The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham & Black Hearts by Arlene J. Chai

by
October 2000, no. 225
Buy this book

The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham

Duffy & Snellgrove, $18.95 pb, 296 pp

Book Cover 2 Small

Black Hearts

by Arlene J. Chai

Random House, $18.60 pb, 400 pp

The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham & Black Hearts by Arlene J. Chai

by
October 2000, no. 225

Set in the 1950s in a tiny Australian country town called Dungatar, Rosalie Ham’s The Dressmaker explores the rippling effects of chaos when a woman returns home after twenty years of exile in Europe. Tilly Dunnage was expelled from Australia in a fog of hate and recrimination; her neighbours have never forgiven her for an act Tilly thought was predicated upon self-preservation, but others chose to see as manslaughter. Returning to look after her senile mother, Tilly sits in a ramshackle house atop a hill while the town people below bitch and snipe at her with rancorous glee. This is a story about loose lips and herd mentality bullying in a town where everybody knows your past. The dressmaking title refers to Tilly’s fabulous seamstress skills (she learnt the trade overseas). But even her ability to transform the frumpiest shapes into figures of grace does not mellow the unforgiving hearts of her neighbours.

Thuy On reviews 'The Dressmaker' by Rosalie Ham and 'Black Hearts' by Arlene J. Chai

The Dressmaker

by Rosalie Ham

Duffy & Snellgrove, $18.95 pb, 296 pp

Buy this book
Book Cover 2 Small

Black Hearts

by Arlene J. Chai

Random House, $18.60 pb, 400 pp

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