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The Dressmaker
 
 

The Dressmaker [Kindle Edition]

Beryl Bainbridge
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Product Description

Book Description

* This wonderful novel showing Beryl Bainbridge at her darkly comic best - out for the first time as an Abacus paperback

Product Description

Wartime Liverpool is a place of ration books and jobs in munitions factories. Rita, living with her two aunts Nellie and Margo, is emotionally naïve and withdrawn. When she meets Ira, a GI, at a neighbour's party she falls in love almost as much with the idea of life as a GI bride as with the man himself. But Nellie and Margo are not so blind . . .

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 248 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus (2 Sep 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004D39MUY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #67,370 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Startling 19 Nov 2002
By taking a rest HALL OF FAME
Format:Paperback
I have read about a dozen of this lady's works, and this is one of the more chilling tales I have experienced. Everything about the characters is artificial bordering on unnatural. I found the cadence of the book slow, almost plodding, however taken as a complete tale the very opposite is the case.

A young girl Rita described as, "wrapped in tissue paper all her life", lives with two Aunts, with frequent visits from her, "Uncle". Those that have raised her live lives so bereft of anything worth mentioning, that their nurturing of this child into a young woman cannot produce a practically educated woman, much less a confident individual who is worldly wise. When Rita decides to step out with her peers to engage with young men, the participation from the mentioned relatives ranges from too little too late, to reprehensibly cruel.
The Uncle who is a butcher cannot abide blood when an assistant cuts himself. One Aunt has created a museum of her Mother's furniture and knickknacks inclusive of a severe portrait of the deceased that overlooks this memorial. While this could be called eccentric, the author elevates and darkens the obsession exponentially.

Nothing is positive in this view of World War II England. Even the American Soldiers are described as having but 3 faults; they are overpaid, oversexed, and over here. Even the cat that haunts this house has a name that is unprintable here, however the moniker is consistent with commentary on Catholics, Mongrel Americans, and others ad nauseum.

Ms. Bainbridge writes wonderful work that really needs to be read to the final page. She does not tip her hand, the ending is only predictable as the pages left become fewer, and only when she is ready does she deliver her sometimes-dramatic conclusion.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply stunning 23 May 2011
Format:Hardcover
A remarkable piece of writing. This is a book with so many layers - should you care to look a little deeper - the writing style is simple, yet beautiful. I read this in a couple of days, but if I'd had the time I could easily have read from beginning to end in one sitting (not something I would generally do, and to be fair it's not a long book). This book certainly carries a strong 'punch'.

I agree with the other reviewer, you have to stay with it until the end, don't give up on it. Put in a bit of effort and you'll reap a worthy reward.

Read it, you're missing out on something special if you don't.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Evoking memories 10 Feb 2012
Format:Paperback
The book evokes a time that I do remember as I am old - it is very well structured and she has an excellent eye for detail. It triggered lots of memories in terms of time and place. Nonetheless I found it very depressing - the protagonists lead such narrow, limited, confined and rather pointless lives and to be honest, I found the ending a little implausible - but maybe I am naive. Not really my kind of book but a well written social document.
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