The squares for this years book bingo have slowly been crossed off and now I’m down to the final few, a couple I know just what I’m going to read for, but there are still a few unknowns, especially Comedy, Non fiction book about an event and Themes of Justice, so if anyone has any suggestions for thiese squares, then please let me know in the comments.
Anyhow, on to this fortnights square Literary is being crossed off by Wearing Paper Dresses by Anne Brinsden. This square was slightly difficult as I don’t tend to read a lot of literary books. I have judged this one as literary because of the way it is written.
This was a difficult read for me. I struggled with the narration style of the novel, it did nothing to draw me in and took a good 90 pages for me to get used to the style of narration and the ‘being told a story’ rather than feeling part of the story.
The prose was lyrical and at times it had some profound things to say such as “Because Marjorie saw that some people are chipped and damaged, cracked and frayed, exquisite and talented. But they care. They love whatever they can. In spite of their madness and their sadness, they still try. But some people are just mean bastards.”
But its lyrical way of being narrated didn’t work for me, I wasn’t really drawn into the story until nearly halfway and even then I wasn’t really enjoying it, just reading because I wanted to get to the end and find out what, if anything, happened. And really for a novel of nearly 400 pages, not too much did happen.
It is a story about mental illness, the struggles it can cause not just for the person suffering, but those who care for that person. Elise has a serious mental illness and this is the cause of a massive tragedy, it is also the cause of many smaller tragedies that affect her children, her husband, and her father-in-law. The people in the country weren’t particularly kind people, they were judgemental and cruel at times, and at others banded together, but often too late.
It’s definitely not a happy story and it mostly focuses on Marjorie who is at times cruel and unfeeling, but I think this can be related to the struggles of dealing with her mother.
Many people have thoroughly enjoyed this novel, but it wasn’t my cup of tea.
Thanks extended to Beauty and Lace Book Club and Macmillan Australia for providing me with a copy of this novel in return for an honest review.