My Friday Post: The Dressmaker by Beryl Bainbridge

Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

My book this week is The Dressmaker by Beryl Bainbridge, one of the books I’ve just started reading, and also one of my 20 Books of Summer. It’s not long – just 160 pages.

It begins:

Afterwards she went through into the little front room, the tape measure still dangling round her neck, and allowed herself a glass of port.

This opening sentence makes me wonder -after what?

Also every Friday there is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice.

These are the rules:

  1. Grab a book, any book.
  2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader. If you have to improvise, that is okay.
  3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  4. Post it.
  5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda’s most recent Friday 56 post.

Page 56:

She didn’t know how to remedy the situation. Rather like her Aunt Nellie who could never say she was sorry. She twisted her hands together and gazed helplessly at his hostile back.


Wartime Liverpool is a place of ration books and jobs in munitions factories. Rita, living with her two aunts Nellie and Margo, is emotionally naïve and withdrawn. When she meets Ira, a GI, at a neighbour’s party she falls in love as much with the idea of life as a GI bride as with the man himself. But Nellie and Margo are not so blind…

The Dressmaker was runner up for the 1973 Booker Prize and also for the Guardian Fiction Prize. The Sunday Times, is quoted on the back cover: ‘ Like the better Hitchcock films Miss Bainbridge suggests a claustrophobic horror … An impressive, haunting book.’


  1. She must have witnessed quite something if she wants to go straight to the port! It sounds like Rita may need a little protection and help from her aunts, so I’m glad they’re there! I hope you enjoy this one and that you have a lovely weekend 🙂
    Juli @ A Universe in Words


  2. I’m really intrigued, Margaret! Bainbridge wrote some great psychological suspense, and it sounds as though this one’s terrific, too. I’m already drawn in and I hope you enjoy it.


  3. I, too, am participating in the 20 Books of Summer Challenge. I like that you are working off a list. Is there any room for other books to worm their way on to the list and push something else off it? My Friday quotes are here


  4. The description of “claustrophobic horror” took me aback. It obviously goes in a different direction that I thought from the quotes. Good luck with your challenge.


  5. The first line definitely caught my interest. I haven’t read anything by Bainbridge before. Sounds like an author worth trying. I hope you have a great week!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.