Wednesday, 20 August 2014

reading: the pink suit

I don't get much time to browse in the library, going with Rocket Girl prevents leisurely looking. But last week I snatched The Pink Suit from the shelf before chasing after my runaway child, who can open the main doors and run to the lift. A hilarious adventure for her, a stressful race for me.

I have only just started reading the book but am delighted by the unexpected writing about sewing, couture, fabrics, toiles....Yes, that's right, a novel with detailed descriptions of the process of making a muslin!  That got your attention didn't it?  The central character is a young Irish immigrant working for the fashion house who dressed Jackie Kennedy. It is partly love story, also a tale of worshipping a hero and the reality versus the illusion.  In this case the hero being worshipped is Jackie Kennedy and the central character travels from starry eyed adoration to..well, to something more cynical but I don't want to spoil the plot.  Interesting though to see how Jackie Kennedy was such a popular role model for style and dressing in the early '60s.  I know we often still refer to her now, but then she was massive (at least according to this book) However, when reading this book my interest has been captivated by the sewing descriptions, the beautiful fabrics and the intricacies of the
making process.

Here is a description of the central character's apartment:
 "There were dozens of boxes filled with zippers that were grouped according to color- and the same was true of rickrack and lace.  Kate prided herself on having thread of nearly every single shade ever made, she had eight variations of violet alone.  Buttons were kept in old mason jars that lined the windowsills.  Patterns were filed in a battered four-drawer cabinet that she'd found on the street.  Fabric was piled everywhere"

Wouldn't you like to visit?? I would.  So, has anyone else read anything good recently?


  1. Oh my, that sounds like a lovely read! I've got to read that! Right now I'm just starting up "The Moviegoer", an oldie. I'll report back when I've finished it! Oh, and I have "The Count of Monte Cristo" audiobook going as my commuter entertainment these days- it's really fun, but 57 hours long so I'm only about a quarter of the way in!

  2. I would definitely enjoy this book. Not only does it incorporate sewing, but those early 1960's clothes have such a great silhouette. I've actually written a post which I haven't published yet (I have a lot of these) where I mention a new found interest in this era...I'm (still) reading the autobiography of Nelson Mandela, I'm on Chapter 100 (they are short chapters!) and he's about to be released. So happy/sad!!

  3. I've read the pink suit and was captivated !!
    Another recommend this year I am plugging everywhere because I enjoyed it so much- the truth about the Harry quebert affair by Joel dicker. Fab book for summer reading, or autumn reading come to think of it!!

  4. Oooh, thanks for the book review! I had never heard of it - I'm adding it to my list. :)

  5. Ooh, I think I saw this book somewhere recently, but didn't pick it up. Regretting that now, your description sounds intriguing! Hope you'll let us know what you think of it once you're finished? And good luck chasing the child! ;)

  6. Ooh, that sounds lovely! I'll have to see if I can find a copy. I'm currently re-reading the Outlander/Jamie&Claire series by Diana Gabaldon, since it's being made into a tv series at the moment. They have rather dashing costumes, too. ;)