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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/product_reviews/pr_id/114803
ASIN: 1408889528
ID #114803
  (Rated: 18+)
Product Type: Book
Reviewer: Choco’s gone nuts -Mwaahaha!
Review Rated: 13+
Amazon's Price: $ 13.68
Product Rating:
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Summary of this Book...
I’m not sure what I feel about this book. There are parts of it that were really difficult to read, parts that were painful and heartbreaking. They were really well written. I was totally engrossed in the story. At the same time, I detested the character Dorothea. More self-centred and spoiled a person I’ve rarely read about! Every single thing in the world should be revolving around her. Everything should be to benefit her. Even the seemingly selfless thing she does — visiting Ruth — is done because she hopes the inmate will prove to be the answer studiers of phrenology are seeking.

So, the plot. In 1840s England, a sixteen year old girl, Ruth Butterham, awaits her trial for murder in a prison cell. Dorothea Truelove, a woman of considerable means, decides to visit Ruth because she wants to study the shape of Ruth’s head to prove that theories surrounding phrenology are correct. There is nothing Ruth can do or say (no matter how terrible) to make Dorothea feel anything other than superiority over her. Until the end.

Ruth is a talented seamstress who is very poor, and when her father commits suicide following the death of her baby sister, she and her mother are completely destitute. So her Ma sells her to a respectable dressmaking shop in exchange for some of her debts being paid. The abuse that Ruth endures at this establishment is horrific. I found it hard to read at times. It’s very traumatic. And yet, when she tells Dorothea her story, the latter thinks she is making it up because the bumps on her head say she must be. Not until it is too late, does Dorothea realise exactly what happened. I won’t say here as I don’t want to give it away. But, as the title suggests, it involves a corset. Oh, and some possible magic powers.

There is a sub-plot that follows Dorothea and her hatred of her father’s girlfriend and her own love life, also. It’s not a very interesting sub-plot, though, so I won’t go into any further detail.

I wouldn’t say I enjoyed this book. But, I did find it compelling. The whole build up to finding out what really happened is cleverly written. And, oh my days, the final reveal *Shock*. Not what I was expecting.

This is a decent book that could have done with a secondary heroine who had a little more character.
This type of Book is good for...
It's a good mystery. It has some powerful writing, some fab descriptions.
I especially liked...
The ending. It was so clever and not at all what I had imagined. I loved the possibility of magic in the corset. The author leaves it hanging in the air.
I didn't like...
Dorothea Holier-Than-Thou Truelove! Actually, none of the characters really jumped off the page.
This Book made me feel...
Frustrated, sad, angry, surprised.
I recommend this Book because...
It's a good story. Ruth's story, that is. This part is riveting.
I don't recommend this Book because...
It's frustrating and, like I mentioned, none of the characters are particularly likeable. Plus, Dorothea will drive you crazy with anger!
Created Aug 23, 2021 at 5:49am • Submit your own review...

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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/product_reviews/pr_id/114803