In Sunderland, England, a city quarantined by the cholera epidemic of 1831, a defiant, fifteen-teen-year old beauty in an elegant blue dress makes her way between shadow and lamp light. A potter's assistant by day and dress lodger by night, Gustine sells herself for necessity in a rented gown, scrimping to feed and protect her only love: her fragile baby boy. She holds a glimmer of hope after meeting Dr. Henry Chiver, a prisoner of his own dark past. But in a world where suspicion of medicine runs rampant like a fever, these two lost souls will become irrevocably linked, as each crosses lines between rich and destitute, decorum and abandon, damnation and salvation. By turns tender and horrifying, The Dress Lodger is a captivating historical thriller charged with a distinctly modern voice. . . .
"REMARKABLE . . . A DAZZLING NARRATIVE THAT PULSES WITH IRONY, RIBALD HUMOR, AND HEARTBREAKING TRAGEDY."
—People (Book of the Week)
"AN OUTSTANDINLY GENEROUS AND FERTILE IMAGINATION . . . Holman breathes life into the teeming streets of a distant world. . . . The destinies of the characters crisscross, . . . amplified by twists of fate and uncomfortable revelations."
—The New York Times Book Review
"POTENT HISTORICAL FICTION . . . BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN . . . A rich read with a Dickensian kick and a moral to be told."
"AS UNSETTLING AS IT IS BRILLIANT . . . Seamlessly crafted and deserving of wide readership."
—The Washington Post Book World