I follow #historicalfiction on Instagram and have found so many great books to read that way. This was one I bought shortly after release but just got to it now. I have a bookshelf designated for books to be read, and it’s several shelves thick with books. I enjoyed The Woman in the Green Dress, by Tea Cooper very much. I LOVED photographing this book, because I favor green. 🙂 Read my review below.
Told in a split timeline, The Woman in the Green Dress, weaves an enchanting tale of Fleur, a young woman who inherits her deceased wartime husband’s estate and properties in Australia just after WWI and Della, master of the unconventional craft of taxidermy, who works along with her aunt to keep their family’s shop afloat in the 1850’s.
At first unwilling to accept what her husband—whom she had known such a short time—left her in his will, Fleur gradually warms to the idea as she uncovers more about her husband’s estate. As she digs up the past among the dusty relics of the curio shop, old secrets and a mysterious cursed opal come to the surface, along with the mystery of a woman in a green dress.
Della finds that her Aunt Cordelia has reinvented the taxidermy shop and forged it into a curio shop, catering to ladies’ with specialty items but on the side, dealing in something more dangerous than furs and frivolities. Dell’s path crosses with a gem hunter, Stefan, on the lookout for Australian opals, one in particular, which comes with an unexpected harbinger of doom.
Readers of historical fiction and historical mystery will relish this finely wrought drama, pivoting around a dangerously precious gemstone. I felt myself immersed in the Aussie outback, tracking down clues with the characters. The Woman in the Green Dress is a hauntingly beautiful novel of misplaced desire, healing from the past, and hope for the future.
I give it 4 stars.
The ending rang a little hollow for me. I would have rounded it out a little more and made one thing in particular more clear. I can’t say too much, as that will give away the ending. Also, Della’s voice was kind of lost at the end.
The cover drew me to this book and the title, because I love the color green. But neither the dress or the woman had a major role in the book. It would have been more fitting, perhaps, if the woman in the green dress had been a main character.
Overall, I really liked the book and will definitely read more by Cooper.
What are you reading?
Tell me about your last historical fiction read. Do you ever purchase books simply based on the color? I do. I’m a sucker for green.