Friday, October 28, 2011
[Book Review] SLAMMERKIN by Emma Donoghue
Mary Saunders lives in 1750s London. She longs for a more luxurious life with fine ribbons and clothes. At age 14, she rejects her mother's suggestion to become a seamstress and a tragic mistake leads her into prostitution. She attempts to change her lifestyle when an illness forces her into the hospital. Mary flees to the tiny hamlet where her family is originally from and finds work as a maid and seamstress. While there, she also finds violence and what it means to live as a woman during that time period.
The title Slammerkin comes from an 18th-century term meaning “a loose gown” or “loose woman.” Based on a true story, life in 1750s London is hard to live, unless you are wealthy. The author really spells this out. You feel like you are living with Mary Saunders. The detail in her book is amazing and well-researched. It is also extremely graphic, both in its sexuality and in its violence. Depressing at times, the book can be hard to read and hard to put out of your mind. But it is worth reading just for the detail that is presented in the book.
Suggested website: http://www.emmadonoghue.com/writings
Christina Barnes, Business and Sciences Department