Yesterday I told you about a different book by the same name. Today we'll look at The Dressmaker that was recently made into a movie starring Kate Winslet.
Summary (via Goodreads): After twenty 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.
Review (3/5 stars): This book started slowly for me, but as I passed the halfway mark in the book I suddenly found myself interested in all of the crazy characters of Dungatar (and there are many) and wanting to know how their zany lives would turn out.
There aren't many people in the novel who you'll like right off the bat but once you finally get introduced to Tilly and Molly properly and start to learn their history, you will suddenly understand them and probably start to fall in love with them both.
The book delves into all kinds of themes that anyone from a small town will relate to, with bullying and gossiping at the forefront. Tilly endures some really unimaginable treatment and still somehow manages to rise above it all.
All of the stereotypes that you would meet in any small town make an appearance in this story, only here most of them are stretched to the extreme. Somewhere near the beginning of the book it mentions that everyone in this town has their secrets, but no one's talking for fear that their own secrets will be exposed.
It took a book club discussion for me to really warm up to this book. When I first closed it I couldn't help but be reminded of the blurb on the back of the book that calls it a 'darkly satirical novel', it is most definitely that.
I'm still not totally over the moon about it but I am looking forward to watching the movie. Having just watched the trailer below I wonder if this might be one of those rare stories where the movie is actually better than the book.
If you're looking for a book strangely humorous, but dark, story about revenge and comeuppance, then you'll probably get a kick out of this short read.
Have you seen the movie and read the book? The trailer looks like they've taken quite a few liberties with the storyline. What did you think? Leave a comment below~