HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Girl in a blue dress : a novel inspired by…
Loading...

Girl in a blue dress : a novel inspired by the life and marriage of… (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Gaynor Arnold

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
343None31,764 (3.6)54
Member:klerulo
Title:Girl in a blue dress : a novel inspired by the life and marriage of Charles Dickens
Authors:Gaynor Arnold
Info:New York : Crown Publishers, c2008.
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

Girl in a Blue Dress by Gaynor Arnold (2008)

Recently added bySitting_Room, CharlaOppenlander, private library, kara.shamy, MHelm1017, seldombites, INorris
None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 54 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
I have a very good memory but I don't recall reading this book. Apparently it's about Dickens' marriage, which you would think would be fairly memorable and, at the time I gave it one star. ( )
  Becchanalia | Feb 24, 2014 |
This is another of these books to come from a creative writing course - so many around at the moment, and often of dubious quality.

Inspired by the life of Charles Dickens, the story is told from Alfred Gibson's wife's perspective. Dorothea, or Dodo, first meets Alfred at a young age, and is swept off her feet by his charm and unpredictable sense of fun (he actually comes across as really irritating and reminded me of Russell Brand). They marry, and in the following years, Alfred becomes a world-renowned author.

But Dodo has been living alone in modest rented quarters for the last ten years and the book tells the story of how she came to be in this situation. Dodo is an absolute pain, to be honest. Vacuous and conceited and wilfully naive. I'm not a historian, but I thought that being plump was considered to be a sign of wealth and standing in Victorian society. Dodo is obsessed with her appearance and weight and it gets boring after a while. I couldn't find much sympathy for her at all. ( )
  deargreenplace | Aug 2, 2012 |
I read this book this weekend and have conflicting views on it. I found myself frustrated with Dodo and her passivity, but I came to understand over time that it is all a matter of perception. She saw herself one way, but over time comes to acknowledge that she might have been contributing to the impression of her and the difficulties in the marriage with Alfred.

I did find some of the writing to be histrionic, but in some ways that mirrors the Dickensian fashion. So I made an allowance for the extravagance.

Overall, it was a good read and an interesting view of a famous couple. ( )
  Lcwilson45 | Jun 3, 2012 |
I had high hopes for this book as it was a choice of our book club, and usually there is something of value in the titles we pick. However, within a few pages I realized that Girl in a Blue Dress was dull, repetitive, and crammed with the most clumsy exposition, and after struggling to about page 20 I decided to see if I could skim my way through the rest. But I gave that up at page 70, resenting the time this effort was taking away from my reading of the magnificent fourth volume of Robert Caro’s biography of LBJ, The Passage of Power. What on earth was the purpose of writing Girl in a Blue Dress? Why would one “take a novelist’s liberties” with a novel “inspired by the life and marriage of Charles Dickens”? Why change Dickens’ and his wife’s names? Why change so much that a reader will have no idea what is real biography and what is made up? Why not write a real nonfiction biography, if the subject interests you so much? For that matter, as a novelist, why not create your own characters and plot? This lackluster middle ground between fiction and biography was a chore to enter and a relief to abandon. ( )
1 vote sortmind | May 22, 2012 |
I enjoyed this fictionalized look at the Dickens' marriage. Dodo's gradual shift from timidity to relative strength made sense to me. Even thought they spent 10 years apart, Alfred's influence over Dodo's demeanor was still well in force; when he died, she was finally able to freely ferret out the truth of their life together without fear of his anger or interference. The children were also liberated from the fear of taking sides against their father if they should contact their mother. From what I've read about Dickens (admittedly little), he really was a troubled man, haunted by his poverty-stricken childhood, and he did treat his wife Catherine terribly. This novel made me want to learn more about them both. ( )
  huntersun9 | Apr 21, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For my mother
a great storyteller
First words
My husband's funeral is today.
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Alfred Gibson's funeral has taken place at Westminster Abbey, and his wife of twenty years, Dorothea, has not been invited. Dorothea is comforted by her feisty daughter Kitty, until an invitation for a private audience with Queen Victoria arrives, and she begins to examine her own life more closely. She uncovers the deviousness and hypnotic power of her celebrity author husband. But now Dodo will need to face her grown-up children, and worse, her redoubtable younger sister, Sissy and the charming actress, Miss Ricketts. In Alfred Gibson the fierce energy and brilliance of the most famous of the Victorian novelists is recreated, in a heart-warming story of first love - of a cocky young writer smitten by a pretty girl in a blue dress. Dorothea, the narrator and heroine of Gaynor Arnold's ambitious first novel, proves herself to be more than the doting Victorian wife of a restless genius who resembles Dickens, despite being called Alfred Gibson. Hers is the story of a kind and good woman who is not content to be remembered as a mere footnote when the official Life of the great man comes to be written. ~Paul Bailey
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

"Alfred Gibson's funeral has taken place at Westminster Abbey, and his wife of twenty years, Dorothea, has not been invited. Dorothea is comforted by her feisty daughter Kitty, until an invitation for a private audience with Queen Victoria arrives, and she begins to examine her own life more closely." "She uncovers the deviousness and hypnotic power of her celebrity author husband. But now Dodo will need to face her grown-up children, and worse, her redoubtable younger sister, Sissy, and the charming actress, Miss Ricketts." "In Alfred Gibson the fierce energy and brilliance of the most famous of the Victorian Novelists is recreated, in a heart-warming story of first love - of a cocky young writer smitten by a pretty girl in a blue dress."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
7 avail.
162 wanted
6 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.6)
0.5
1 2
1.5 1
2 3
2.5 1
3 21
3.5 18
4 26
4.5 4
5 10

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 89,493,030 books! | Top bar: Always visible