Book Review: The Dress Lodger by Sheri Holman

I expect that I’ll be in the doghouse in a few hours.  Tonight is book
club and The Dress Lodger is this month’s selection.

Don’t worry—there won’t be any spoilers in this review because . . .

I didn’t read the book!  No, it’s true, I did not read the book.  I started
it a few weeks ago and read two or three pages–saw that it would go
right along and put it down.  I like to read the club selection just a few
days before our meeting—

So I picked it up again the other day.  Everyone says it’s a great book–
got good reviews—New York Times Notable Book of the Year.  I feel like
I’ve failed to keep up the parade.

But I don’t like the book.  Why?  Well, sometimes you’re (me, that is) just
not in the mood to read page after page about digging up corpses and
feeling the slimy, spongy old bodies and trying to see if the character, the
grave digger, will really manage to get the corpse in one piece to put in
his bag . . .I don’t care if it IS for medical science experiments.

And the “dress lodger” in her borrowed beautiful blue dress—cute angle–
doesn’t cut much sympathy with me, though I only gave her 45 pages to
make her case.

And, finally, I wish reviewers wouldn’t compare everything that was written
about the 1800s to be “Dickensian”.   I didn’t notice any of Dickens’ empathy
for the human condition or gentle humor — So don’t throw “Dickensian”
into this conversation about The Dress Lodger just because Holman and
Dickens shared some grubby London streets.

Just my opinion—sounding grumpy I know.  Maybe someday I’ll pick the
book back up when I’m in the mood to read uncomfortable descriptions
and feel depressed.

In the meantime, sit tight and when I get home tonight after the meeting,
I’ll let you know what the book club members thought.

*********and here I am—early evening at book club–we were fast and the
night is very cold and we all wanted to get home!  I was the only one who
didn’t read the book.  But, on the other hand, only two “liked” it with the
others finishing it –to finish it!  And one member bravely saying she hated
it.  Score one for my side.

Next month: The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.  And I know this one’s
good because I already read it.   What are YOU reading?



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6 Responses to Book Review: The Dress Lodger by Sheri Holman

  1. Buttondeb says:

    Hmmm. Or, the next time you are in the mood to read uncomfortable descriptions and feel depressed, you could pick up the newspaper…some books are better left unread!

  2. Booksilver says:

    Well, you’ve read depressing or difficult books before, so I guess this one just didn’t manage to win your interest enough in those early pages to keep you reading through the tough stuff. That’s all right. You win some, you lose some! I see it’s gotten mixed reviews on goodreads. I will try it myself, though, because I’m interested in the time period and setting. Will be interesting to see what I think of it myself!

    • booksandbuttons says:

      Hello Booksilver–apparently the “tough stuff” lasts all the way
      through the book! And, interestingly, although the storyline
      in set in 1831 . . .one book club member felt that the time
      period was off—seemed like a much earlier time than 1800s.
      Now I’ll be interested in *your* slant on the time represented.
      Thanks for your comment.

  3. Stefanie says:

    I am pretty sure I read this book back when it first came out and was so popular but you know, it left so little impression that I can’t recall a single thing about it!

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