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Blog Tour - The Black Dress by Deborah Moggach

Publication Date 22.07.21

Pru is on her own. But then, so are plenty of other people. And while the loneliness can be overwhelming, surely she’ll find a party somewhere?

Pru’s husband has walked out, leaving her alone to contemplate her future. She’s missing not so much him, but the life they once had - picnicking on the beach with small children, laughing together, nestling up like spoons in the cutlery drawer as they sleep.

Now there’s just a dip on one side of the bed and no-one to fill it. In a daze, Pru goes off to a friend’s funeral. Usual old hymns, words of praise and a eulogy doesn’t sound like the friend Pru knew. And it isn’t. She’s gone to the wrong service. Everyone was very welcoming, it was - oddly - a laugh, and more excitement than she’s had for ages.

So she buys a little black dress in a charity shop and thinks, now I’m all set, why not go to another? I mean, people don’t want to make a scene at a funeral, do they? No-one will challenge her - and what harm can it do

My Blog Tour Review

As soon as I read the blurb for this book I fell in love with the premise. How isolated one must feel to attend the funerals of strangers just to feel a sense of belonging and a little bit of release from a lonely life? And of course someone must eventually call her out, recognize she's a stranger? Ask her why she's there, right? What would happen then?

Pru is a really intriguing character. Alone at 69, her grief defines her. A grief so deep for the life she once had that it's palpable. This is what makes her take risks and chances. She needs to fill the emptiness that surrounds her. So she sets off on a series of romantic adventures.

Those adventures are poignant yet darkly funny and a delight to read. They kept me turning the pages late into the night. There are moments of tragedy, joy and sadness. All of them feeling relatable and exciting. At times I screamed at Pru to wake up and smell the roses but at other times I was there laughing out loud with her. I could hardly believe when she sought out more liaisons but I was so glad she did because I really enjoyed them.

The pace of this book races ahead and the twists and turns keep you on your toes. You never know what is going to happen next. However, I was as annoyed as her at a certain betrayal.

The narrative style of Pru talking directly to us is very engaging. She welcomes you into her world and asks you to question her experiences as a friend and confidante. With such sharp and acute observations of life. You want her to triumph and be happy. For her late years to be filled with love and purpose. But will they?

Beautiful witty prose and gorgeous descriptions of characters and locations bring this book to life and make it a joyous read.

About the Author

Deborah Moggach, OBE, is a British novelist and an award-winning screenwriter. She has written twenty novels, including Tulip Fever, These Foolish Things (which became the bestselling novel and film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), and The Carer. She lives in London.

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