Fifteen-year-old Gustine is a dress lodger, a young prostitute who rents a beautiful dress from her landlord to attract a higher class of clientele
Surgeon Henry Chiver is a prisoner of his own past and is looking to start over.Doctor and dress lodger come together in the filthy, cholera-infected East End of Sunderland. Here, during the worst epidemic since the bubonic plague, Gustine secures bodies for the doctor''s school in exchange for medical care for her ailing child. The arrangement is gruesome but profitable for both until Henry''s greed and his growing obsession with her child challenge Gustine''s loyalty to him. In order to save her child, Gustine must beg for help from her chief enemy -- a malevolent old woman known only as the Eye.Ribald, irreverent, heartbreaking and horrifying, The Dress Lodger is a Dickensian tour de force.