The Dressmaker

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The Dressmaker

by Kate Alcott

May 2016

I’m leading my MOMS club book club this month and I picked a book that caught my eye because of it’s pretty cover: The Dressmaker. I’ve always been drawn historic fashion, so it wasn’t surprising that I liked the cover! Well, this book was a quick, sweet read. There was nothing I really disliked or loved about the story, it was simply a nice book.

The book is set around the sinking of the Titanic and the famous fashion designer, Lady Duff Gordon who survived the sinking with her husband and secretary. It was quite a controversy because they had a lot of room in their life boat. The protagonist is the secretary, Tess, and the story is told through her eyes. She is unhappy as a maid in England and convinces Gordon to take her as a maid on the Titanic so she can live a better life. Tess is very proud and is a terrible servant, but Gordon sees a bit of herself in Tess and decides to give her a chance. The majority of the book takes place after the sinking and involves the trial that follows. Tess has to choose her loyalty: will she stand by Gordon who may have purposely pushed people away from her boat, or a young seaman who is honest and upfront? She is also torn between two loves: the same honest seaman who is a village boy at heart, and a wealthy American who wants to give Tess the world? Tess learns to follow her heart and figure out what she truly wants. (Spoiler: she backs the seaman and chooses him as her love.)

I think I never really connected with Tess. She is very haughty and while she grows a bit through the story, she still stays pretty self-centered. The book was engaging and a quick read. While I enjoyed the book, I did not love it and I wouldn’t rave about it.

Summing it up: I recommend this book if you’re interested in the Titanic, as it was an interesting, quick read.

All the best, Abbey

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