#BookReview: What Might Have Been by Lynn Steward

On the blurb

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.


What Might Have Been by Lynn Steward is the second book of the Dana McGarry series. As the blurb suggests, Dana, our protagonist is a fashion buyer in the city of New York. And as the cover of the book suggests, this is a very warm and feel good story. 
Dana has had a very turbulent life of late, owing to her husband’s infidelity and their divorce. That shouldn’t make you believe that she is sad in life. Her career is going great and she has a nice personal life too. However, life as it is, it comes with its own twists and turns. 
Set in the 70s and with New York as the backdrop, the book grabs your attention right from the cover. I had finished reading it in one afternoon, that should explain how nicely it has been written. The book throws a sneak peak into the fashion worls from that time, as well as Dana’s personal life and its upheavals. Interestingly, despite being part of a series, the book works well as a stand alone as well. I myself haven’t read the first book and didn;t at any point of time, feel that I don’t know the story in some way.  

It is lovely to see a career woman of the 70s, crumble and then stand up, bloom and become herself all over again. 
Rating: ****/5


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
Buy the book here:

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