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The Dressmaker ❮PDF / Epub❯ ☉ The Dressmaker Author Rosalie Ham – 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 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 exuisite dresses prove irresistible to the prim women of Dungatar Through her fashion business her friendship with Sergeant Farrat – the town’s only policeman who harbours 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.

10 thoughts on “The Dressmaker

  1. Sophie Sophie says:

    After twenty years Tilly Dunnage returns to Dungatar the small Australian town she grew up in to visit her ill mother Returning brings up memories of her unhappy childhood and the tragic accident which resulted in her leaving Dungatar as a child Trained as a dressmaker at the couture houses of Paris Tilly's beautiful gowns entice the prim and judgemental women of Dungatar and she becomes grudgingly accepted until another accident causes the townspeople to turn on her The thing I disliked most about this book was the malicious way the author portrayed her characters Stereotypes abound the blowsy barmade sexually frustrated spinster the overbearing mother in law the nosey neighbour etc Ham takes great delight in detailing people's physical failings in great and sometimes uite crass detail In contrast Tilly is almost saintly in her sophistication and suffering with her alabaster skin abundant hair and gorgeous figure The result is a large cast of extremely two dimensional characters who are so grotesue that it's difficult to care what happens to them The premise of the book a woman returns to the town where she grew up unhappily in to confront past demons is an interesting one but here it seems like a childish dream the kind of one where you go back to high school and show everybody who was mean to you how cool you are now and then punish them all There's no exploration of why the townspeople are so unhappy no understanding just sordid little secrets The melodramatic plot twists and turns and I just really wanted it to end Tedious

  2. PattyMacDotComma PattyMacDotComma says:

    4★A strange story indeed uirky characters in what appears to be a typical very small country town in Victoria Tilly Myrtle has returned from The Big Wide World to take care of her mother Mad Molly Dunnage She arrives one night at the train station with her bags and Singer sewing machine and the only character I liked Sergeant Farrat drives her home to the smelly house on The Hill by the tipTilly was bullied at school as a bastard and is snubbed by everyone now Mum is all she has Tilly discovers her mother is a scrawny filthy raving lunatic determined to cause trouble During the course of the book we watch Tilly scrub clean cook and gradually clean both her mother and the house As mother gets a bit healthier she becomes a little less crazed Still nutty but not uite as viciousThere were too many townsfolk and connections for me to keep track of but some stood out particularly the despised impoverished McSwiney family Dad is the night cart man and one of the younger kids is “Barney who was ‘not uite finished’ He was crooked with an upside down head and a club foot”There’s Muriel “Lipstick sat on the ends of each hair of Muriel’s pale moustache like tiny redhead matches She needed a tint and a perm and her feet were dry and cracked like big long warts”There’s the busybody chemist Mr Almanac who snoops in the photo packages that have come back from the lab to see what people are up to Faith’s photos are not only of her and her husband but there’s one of her reclining on a blanket next to another man’s car “Faith had been in whispering to Mr Almanac that she ‘had an itch down there’ and now he knew her lusty husband wasn’t the cause of her discomfort Mr Almanac unscrewed the lid of a jar of white paste and sniffed then reached for the open tin of White Lily abrasive cleaner on the sink at his elbow He scooped some onto his fingers then plunged them into the potion and stirred screwed the lid back on and put the jar at the front of the top shelf”Ewwww Nasty man It’s THAT kind of book You’re never uite sure who is capable of what But at least Mr Almanac is paying for his sins suffering from advanced Parkinson’s disease which has bent him into a uestion mark so much so that he can’t see where he’s going or control the direction or speed with which he stumbles until he hits something that stops him His assistant aims him out the shop door gives him a shove and he chugs across the road head down to his wife who holds out a cushion for his head to run into and stop himuirky indeed They are not major players in the story but I have chosen them to illustrate the nature of the book without giving any spoilers The sergeant is an absolutely delightful cross dresser which we learn in the first few pages He is thrilled to discover Tilly is a dressmaker I often found it getting slow and then suddenly something completely unexpected would happen including one of the funniest sex scenes I think I’ve ever read Some of the humour like the chemist’s condition is exaggerated but we realise these people are stuck in this town and couldn’t really go anywhere else Tilly DID go somewhere else and returned for her own reasons which we eventually learn She could still leave and survive but I don’t think any of the others could which makes the climax of the book all the satisfyingThese people are caricatures than characters but then cartoons can be as revealing and as much fun as films so who cares? The off beat humour will probably appeal to a lot of people and I’ll be interested to see the film eventually They certainly rounded up a good cast

  3. TL TL says:

    25 starsLoved the idea but not the execution it was hard to keep track of all the characters sometimes and they weren't portrayed in a flattering way An air of prejudice and bitterness hangs over alot of the town and it made me want to shake the people thereThe plot moved slowly but methodically it had its interesting points but most of the time it was blah I don't mind slow moving books most times but this one was painfully slow I did like Tilly but it was hard to understand her at times Teddy I was so so on Mad Molly was one of my favorites for most of the storyOne of those where you really don't like most of the characters but still read on to see what happensNever felt fully connected to everyone and I didn't understand the one blurb that proclaimed this a Gothic tale It didn't feel that way to meA fine idea but not an entirely enjoyable one Perhaps that's part of the point?I am curious about the movie so I may watch it not sure yetWould recommend? Yes you may like it better than me I have a feeling this is one that won't stay with me I don't regret reading it and thank you again to my Goodreads Secret Santa just wish I had liked it betterAaah well onto the nextHappy reading

  4. Carole Carole says:

    What a delicious book I loved the dark humour of this Australian novel The characters in the small down of Dungatar are so awful that you just have to love them I loved the writing the links with fabric fashion and sewing and could picture it all in detail I'm sure I read this with a permanent smile on my face and I didn't want it to end Highly recommended

  5. Margitte Margitte says:

    The Dressmaker was undoubtedly the surprise of the yearFrom the blurb A darkly satirical novel of love revenge and 1950s haute couture Myrtle and Molly Dunnage were the outcasts in Dungatar Australia Paying for other people's sins were like it but the town did not find it difficult to make these two people the culprits of the town's many secrets meanness and bigotry Openly so With no remorse of any kindMyrtle returns from Europe with her special dressmaking talents and turns the women into a gang of bon vivants on a haute couture high while taking care of her disabled mother Molly was mentally and emotionally disabled by the perpetual vendettas against her Many years of neglect resulted in her physical poor health unable to take care of herselfWhen Myrtle returns she decides to turn the tables Gobsmackingly so HOLY COW yesssss The town had some bills coming their way and it will be paid in ways they never anticipated Pain will no longer be our curse Molly’ sheMyrtle said ‘It will be our revenge and our reason I have made it my catalyst and my propeller It seems only fair don’t you think?’ This is a beautiful book Dark and sinister haute couture noir gothic in essence if you will However the characters were funny uirky colorful eccentric smart dumb and uniue The story sad but wonderful There was a sinister town dumb and beautiful gardens Magical and mystical gems Beautiful souls who slowly bled to death Spirit that conuered the unthinkable It all changes when Myrtle arrives back in town Revenge and redemption come into play big time The prose was lyrical and smart My favorite character is undoubtedly the cross dressing police chief Sergeant Horatio Farrat ‘But oh my’ said the sergeant and raised his shoulders and closed his eyes in rapture ‘you should see the material Tilly’s got for herself’ He placed his hands on his cheeks ‘Silk organza – magenta And the design – she’s a real couturier’ he sighed ‘The structure of Balenciaga the simplicity of Chanel the drapery of Vionnet and the art of Delaunay’ He walked away with his hat perched smartly and his shoes sparkling The McSwineys were the other down and out family with the dad being the night cart man and Barney not uite what he should be with his club foot and upside down head There was a gap in the McSwiney children after Barney a pause but they had got used to him and decided there wasn’t much wrong really and started again fairly uickly In all there were now eleven McSwiney offspring I haven't read the blurb or reviews on the book apart from PattyMacDotComma's enticing thoughts and decided to make this an impromptu read A sort of on a whim read What a delight it wasAnd then discover DeB MaRtEnS's informative review providing the meaning of some of the names in the book Great job DeB Love the result of your literary sleuthing How great was the surprise to discover from the blurb that this book have become a major motion picture starring Kate Winslet and Liam Hemsworth It is a super idea This book is like The Light Between The Oceans by MLStedman an Australian gem Absolutely brilliantI'm going to watch the movie nowhttpswwwyoutubecomwatch?vxWtjRECOMMENDED

  6. Brenda Brenda says:

    25★sWhen Tilly Dunnage returned after twenty years to Dungatar the small Australian town she used to call home she knew she would be shunned by the same people who had banished her as a child She needed to check on the welfare of her mother and then she would leave again Tilly had been trained as a dressmaker in Paris; her skill was second to none – but that would mean nothing to the bitter and vengeful women of the townTilly’s mother Molly was in a dreadful state – demented and filthy Tilly was shocked at the state of the home But hard work had never worried Tilly – she set herself the task of righting the house the garden and most importantly her mother And she decided to stay in Dungatar much to the disgust of the folk of the town Sergeant Farrat picked up his earlier friendship with Tilly and while she rebuffed Teddy his stubbornness kept him by her sideAs the women saw the evidence of Tilly’s skill they were bemused But they also wanted to own beautiful dresses and so the competition to be the best dressed began Rivalry and resentment were rife in the town – whatever would happen next? The Dressmaker by Aussie author Rosalie Ham wasn’t at all like I expected I was shocked at the unexpectedly crude and graphic descriptions in certain parts of the book and I still have no idea why they were there To my mind they didn’t add to the story – in fact for me it’s uite the opposite Yet in other places it was uite humerous So I’m sorry to say I didn’t like the book and was really disappointed skimming through sections to reach the end

  7. Myrna Myrna says:

    The premise of this book is good; however the novel involves too many characters and too many plots Really struggled to get into this book at the beginning but did get better Look forward to the movie

  8. Amanda Mae Amanda Mae says:

    An interesting book for sure I was initially intrigued about it when I learned Kate Winslet and a Hemsworth were going to be in the film adaptation But I really hope the film changes some aspects of the story because when I got to a certain plot point I wanted to throw the book across the room I was so upset I love the idea of this awful little Australian town and all its oddball characters that Tilly returns to But I struggled to follow all the characters and understand Tilly's motivations when they are revealed it seemed rushed and not terribly convincing I feel like could have been done to flesh out the story and characters and make them distinctive And I would have appreciated a little better resolution in the end It didn't uite sit right with me But I still enjoyed the experience of reading the book overall and look forward to seeing how it translates to the screen

  9. 余馨 余馨 says:

    what a hoot what a period piece it's a slice of 1950s country town Australia which makes it a slice of pavlova you'll slap the laminex table in mirth you'll settle back with a shandy in the banana lounge and chuckle your way through it the descriptions of the gowns are divine particularly one number that the author assures us flattered her fridge like form the humour may be lost on the foreigners so proceed with caution if you're not from the antipodes

  10. Jx PinkLady Reviews ♡ @bookwormthoughts Jx PinkLady Reviews ♡ @bookwormthoughts says:

    This book was chosen by a local book club I'm part of and had very mixed reviews from the group Some really enjoyed loving the uirkiness of the prose and the characters but some found the story a little dull A complaint from a few was the plethora of additional characters which I personally felt were almost part of the scenery adding layers to the feel of the storyboard The third person narrative combined with the excessive amount of characters at times made the story lose focus for my personal tastes and caused my disinterest in the happenings I mostly enjoyed the heroine’s story and I wish of this element had been explored within the prose to increase my overall enjoyment

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