Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Review: "The Dressmaker" by Kate Alcott

From Goodreads:  Tess, an aspiring seamstress, thinks she's had an incredibly lucky break when she is hired by famous designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon to be a personal maid on the Titanic's doomed voyage. Once on board, Tess catches the eye of two men, one a roughly-hewn but kind sailor and the other an enigmatic Chicago millionaire. But on the fourth night, disaster strikes.

Amidst the chaos and desperate urging of two very different suitors, Tess is one of the last people allowed on a lifeboat. Tess’s sailor also manages to survive unharmed, witness to Lady Duff Gordon’s questionable actions during the tragedy. Others—including the gallant Midwestern tycoon—are not so lucky.

On dry land, rumors about the survivors begin to circulate, and Lady Duff Gordon quickly becomes the subject of media scorn and later, the hearings on the Titanic. Set against a historical tragedy but told from a completely fresh angle, The Dressmaker is an atmospheric delight filled with all the period's glitz and glamour, all the raw feelings of a national tragedy and all the contradictory emotions of young love.

My Thoughts:  I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  I have always been fascinated by the sinking of the Titanic so this book definitely sucked me in.  The Dressmaker takes place, briefly, on the Titanic but most of the story revolves around the aftermath of the sinking and the judicial inquests that were meant to find out how the disaster happened and why so many died.  I haven't read much about the hearings held after the sinking so that made this book really interesting to me (even if it is a work of fiction).  The story is well-written and moves quickly; what I mean be this is that it really kept my interest and I wanted to keep reading.  What I love about this book are the two strong females, Tess and Pinky, who are breaking the rules of feminity of that time period.  They were both extremely likeable and admirable.  I did not love the fact that this book had a love triangle; throughout the story it was pretty obvious who Tess was going to end up with and the love triangle really just took away from the story (in my opinion).  Lady Duff-Gordon was the character you love to hate but the descriptions of her dresses, workshops and the fabrics she worked with were wonderful.  I haven't read a work of historical fiction that revolves around the sinking of the Titanic and it was a really nice change of pace.  3 1/2 stars.

1 comment:

  1. I need to read this one! The description sounds awesome!


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