A darkly satirical novel of love, revenge, and 1950s haute couture now a major motion picture starring Kate Winslet and Liam Hemsworth.
After twenty 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.
'Ham’s eye for the absurd, the comical, and the poignant are highly tuned. [The Dressmaker] is a first novel to be proud of, and definitely one to savour.' - The Weekend Australian
'A writer with strong visual gifts and a pleasingly sour sense of humour.' - The Age
'[Rosalie Ham] is a true original. Blessed with an astringently unsentimental tone and a talent for creating memorably eccentric characters, Ham also possesses a confidently brisk and mischievous sense of plot. It’s no wonder The Dressmaker, a tale of small-town couture and revenge, is being adapted for film.' - The Sydney Morning Herald