Saturday, 6 September 2014

The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress

Finished August 23
The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress by Beryl Bainbridge

I picked up this novel for its cover appeal. The book is set in 1968 and Rose has travelled from England to Baltimore to meet up with an American man she met briefly in England, Harold. Harold wants desperately to find Dr. Wheeler, a man he blames for certain events that affected him. Rose knew Dr. Wheeler years before when she was a child and teen and wants to see him again for her own reasons. She isn't aware of Harold's motives. Dr. Wheeler is always a step ahead of the two and they soon realize that he is travelling along with Robert Kennedy in his run for president. The two drive across the country, following the trail, and meeting others that know Dr. Wheeler, have some association with Harold, need assistance from the pair, or offer them assistance in their quest.
Rose is an odd woman with her own secrets, and both she and Harold are using each other in their own way. I didn't really warm up to any of the characters in the novel and that lessened my enjoyment of the novel.
Their travels take them to Washington, D.C., upstate New York, Chicago, and Yellowstone Park before their reach San Francisco. The ending is not what I expected, but also not that surprising given the oddness of this novel and its characters.

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