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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, May 1, 2002 - Fiction - 352 pages
41 Reviews
Slammerkin: A loose gown; a loose woman.

Born to rough cloth in Hogarth's London, but longing for silk, Mary Saunders's eye for a shiny red ribbon leads her to prostitution at a young age. A dangerous misstep sends her fleeing to Monmouth, and the position of household seamstress, the ordinary life of an ordinary girl with no expectations. But Mary has known freedom, and having never known love, it is freedom that motivates her. Mary asks herself if the prostitute who hires out her body is more or less free than the "honest woman" locked into marriage, or the servant who runs a household not her own? And is either as free as a man? Ultimately, Mary remains true only to the three rules she learned on the streets: Never give up your liberty. Clothes make the woman. Clothes are the greatest lie ever told.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - yvonne.sevignykaiser - LibraryThing

This one was a little slow to get into, it took me nearly 100 pages. Some of the scenes were a bit more graphic than I needed which helped to skim through another 100 pages. I picked this book up after reading Room, which I found very well written. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MizPurplest - LibraryThing

Well, I was not expecting that. I put this book down for a long time because I disliked the protagonist, and didn't like where I thought the story was going. Now that it's over, I think I imagined ... Read full review


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About the author (2002)

Born in Ireland, Emma Donoghue spent many years in England and now lives in Canada. She is the author of Slammerkin as well as two other novels, a collection of short stories, and a collection of fairy tales. Her novels have been translated into eight languages.

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