The Dressmaker

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Soon to be a major motion picture.

After twenty years away, Tilly Dunnage returns to Dungatar.

Dungatar is a small country town, where the townspeople’s eccentricities are many and varied – from Sergeant Farrat’s predilection for cross-dressing, to pharmacist Almanac’s retributive scheme of potion dispensing, not to forget the affairs and assorted dark secrets. But none of these can compare to Tilly’s sin: to have lived somewhere else. At first she is ostracised, but the townspeople gradually accept her in order to make use of her extraordinary dressmaking skills. At last Tilly feels she might have found home.

But small towns are strange places, where vanity rules, and, once again reviled, she sets out to teach the town a lesson. In the process she faces the ghosts of her past, and wreaks a havoc that provides a most satisfying revenge.

Peopled with exotic characters, this is a story of love, hate and haute couture, set in a country town that’s disconcerting to visit but a bitingly comedic and heart-breaking place to live. A warm and nasty book, The Dressmaker  has aroused in some readers’ minds a vision of Drysdale’s ‘The Drover’s Wife’ dressed by Chanel.

The novel is presently being filmed by Jocelyn Moorhouse, with Kate Winslet and Judy Davis in the main roles, frocks by Tim Chappel (Priscilla).

Rosalie Ham was born and raised in the Riverina, in southern NSW, and now lives in Brunswick, Victoria. She studied drama and literature before taking up writing seriously and has had three stage plays and one radio play performed in Melbourne.

The Dressmaker was her first novel. She has subsequently published Summer at Mount Hope (Duffy & Snellgrove) and There Should be More Dancing (Random House).
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