Girl in a Blue Dress by Gaynor Arnold
Allen & Unwin, 2008. Reviewed by MARIA McMILLAN
Oh Lordy. It was a struggle to get through this book.
In Girl in a Blue Dress Gaynor Arnold attempts to give voice to Charles Dickens’ abandoned wife Catherine. Arnold has turned her research into a fictional tale of Dorothea Gibson, very recent widow of a famed writer called Alfred Gibson. We meet Dorothea as London mourns the passing of her husband. It’s ten years since Alfred kicked Dorothea out of the family house, cut her off from all contact with her children and put notices in the paper declaring her mad, jealous and wholly inadequate as a mother and wife.