The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee

How did I get the book?  Blogger Brunch

Genre: Magical Realism

Synopsis: All her life, Rose Lovell has moved from town to town with her alcoholic father. When they wash up in an Australian coastal sugarcane town, Rose wonders if maybe, finally, things will be different this time. On her first day at school, Rose meets Pearl Kelly, a popular, pretty and lively girl intent on tracking down her long-lost Russian father. She convinces Rose to join in with the town’s annual Harvest Parade, and Rose agrees, despite thinking the whole thing is embarrassingly yokel. She has to find a truly special dress – one that will make it clear she is different to the rest of the girls in this town. And who better to help her than the local eccentric, Edie Baker, who knows all the town’s secrets and whose own family is a rich tapestry of stories, including whispers of witchcraft and murder. Edie agrees on the condition that Rose will create the dress with her – a dress woven from scraps and secrets and stories.

But when the girl wearing the midnight blue dress goes missing, the town will find it has secrets of its own to tell, and nothing can ever be the same again. THE MIDNIGHT DRESS weaves a mesmerising story of love, loss and longing to the very last page.

200words (or less) review: I’m not sure where to place this book; it’s beautifully written, vivid, but not a thrilling read in my opinion. I’d recommend it to readers looking for something intriguing and unique.

The Midnight Dress begins by telling us the end, or so the narrator says. It is the end of sorts but of course there is more to be unraveled. What I liked about The Midnight Dress is that we have three central stories, with little tales woven in-between.

The book is about Rosa, new in town, who ends up visiting Edie in search for a dress for the Harvest Parade. Edie lives alone and has many rumours attached to her existence. Both their lives and struggles are central to the book, along with the narrator who tells us a little more of the ending with each chapter.

The Midnight Dress is a book that I read for the writing and the story. While the characters are interesting (particularly Edie) it wasn’t what made me struggle to put the book down. The way Karen Foxlee bought all the different elements together so beautifully that’s what had my attention.

Recommend it?


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