Kali Napier's Reviews > The Women in Black
The Women in Black
I don't usually have to think long and hard at the end of a novel as to whether I enjoyed it or not. It's usually a gut response. The Women in Black by Madeleine St John is set in Sydney of 1960 in the ladies' frocks department of FG Goode's. The story is essentially a series of vignettes of the lives of the central characters of Lisa/Lesley, a high-school leaver working a casual Christmas job; Patty, whose husband leaves out of the blue, forcing her to cover for his disappearance to her family, colleagues, and his work; Fay, whose yearning for a man is at odds with the mores of the time, as she wants romance and passion; and Magda, an Eastern European, a new Australian whose food, style, and passion for life, come into contrast with the values and attitudes of the women in black at FG Goode's. There isn't much of a plot, and the trajectories of the ladies' lives are predictable and inevitable, but I feel I enjoyed dipping into an era. When I finished it, I thought 'meh', but leaving writing the review for a little while, I found my thoughts drifting back to the characters, and the light satire of this novel of manners.
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