Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My Little Blue Dress - Bruno Maddox

My Little Blue Dress begins in rural England at the beginning of the 20th century. It is initially the memoirs of a female centenarian born in 1900, but after just a few pages into the book, it becomes clear that there is something odd going on. All the memories are too idyllic and the main character speaks like someone from the late 20th century. Our heroine is proposed for the Queen of May in her local town, falls in love with a young man who is sent to fight in the trenches of WWI (and later becomes a war poet!) and then moves to gay Paris in the 1920s, finally becoming a nanny in England prior to the breakout of WWII.

After racing through the first 40 years of her life, the novel begins to turn to it's other path, where we find our heroine living in decrepitude in modern New York, where she is cared for by a young man called Bruno Maddox (clever eh?). Bruno is a struggling writer/novelist caught up in a funk of his own making.

Slowly, this satirical memoir starts to pose some riddles. Who is really writing this memoir? All the oddness and incongruities from earlier sections start to make some sense in this new context.

This is an undoubtedly clever novel. I just wonder if it is too clever but it does try to push the boundaries of what constitutes a novel. Ultimately though, I wasn't enamoured.

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