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.