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The Dressmaker Paperback – 2 Sep 2010
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* This wonderful novel showing Beryl Bainbridge at her darkly comic best - out for the first time as an Abacus paperback
About the Author
Beryl Bainbridge wrote seventeen novels, two travel books and five plays for stage and television. Shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times, she won literary awards including the Whitbread Prize and Author of the Year at the British Book Awards. She died in July 2010.
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an enormously depressing book, with no redeeming value i can see.
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.
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. In this event it is a bit like a hammer between the eyes.
Once again, "The Dressmaker", is another unique tale from this wonderfully diverse Author, and is well worth your time.
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