Friday, 13 May 2016

As requested - a book review of The Button Box

Each button in Lynn Knight's button box tells a story.
CoverI'll quote from the library website
"An inlaid wooden chest the size of a shoe box holds Lynn Knight's button collection. A collection that has been passed down through three generations of women: a chunky sixties-era toggle from a favourite coat, three tiny pearl buttons from her mother's first dress after she was adopted as a baby, a jet button from a time of Victorian mourning. Each button tells a story. 'The Button Box' traces the story of women at home and in work from pre-First World War domesticity, through the first clerical girls in silk blouses, to the delights of beading and glamour in the thirties to short skirts and sexual liberation in the sixties."

I had already read and enjoyed " Lemon Sherbet and Dolly Blue, The Story of an Accidental Family" which is the story of 3 generations of adoptions in Lynn's family. So I guessed this new book would be just as readable, and it was.
The amount of research that was done for this book is amazing - books, magazines, film and TV - there are dozens of quotes. The author says" Some of my research was an indulgence, enabling me to read and re-read many memoirs,autobiographies and academic accounts". All her reading has made a fascinating story of how fashion has shaped women's lives and vice versa.
She has listed all her resources in a brilliant bibliography, and I intend to photo copy this list before the book goes back to the library so that I can track down several that sound interesting. I'm also going to have a look through the buttons in my button tin - some were from my mums button tin but also many older ones bought years ago from a jumble sale.

This book is definitely worth reading.

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Sue