A darkly satirical novel of love, revenge, and 1950s haute couture - soon to be a major motion picture starring Kate Winslet and Liam Hemsworth.
After 20 years spent mastering the art of dressmaking at couture houses in Paris, Tilly Dunnage returns to the small Australian town she was banished from as a child. She plans only to check on her ailing mother and leave. But Tilly decides to stay, and though she is still an outcast, her lush, exquisite dresses prove irresistible to the prim women of Dungatar. Through her fashion business, her friendship with Sergeant Farrat - the town's only policeman, who harbors an unusual passion for fabrics - and a budding romance with Teddy, the local football star whose family is almost as reviled as hers, she finds a measure of grudging acceptance. But as her dresses begin to arouse competition and envy in town, causing old resentments to surface, it becomes clear that Tilly's mind is set on a darker design: exacting revenge on those who wronged her, in the most spectacular fashion.
©2015 Rosalie Ham (P)2015 Penguin Audio
While this is a well-told story, it is about more than just the dressmaker, it is about the town she comes home to. Because of the audio format, I found it difficult to keep the large cast of characters in town straight. The performance was clear, and the pace of reading excellent, but there was no differentiation in voice for each of the characters, which would have helped the listener keep them all straight.
While I would definitely recommend this novel, I would not necessarily recommend the audio format.
When I finished the book it took me a minute to realize I was really at the end - thought there would be another section - Part II. I guess I'll just have to wait for The Dressmaker continues.
I just love the narrator. Great voice and accent. The book is so unique and memorable. If you've seen the movie already this is much different but the movie keeps mostly in line with this. I saw the movie and wanted more. This was what I was hoping for.
Hi all. I'm in my 50's (that's relevant, i think), and I favor fiction. I like the british sensibility, and was introduced to the Forsyte Saga through audible ... loved it! I happen to also like Chinese writers, but they are not well represented yet at audible. Looking to follow readers with similar tastes ...
I do understand that this book is now a movie, however, i simply was too bored to get beyond the first few chapters. It is possible that the narrator's accent stood in the way, but i cannot recommend as an audible purchase.
Detailed descriptions of a culture and geography unfamiliar to me made it easy to follow the story, but could not overcome the failures of plot and characterization. Even if this book was intended as an example of how lack of communication and the inability to have emotionally intimate relationships leads to the breakdown of individuals and society as a whole, it fails to achieve that goal because the author herself fails to communicate the intimate thoughts and feelings of the most of the characters.
The one exception to this failure is the police sergeant who sews himself a beautiful wardrobe and crossdresses in the privacy of his home. His experience of imagining, designing, making, and wearing luxurious clothes, followed by his discovery of a kindred spirit of sorts, makes him the most fully-developed character-and yet we still learn nothing of his history, he never expresses his thoughts or feelings about what he is doing.
The only reactions we ever know about are the presumed protagonist of the title, and even her reactions are third-hand, unclear and unexplained.
I have not listened to anything read by Rachel Griffiths before, but found her narration easy to follow and pleasant.
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