Hi, my name is Jakki. I am the Local History Librarian at Bacon Library. So far I have really enjoyed reading “The Gown.” I am currently listening to it on Audiobook through Hoopla. I have found the book to be exceptionally performed. Some audiobooks are merely a reading of a book. This book is performed; the character of Ann in a British accent and Miriam in a French accent. The lovely accents make the book flow smoothly like watching a movie.
After reading the first 10 chapters of this book, I was particularly struck by occasion that Millie sent packages of goods from Canada. As a Historian, I was aware of post WWII rationing in Great Britain. I had never considered how extreme this rationing was, or that it continued into 1954! A lot of early setting of this book is explaining the scarcity of everything for Ann. Ann doesn’t have good footwear, her meals are meager, the house is so cold that the pipes freeze and even the tea is watery and bad. After so much of the book is spent explaining these hardships, Millie’s ability to frivolously buy these items is even more striking. Not only could Millie find meat, jam and tea, she also could afford such luxuries as Rayon, high heels and multiple pairs of stockings. The abundance of the goods from Millie serves to highlight the scarcity of all goods in Britain. Great Britain is still war torn, but North America was showing no wounds of war. Instead North American economies were thriving.