The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham is said to be a gothic novel. I’m not sure what that means but I did enjoy this rather uncomfortable read. I loved Tilly, the main character, and her calm acceptance and way with her nutty mother. Some truly torrid and horrid characters live within the pages who left me desperate on seeing their comeuppance. The Dressmaker is a dark tale of the clique, small-mindedness of some small country towns and a fascinating look behind closed doors of what I hope were some exaggerated personalities.
When Tilly Dunnage returns to Dungatar and her “mad old” mother, the locals maintain the rage that banished Tilly decades earlier. They think nothing of using her skills as a talented dressmaker though and for a time it seems Tilly may have been accepted back into the fold. Deliciously wicked, but I’m not so sure the ending was entirely credible. I recommend The Dressmaker as a good read that never lets you get complacent and keeps you reading with some excellent, sometimes heartbreaking, plot twists.
The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham 2000
Duffy & Snellgrove ISBN: 1875989706