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Publisher's Summary

After 20 years spent mastering the art of dressmaking at couture houses in Paris, Tilly Dunnage returns to the small Australian town she was banished from as a child. She plans only to check on her ailing mother and leave.

But Tilly decides to stay, and though she is still an outcast, her lush, exquisite dresses prove irresistible to the prim women of Dungatar.

Through her fashion business, her friendship with Sergeant Farrat - the town’s only policeman, who harbours an unusual passion for fabrics - and a budding romance with Teddy, the local football star whose family is almost as reviled as hers, she finds a measure of grudging acceptance.

But as her dresses begin to arouse competition and envy in town, causing old resentments to surface, it becomes clear that Tilly’s mind is set on a darker design: exacting revenge on those who wronged her, in the most spectacular fashion.

©2000 Rosalie Ham (P)2015 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What listeners say about The Dressmaker

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good Aussie yarn

I really enjoyed Rachel Griffiths reading of this novel.
The characters are very funny and the story is hilarious but somehow believable.
The ending didn't really lend itself to a sequel for the main character, but I hope to listen to something similar in the future.

6 people found this helpful

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Just ok

Found Rachel Griffith's monotone mind numbing, story had potential but I lost track of all the characters. Just ok...

5 people found this helpful

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  • Min
  • 23-02-2017

Worst. Narration. Ever.

Before I downloaded the Dressmaker on Audible, I read many positive reviews of it from fellow Audibles, and as a result, I now have serious trust issues.

Hearing Rachel Griffiths narrate this story was both soul-destroying AND mind-numbing.

It took all the determination I could muster in order to push through this lazy, monotonous drawling, and after four long hours, I gave up and watched the movie (not bad). Still, it serves me right for being too lazy to read the book by myself.

I give this book one star, but only because Kate Winslet looks slammin' on the cover of the book.

2 people found this helpful

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very entertaining

this book took me on an emotional rollercoaster - from tears of laughter to tears of sadness. very cleverly written & quite believable.

1 person found this helpful

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The story was let down by the narration

Would you try another book written by Rosalie Ham or narrated by Rachel Griffiths?

I would not purchase another book narrated by Rachel Griffiths

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The period and the characters were the most interesting aspect of the story

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Rachel Griffiths?

Cate Blanchett

Did The Dressmaker inspire you to do anything?

I struggled with this book, The only thing I could do in the end was to stop reading.

Any additional comments?

I was really surprised that Rachel Griffith had such an uninspired performance in her reading of the Dressmaker. I was really looking forward to it as I admire her as an on screen actress. May give the Dressmaker another read but on kindle not audible.

1 person found this helpful

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Not a favourite.

I got to chapter 8 and there was still no sign of a storyline. All of the time spent describing multiple characters and almost no time spent on the main character.
Couldn't finish it.

1 person found this helpful

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Worst Narration ever.

If I ever have a hard time going to sleep, I know what to listen to. A dead fish has more life than the narration in this book.

3 people found this helpful

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loved it

This book had every emotion one minute l was laughing then angry as well as crying fabulous

1 person found this helpful

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read the reviews hoped it wasn't what they said

great story line but just couldn't get into it with the narrator. the characters were quite bland but they all sounded the same. I just got lost.

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Contrary to other reviews..

I found Rachael's voice soothing and comforting. She changed her voice slightly for different characters and meaning was portrayed behind her tone. What might come across as mind numbing, I found actually very entertaining. Effortless.. This is Australian humour! I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I do agree it is hard to remember all the characters, especially when the characters have nicknames or change their names. Watching the movie beforehand helped me remember. The comedy and Rachel's voice had me laughing out loud.

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  • sjvb
  • 19-02-2018

sad story

I loved this story but dislike Rachel Griffiths as the narrator . her reading is stilted and pauses in the wrong places. still. I persevered and I I'm glad I did. great book

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 23-10-2015

Dark and funny

Small country towns have secrets - some everybody knows (but don't talk about) and some only known to a few.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • katrina
  • 14-09-2016

Shame about the pronunciation....

The book is well-written, but I had trouble figuring out precisely when it was set. The entire story takes place over perhaps a year. The main character receives the new LP of South Pacific, putting it around 1949-1950. They sing God Save the King, which puts it prior to 1953 (When Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne). But then another character requests clothing styled after Marilyn Monroe in Bus Stop (1956)....

I'm sure not all listeners are as picky as me, but this kind of thing became a distraction.

Rachel Griffiths does a good job capturing the essence of this story, with its Dickensian names and often hilarious incidents.
Unfortunately, given that the story is about a dressmaker, it would have been good to have a narrator who knew how to pronounce Schiaparelli, Vionnet, and (worst of all) "couture".

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Samantha
  • 28-01-2016

Not a happy read

Would you try another book from Rosalie Ham and/or Rachel Griffiths?

Maybe not

What was most disappointing about Rosalie Ham’s story?

It was grim. Not inspiring. No idea why they made this into a movie, I'm guessing they changed the story for the movie.

Which scene was your favorite?

Nothing really

Was The Dressmaker worth the listening time?

Nope

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  • Michelle Dixon
  • 28-04-2017

Did not like the narrator's accent

Surprisingly, I did not like this book. Everyone who likes sewing would probably like this. I couldn't listen to it because of the narrator's accent. I think I would of liked the story because it sounds like a film I saw once so that's what I based the 3stsrs on.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-03-2016

enjoyable

this was totally off my normal type of listen. but thoroughly enjoyable. you can virtually feel the heat

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mazza
  • 21-02-2016

Compulsive listening

I loved listening to this entertaining story as I was sewing myself

I really didn't want the story to end...now I shall look forward to watching the film

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs B.
  • 06-12-2015

Not what I was expecting.

I can't say I didn't enjoy all of it but ... It was strange in parts

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Blossom1044
  • 03-12-2015

LOVED IT

Would you listen to The Dressmaker again? Why?

Oh yes.

I bought on a whim as love sewing and i loved this book.

What did you like best about this story?

everything. I am going to let me mum listen to it or buy her the book for christmas. great read, fabulous story and hard to put down whether listening or reading./

hope the film lives up to it.

Have you listened to any of Rachel Griffiths’s other performances? How does this one compare?

none, but id be willing to

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

oh yes and almost did -i had to sleep in between.

Any additional comments?

I normally listen/read to science fiction, but the characters and story really came to life for me. top book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • M Claud Delton
  • 02-01-2021

terriblely boring and poorly writeen

not helped but the flat voice of the narrator which makes it even worse to listen too

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Lola465
  • 05-07-2020

odd, engaging

i started off finding the protagonist spiky and unlikeable, but the more this story unfolds, the more horrified I was about the town and the people in it and the more I rooted for the dressmaker. would recommend.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Inca
  • 21-02-2020

Great book, awful narrator!

Such a shame about the narrator Rachel Griffiths, who seems to have no love or enthusiasm for this beautifully written novel. She has a bored-sounding voice, with hardly any difference in tone or inflection or even expression between the various different characters. Rosalie Ham employs such vivid descriptions, her characters are so unique, so colourful, but Griffiths hurries through the text in the same, flat tone, like she can’t wait to finish the recording and get out of the studio..... I bought this audiobook after listening to Caroline Lee’s superb narration of Ham’s other Australian period piece, Summer At Mount Hope.... which I highly recommend — such a joy to listen to. Bolinda should have let Caroline Lee narrate The Dressmaker too — what a shame they didn’t!

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  • carol
  • 17-01-2018

Better than the film

Really good story, kept me wanting to listen, and not to turn it off, twists and turns of the story, set in an Australian small settlement, really enjoyable

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  • Queenie
  • 21-06-2017

Right up my catwalk.

'The Dressmaker' was thoroughly entertaining, great plot, well voiced and would highly recommend to sewists and more.

1 person found this helpful

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