The Women in Black

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 11 Feb 2020

Member Reviews

Thank you to Scribner and Net Galley for the chance to read and review this book. This is the story of several ladies who worked at a Department Store named Goode's in 1950's Sydney, Australia. The premise of this story was great, but there just didn't seem to be enough connection between the characters and the story. The plot just wasn't deep enough for me. I liked it, but didn't love it.
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Thank you NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Women in Black is the story of a group of coworkers in Sydney circa 1950s working in the cocktail and gown department of Goode's department store.  They are all dealing with complicated issues outside of the job with husband drama, coming of age looking to go to university or trying to establish their romantic or social statuses. 

This book is a light easy read and I loved the concept but the delivery wasn't what I was expecting or hoping for.  The set up of a story revolving around close-nit coworkers with differing personal struggles drew me to the novel.  However, there is no plot and the character development is thin and pretty predictable.
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This book was something of a puzzle. Originally written in 1993, it was set in Australia in the 1950s, and the book has the *feel* of the 1950s, as well. It's hard to describe, but the narration has an air of self-awareness that I have only seen in older books. 

Though there are only four main characters, there are another ten or so significant characters, and there was very little overlap in most of their stories. Honestly, I found myself losing track of some of the story lines.  This is a perfectly fine book, and most of the stories wrapped up somewhat satisfactorily. I just found the book to be too bland and too forgettable, unfortunately. 

Nevertheless, I'm thankful to the author and publisher. They allowed me to preview this book in exchange for my honest opinion. #NetGalley #TheWomenInBlack
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I liked this book.  Women in  Black is a storyline I could get behind, for sure.  The writing is a bit dated, but I live watching tv shows from the 5os and as long as I put myself back to that era, I was okay with the story.  I am not sure how this will be recieved in the U.S. in 2020 but I liked it well enough.
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I really enjoyed this book I found the plot interesting and the characters were engaging and charming can t wait to read more
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Set in Australia in the late 1950s in a department store where ladies make up the majority of the workforce.  This little book rotates between characters and their different storylines and what is impacting them as they go through the holiday season.

I liked this book, but didn't love it.  I think the lack of length stunted the story and with more pages the story archs could have felt more fluid and full.  It felt as though just as I was getting involved with one of the characters and their storyline, the chapter would stop and jump to someone else and with the overall book length it felt as though a lot was crammed into just a few pages.  

I wish this book had more because I think it needed more especially as the author tried to give a large cast a lot of time to each character and there wasn't one that was solely focused on with a large secondary cast.  I wanted and wished for more with this one.
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A story of a group of women working in the dress department of an Australian department store. They are on the brink of changes as they are figuring out their dreams and their lives.
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Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review. 

The Women in Black is being released to an American audience after being originally published in 1993 and after a few pages I realized I had read this about 12 years ago. I loved it then and I still loved re-reading it. 

Set in 1950s Australia, the book is centered around 5 women who work in a department store together and how sometimes how people are at work, doesn't always show everything happening to them. A great book about women, friendship and life.
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This wasn't a normal read but still enjoyable. This takes place at a department store in Sydney during the 1950s. The book follows three workers and a temp who work in the ladies department of the store. There are some twists with what happens in their lives.

This book is very minimally written. For instance, there is a party that is only portrayed by the dialogue from immigrant Magda. Characters are seen through slits of their life. Sometimes, characters make decisions that I don't understand. Which given how other worldly this book is, didn't annoy me. 

However, I could see someone picking this up and just not enjoying it. So, your millage may vary.
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I liked the synopsis and thought it would be something I would like to read. Two chapters In and the book had already lost my interest. I liked the 1950s settings, but I just couldn't engage with the story. The best thing about  the book was the cover.
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Thanks to NetGalley for my ARC. This book is about a group of women that work in a department story in Sydney. Everyone has their life in the store and outside the store and all support each other. This book was short and cute. I enjoyed how she wrote.
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The writing in this book feels Very dated (but not quite in a good way) and slow to start, I ultimately bailed on this novel.
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The Women in Black by Australian author Madeleine St. John was originally published in 1993, but is receiving an American release in 2020 with an updated cover and a recommendation of appealing to fans of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.  Short and spiffy, The Women in Black, about the female retail workers in an upscale department store in Sydney, will appeal to a specific kind of reader - one who enjoys novels of the past which have a distinctly dated tone to their writing style.  The Women in Black is about the 1950s, and it is believable that it could have been written in the '50s.  With a distanced feel, The Women in Black peeks into the lives of a dissatisfied wife who yearns for a child with her aloof husband, a young single woman with a checkered past, a teenage girl on the cusp of womanhood, and a glamorous emigre from Slovenia.  Together they work at Goodes Department Store, and are the subject of St. John's short novel.  While this book isn't as engaging or head-turning as some modern novels, it still holds merit, detailing the plight of women in the constrictive 1950s, trying to make a living and find their own way and identity apart from the role of wife, mother, and daughter.
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I have been trying so hard to find my groove with this book. Being a huge fan of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," I thought this book would appeal to me. However I find it difficult to bound around from one character to another and it is taken forever for those characters to develop. I've read about one-third of the book but am not captivated. As much as I don't want to, I have to give up.
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Such a fun, unique setting. I loved this one! Super quick, adorable read!

Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for my ARC. All opinions are my own.
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Madeleine St John does a wonderful job of painting a picture of Australia in the 1950’s. The story follows and interweaves the lives of the women who work in Goode’s department store. They are a range of ages and stations in life and all working in the dress department (and Model Gowns) and we see their work lives and home lives and really get a clear picture of the time period. It’s definitely an easy read- a great beach read or book to read after something emotionally heavy.
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A sparkling, lightweight read counterbalanced by an intriguing look at the women who work in a Fifties dress shop. Perfect reading!
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A lovely, light read that's just what you want in-hand after you've just finished a big, deep, complex work, or for when you're not feeling up to intense focus nor getting dragged into a long work. This novel creates such a nice sense of place and era, and St. John does a fine job of rounding out so many wonderful women characters, weaving their storylines well, keeping the reader engaged. I loved visiting that era, and I also enjoyed the unique layers of ranking in the frock department. It's a nice confection, and a nice twirl in a pretty dress. Time well spent.
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I really liked this book. It takes place in the 1950's in a women's dress shop. I really enjoyed reading all the characters stories. 
I fell right into the book and could imagine myself working with these women in this store. It's a really good women's read and I think book clubs would enjoy it!
Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for this book
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I thought that this book was nice. It didn't appeal to me from the get go. I liked the cover and the description and so I requested it based on those two things. I thought that the opening of the book was dry. Not one of my favorites, but a nice book over all.
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