I’m delighted to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for delicious dark comedy The Black Dress by Deborah Moggach. Thank you to Anne Cater and Headline for giving me the opportunity to read and review this simply unforgettable book.
About the book:
From the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Carer Deborah Moggach’s The Black Dress is a beautifully observed, darkly funny, tender and surprising novel about life changes and the unexpected twists and pleasures of being alone.
Pru is on her own. But then, so are plenty of other people. And while the loneliness can be overwhelming, surely she’ll find a party somewhere?
Pru’s husband has walked out, leaving her alone to contemplate her future. She’s missing not so much him, but the life they once had – picnicking on the beach with small children, laughing together, nestling up like spoons in the cutlery drawer as they sleep. Now there’s just a dip on one side of the bed and no-one to fill it.
In a daze, Pru goes off to a friend’s funeral. Usual old hymns, words of praise and a eulogy but…it doesn’t sound like the friend Pru knew. And it isn’t. She’s gone to the wrong service. Everyone was very welcoming, it was – oddly – a laugh, and more excitement than she’s had for ages. So she buys a little black dress in a charity shop and thinks, now I’m all set, why not go to another? I mean, people don’t want to make a scene at a funeral, do they? No-one will challenge her – and what harm can it do?
Praise for Deborah Moggach:
‘Full of warmth and humour, as well as blistering truths’ Daily Mirror
‘Moggach is at the height of her powers’ Sunday Times
‘Unputdownable, fun and tender with characters that jump off the page. Perfection’ Marian Keyes
About the author:
Deborah Moggach, OBE, is a British novelist and an award-winning screenwriter. She has written twenty novels, including Tulip Fever, These Foolish Things (which became the bestselling novel and film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), and The Carer. She lives in London.
The Black Dress is a deliciously dark and humorous tale from the pen of acclaimed author Deborah Moggach. Like The Carer before it, The Black Dress is a cleverly plotted book that delivers a blistering social commentary at the same time as entertaining us with twists and turns that are as unexpected as they are surprising. Told with the sharp wit and dark humour we’ve come to expect from this author, it touches on themes of growing older and loneliness as we join 69 year old Pru as she tries to find meaning in her life after the sudden departure of her husband, who has left her after many years of a supposedly happy marriage.
Told in the first person, Pru’s loneliness is palpable as she begins to contemplate what life will be like now she’s alone. With only her best friend, the outgoing and young at heart Azra, for company, Pru decides she needs to find herself a new man. Accidentally attending the wrong funeral after the death of a friend, she suddenly realises that this would be the perfect way to spot a potential new partner. And so begins a shockingly dark venture that sees Pru, armed with nothing more than the little black dress she spied one day in a shop window, preying on widowed men on the day they say goodbye to their wives.
I have to admit to having a bit of a complicated relationship with Pru, this complex and not always easy to like character, but Deborah Moggach’s writing brings her to life in such a way that you can’t help but feel empathy for her even when some of her actions make you recoil in horror. The dark and humorous social commentary is brutal in its honesty, feeling authentically real as Pru stumbles her way through the aging process, her fear of loneliness taking her places she never would have thought possible in her younger years.
With a cast of vividly drawn characters and an intricately plotted storyline that veers off in directions you never would have expected, The Black Dress is a dark and emotionally intense tale that leaves you reeling. Deborah Moggach has written a black comedy that has the ability to move you to tears, shock you to your core, but most of all make you think.
A cleverly written, highly sophisticated and often surprising social comedy that I would highly recommend.
The Black Dress by Deborah Moggach is available to purchase now!
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