Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Dressmaker - A Review

The Dressmaker - Kate Alcott (NetGalley)


Just in time for the centennial anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic comes a vivid, romantic, and relentlessly compelling historical novel about a spirited young woman who survives the disaster only to find herself embroiled in the media frenzy left in the wake of the tragedy.

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:

This book was almost just like watching a movie play in my head. The writing was so vivid that I could see the majestic Titanic and watch in horror as she sank. I envisioned New York as it had been during that period. Everything the author wrote about, she brought to life.

This wasn't a book just about the Titanic and the aftermath. This was a book with several story lines all weaved seamlessly into a great read. You had Lucille and Cosmos's story with Tess. You had Tess's relationships with Jack, Jim and Pinky. You had Pinky, an independent working woman, fighting for fair wages and the top headlines for the next day. You had the hearings in the aftermath of the tragedy.

What I really liked was the realism the author brought to the book. Bringing real people from the tragedy and real stories and building her story of fiction around them. I found it hard to put this book down and am glad I got the chance to read it.


Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

I am so glad to hear you found this hard to put down. I have a copy here and am looking forward to reading it. I have high hopes for this one and it looks like I will not be disappointed!

Mary (Bookfan) said...

I think yours is the first review I've read for The Dressmaker. It's on my list. Nice review!

Mari said...

I have 50 pages left to read and while I only skimmed your review, for fear of spoilers, I love this book. Completely agree that it feels like I'm watching a movie.


Harvee said...

I'm reading this one now and it is easy and interesting to read. The story line is quite good.