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The Dressmakers of Yarrandarrah Prison – Meredith Jaffe

The Dressmakers of Yarrandarrah Prison – Meredith Jaffe

I have this book in Kindle and paper format and in the end I listened to it! I am not sure what caused the delay, because in the end I really enjoyed it.

Here’s the blurb …

Can a wedding dress save a bunch of hardened crims? The Full Monty meets Orange is the New Black in a poignantly comic story about a men’s prison sewing circle.

‘This is a deft and unlikely story in an uncommon setting about an estranged daughter, her jailed father and a very bad idea about a dress. It all makes for a warm, funny union of foes and a lovely encounter with what matters.’ Rosalie Ham

Derek’s daughter, Debbie, is getting married. He’s desperate to be there, but he’s banged up in Yarrandarrah Correctional Centre for embezzling funds from the golf club, and, thanks to his ex-wife, Lorraine, he hasn’t spoken to Debbie in years. He wants to make a grand gesture – to show her how much he loves her. But what?

Inspiration strikes while he’s embroidering a cushion at his weekly prison sewing circle – he’ll make her a wedding dress. His fellow stitchers rally around and soon this motley gang of crims is immersed in a joyous whirl of silks, satins and covered buttons.

But as time runs out and tensions rise both inside and outside the prison, the wedding dress project takes on greater significance. With lives at stake, Derek feels his chance to reconcile with Debbie is slipping through his fingers …

A funny, dark and moving novel about finding humanity, friendship and redemption in unexpected places.

This felt very Australian – perhaps that was just the accent of the narrator, but there was definite Australianisms – Dezza for instance. I really enjoyed all of the references to needlework and how needlework can be calming and provide a useful distraction in tough times.

I have a cushion from Fine Cell work (the UK based charity Connecting Threads is based on)

Here it is blocking

I thought the characters and the dialogue were brilliant.

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