Of course, this work is primarily known as the 1999 film starring Matt Damon, Jude Law, and Gwyneth Paltrow. But the book is pretty wonderful: the disturbing and violent elements are perfectly tempered by Highsmith's lush 50s Italian summer scenes. It's easy to see why Tom gets caught up in this world of privilege and glamour (the food descriptions alone make me want to drop everything and move to Italy). The narrative is told through Tom's point of view, giving insights into the character that the film lacks.
The character of Marge is fascinating, clothing-wise.
What disgusted him was the big bulge of her behind in the peasant skirt below Dickie's arm that circled her waist. And Dickie--! Tom really wouldn't have believed it possible of Dickie!There are two chief interpretations of this scene: that Tom is a misogynist or gay (or both). While the movie portrayed Tom as gay or bisexual (later becoming involved in a sexual relationship with a man), author Patricia Highsmith maintained that Ripley wasn't gay, just sociopathic in his need for devotion from Dickie. And clothing was hugely symbolic to him. He later spends whole evenings looking at Dickie's clothing, saying that material possessions "reminded him that he existed."
Cat Blanchett was a supporting actress in the film, in a role created specifically for the movie. There's not much to say about that, except that her clothes are fabulous.
How darling is this sweater? The trim could be easily added to an existing cardigan (check out my post and how-to on soutache).