf)
Author Robin Jones Gunn: