Saturday, May 27, 2023

The Black Dress by Deborah Moggach


Paperback:  278 pages      

Genre: Contemporary Fiction                                           

Publisher:  Tinder Press 2022

Source: Tywyn Public Library

First Sentences: I saw it in the window of a charity shop. A little black dress.

Review Quote: With dry wit and observation, Moggach tackles the perils of ageing with brutal honesty ― Daily Express

Setting: England

My Opinion:  

I have always enjoyed Deborah Moggach’s perceptive and humorous style of writing. ‘The Black Dress’ did not disappoint, feeling particularly relevant as it deals with the issues of aging and the protagonist Prudence is more or less my own age. 

Approaching seventy and living a content lifestyle, Prudence is shocked when her husband leaves her for her best friend. She panics to find herself alone but soon finds a way of meeting people, which unfortunately leads to some unsuitable liaisons.

Funny and sad and an entertaining read, which will probably appeal more to those of us of a certain age.

Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:

Pru is on her own. But then, so are plenty of other people. And while the loneliness can be overwhelming, surely she'll find a party somewhere?

Pru's husband has walked out, leaving her alone to contemplate her future. She's missing not so much him, but the life they once had - picnicking on the beach with small children, laughing together, nestling up like spoons in the cutlery drawer as they sleep. Now there's just a dip on one side of the bed and no-one to fill it.

In a daze, Pru goes off to a friend's funeral. Usual old hymns, words of praise and a eulogy doesn't sound like the friend Pru knew. And it isn't. She's gone to the wrong service. Everyone was very welcoming, it was - oddly - a laugh, and more excitement than she's had for ages. So she buys a little black dress in a charity shop and thinks, now I'm all set, why not go to another? I mean, people don't want to make a scene at a funeral, do they? No-one will challenge her - and what harm can it do?

Author Profile:                


Short Biography in the Authors own words, her full and interesting piece can be read on her Official Website where the photo of her also appears.

I’ve written 20 novels and 2 books of short stories. Several of these novels I’ve adapted for TV, including “Seesaw”, “Stolen” and “Final Demand”. Other writers’ books I’ve adapted include Nancy Mitford’s “Love in a Cold Climate”, Anne Fine’s “Goggle-Eyes” (for which I was given the Writers Guild Award for Best Adapted Screenplay), “The Diary of Anne Frank” for the BBC, and the movie of “Pride and Prejudice”, starring Keira Knightley, for which I was nominated for a BAFTA. I co-wrote the screenplay (with Tom Stoppard) of my novel “Tulip Fever” which was released as a film starring Alicia Vikander and Judi Dench. My novel “These Foolish Things” was made into the hit movie “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and I’ve just adapted it as a stage play starring Hayley Mills, which has toured the UK. My latest novel is “The Black Dress”.


I’m a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a past chair of the Society of Authors and past Executive Committee member of PEN. I’ve also been awarded the OBE for my services to literature and drama. I live in London and Kent.                  

Photographs and Biographical Information courtesy of the following site:

Official Website

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