Published by Hot Key
The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee
Hot Key Books £7.99
Another story that adds to the dramatic tension by starting at the end. This book was originally ordered by us for a customer who wanted to check whether it was suitable for her 10 year old daughter, who had loved the very enjoyable Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy, also by this author. It wasn’t, but it is a wonderful read for teenagers from age 13 or 14. Set near Cairns, the novel follows the progress of 15 year old Rose Lovell who lives a wandering and dislocated life travelling with her father, an artist with a drink problem. Turning up at the aptly named Paradise Bay with their ramshackle caravan as her father goes through a rare dry period, she is reluctantly drawn into friendship with relentlessly and volubly friendly school beauty Pearl. Rose even finds herself joining in with the annual search for the most beautiful dress to wear at the Harvest Parade and encounters an odd and story-filled old woman who helps her sew a magical and stunning midnight blue dress. The novel is lyrical in its superb evocation of the natural world and the mysteries of love, and humorous in its treatment of sardonic young Rose, but there is also a dark undercurrent indicated from the start, so be warned, handkerchiefs at the ready!
Also a warning for parents. It does contain a little bad language, but not an inordinate amount and it does not detract from the general beauty of the writing.