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The Dressmaker

by Rosalie Ham

Recently adapted for the big screen and starring Kate Winslet, The Dressmaker is an Australian gothic novel of love, hate and haute couture. Sometime in the 1950s, Tilly Dunnage, a Paris couturier, returns to her home town of Dungatar having been expelled as a ten year old. Her intention is to visit her mad mother Molly, and leave. Instead, she stays, collides with her past, exacts revenge upon the people who pilloried her, then departs, leaving behind her a town ruined, and another past to flee. Rosalie Ham’s first novel, The Dressmaker, was an unprecedented success for a debut novel, and continues to be a popular book club choice, soon to be a film starring Kate Winslet.

“Rosalie Ham’s The Dressmaker was one of those rare first novels that arrived virtually unannounced…and gathered momentum largely by word of mouth to become a bestseller and book club favourite. Ham writes delightfully rich set pieces and descriptive passages… Ham’s eye for the absurd, the comical and the poignant are highly tuned. It is a first novel to be proud of, and definitely one to savour and enjoy.”—The Weekend Australian