Born to rough cloth in working-class London in 1748, Mary Saunders hungers for linen and lace. Her lust for a shiny red ribbon leads her to a life of prostitution at a young age, where she encounters a freedom unknown to virtuous young women. But a dangerous misstep sends her fleeing to Monmouth and the refuge of the middle-class household of Mrs. Jones, to become the seamstress her mother always expected her to be and to live the ordinary life of an ordinary girl. Although Mary becomes a close confidante of Mrs. Jones, her desire for a better life leads her back to prostitution. She remains true only to the three rules she learned on the streets of London: Never give up your liberty; Clothes make the woman; Clothes are the greatest lie ever told. In the end, it is clothes, their splendor and their deception, that lead Mary to disaster.
Emma Donoghue's daring, sensually charged prose casts a new sheen on the squalor and glamour of eighteenth-century England. Accurate, masterfully written, and infused with themes that still bedevil us today, Slammerkin is historical fiction for all readers.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser 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
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - AlisonLea - LibraryThing
This book rocks hard! It takes a certain reader with an affinity for an odd blend of Gothic feminist British historical fiction, but if you're "that girl" you'll love it! Read full review
The Whole Duty of Woman
As the Crow Flies