Thursday 21 October 2021

πŸ“– Book Review ~ The Black Dress by Deborah Moggach


July 2021

My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book

Pru's husband has walked out, leaving her alone to contemplate her future. She's missing not so much him, but the life they once had - picnicking on the beach with small children, laughing together, nestling up like spoons in the cutlery drawer as they sleep. Now there's just a dip on one side of the bed and no-one to fill it.

In a daze, Pru goes off to a friend's funeral. Usual old hymns, words of praise and a eulogy doesn't sound like the friend Pru knew. And it isn't. She's gone to the wrong service. Everyone was very welcoming, it was - oddly - a laugh, and more excitement than she's had for ages. So she buys a little black dress in a charity shop and thinks, now I'm all set, why not go to another? I mean, people don't want to make a scene at a funeral, do they? No-one will challenge her - and what harm can it do?

πŸ“– My thoughts..

When Pru's husband leaves her so he can start a new life, her comfortable world falls apart. Rattling around in the family home in Muswell Hill, in a house which is far to big for her, and with her children living their own lives in far off places, Pru feels as if her life has ended. With her mind in a daze Pru inadvertently attends a wrong funeral but she receives such a warm welcome from people she doesn’t know that she is comforted by their grief. With the fickleness of fate very much on her side, Pru then finds the most perfect black dress in a charity shop and the seed of an idea is sown.

Pru is absolutely fabulous at seventy, and although we see her through some pretty dark and dreary times, we also get a glimpse of her glorious personality beneath the sadness of her life. When she embraces life, Pru does so with a sharp determination which had me cheering at some of her escapades. Her romantic adventures had me giggling but under the irreverent look at dating there is also an undercurrent of real loneliness and a deep sadness that life is racing away with her.

Beautifully observed, with a wry look at life, and several twists I didn't see coming, The Black Dress is a refreshing story. There is a nod to the early days of the pandemic which very firmly places the story in the here and now, but which doesn’t intrude on the overall detail of this wonderful story.

About the Author

Deborah Moggach, OBE, is a British novelist and an award winning screenwriter.She has written twenty novels, including Tulip Fever and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Her most novel, The Carer, was a Sunday Times best seller. She live in London.

Twitter  #TheBlackDress #DeborahMoggach


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