Friday, September 14, 2007

The Dress Lodger

The Dress Lodger by Sheri Holman
Historical Fiction

This book is set in Sunderland, England in 1831 at the time of a cholera epidemic. Gustine is a young mother who works in a pottery factory by day and rents a gown to prostitize herself at night. Henry Chiver is a doctor who craves to learn more about anatomy. Gustine works at finding bodies for Henry to autopsy.

Gustine's baby was born with a medical condition. If she helps Henry will this help her baby? Both Gustiine and Henry are lost souls. They seem to cross the boundaries set by this period in time.

The descriptions of a factory town of this era are so vivid one feels the filth. I agree that there is a Dickensian feel to the book. This makes it a read you have to focus on.

The narrator of the story changes and this at times confused me.




Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I read this one awhile ago. Really liked it.

Jeane said...

It sounds really interesting. Did you feel it was an accurate portrayal of the time, of how people thought and acted, not just the setting?

Dana said...

WOM - I really liked the book also. It took a bit more focus than I expected due to the manner of the writing.

Jeane - somethings were very accurate re the epidemic and the doctors pursuit of bodies to dissect. Where I felt it was not true was the blurring of class lines between Gustine,Henry and Henry's fiancee.