Bonnie's Reviews > Girl in a Blue Dress

Girl in a Blue Dress by Gaynor Arnold
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Aug 09, 09

Read in August, 2009

This is a "book of fiction" but although the names have been changed, it is the story of Charles Dicken's wife. I was completely absorbed in the story, so much so that I borrowed a biography of Dickens from the library to check certain facts and events. Dorothea (Catherine) was completely smitten when she first met Alfred (Charles) as a young girl. As he became more popular and widely read, their life together falls apart. She continues to adore him, but the burden of raising their 8 (10) children, the loss of two children, and the running of the household takes a toll. She is finally banished from the home, and he takes up with a pretty, young actress.
This book begins with Alfred's funeral, and through her memories and flashbacks, we see the pattern of their life. It is a moving story, and gives insight into life in Victorian times, the role of women, the demands of fame, and the power of redemption and forgiveness. The ultimate meeting of the two women is quite extraordinary.
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Lmarotta I could not put this book down either. I gave it four stars too.


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