The Midnight Dress – 2014 Davitt Award – Young Adult Fiction – by Karen Foxlee
Author: Karen Foxlee
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
Copyright Year: 2013
No of Pages: 328
Review By: Vikki Petraitis
Rose Lovell’s dad is an alcoholic and father and daughter move around quite a bit. One stop they make turns out to be different from all the rest. At school, she meets a wonderful new friend, Pearl, who convinces her to become part of the town’s Harvest Parade. That decision leads to a chance meeting with a strange and magical dressmaker with a dark and mysterious story to tell.
From the author of The Anatomy of Wings, comes this second novel which is beautifully written. Rose is a solitary self-reliant character, and young readers will identify with her fierce independence. A teasing series of inter-chapters hint at a dark happening beyond the present time of the narrative. This device beguiles the reader. A lovely aspect of The Midnight Dress is the relationship between Rose and the elderly dressmaker. It is perhaps because the dressmaker doesn’t push the taciturn Rose, but breaks through her hard shell through story and sewing. This book is a beautiful read