Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Book Club January 2014

So, we read Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker for book club.

As I have said before, I don't mind historical fiction.  In fact, if I had my way, most of our book club selections would be some sort of historical fiction.

Not bodice ripping, Beatrice Small -type "historical fiction."  More like Margaret George, Sharon Kay Penman, Rosalind Miles, and some of Phillipa Gregory.

Apologies for any spelling atrocities.

I was really looking forward to this one.  I've always thought people like Elizabeth Keckley (the dressmaker in question) would have a fascinating perspective.

That guy that pushed FDR's wheelchair?  I want to know what he knew.  He had an unprecedented level of access, more so than any household staff, because he was in the room with the heavy hitters. 

Like I said, I was looking forward to reading this one. 

Sadly, this book was a huge disappointment. 

On the positive side, I found the relationship between Elizabeth and Mrs. Lincoln to be interesting.  The history tidbits were interesting.  And, I feel like I learned about an aspect of American history that I didn't know (or, heretofore had forgotten).

What set my teeth on edge was the author's writing style.

I didn't read the text upon which this novel was based, but others in the group that did said this iteration was almost reproduced  word for word.

Then, I realized what I didn't like about Dressmaker.  It read like a 5th grader's "research paper" where the bulk of the content is regurgitated World Book Encyclopedia entries.

It read that way because the author just cribbed the original source material.

Such a disappointment.  I expected better.

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