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The Dressmaker summary The Dressmaker, series The Dressmaker, book The Dressmaker, pdf The Dressmaker, The Dressmaker fa76717c3f 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 TragedyTess, 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 StrikesAmidst 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 LuckyOn 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

10 thoughts on “The Dressmaker

  1. says:

    I am disappointed in this book Despite the inherently dramatic and heart rending disaster at the heart of the story, Alcott created a story lacking in emotion Maybe I ve been watching too much Downtown Abbey, but Tess didn t ring true at all This young woman was raised in England and had been in service for at least a year she should have been well aware of the expected behaviors and privileges associated with the different classes Alcott could have created a character who was rebelling against the class system, or even trying to change her class Either attitude would have resonated with modern readers Instead Tess acts completely oblivious to the divisions For example, view spoiler just after Tess manages to talk herself into a position as lady s maid to Lady Duff Gordon instead of marveling at her great fortune or being grateful and trying very hard to make herself useful, Tess boards the ship ahead of her employer and wanders off looking at all the rich people That behavior just seems unrealistic hide spoiler

  2. says:

    Find the enhanced version of this and other reviews at have started to review Kate Alcott s The Dressmaker a hundred times and a hundred times I ve thrown up my hands in frustration Focusing on content alone makes it impossible to understand where I am coming from, but examining my experience with the book also leaves quite a bit out Apologies, but this might be a little long winded It seems like a lifetime ago, but like so many I went through a Titanic phase, studying anything and everything I could get my hands on The publication of The Dressmaker rekindled that interest Eagerly I waited for the book to become available at my local library While I waited, I came across a New York Times article that detailed the trials Patricia O Brien faced in getting her manuscript to print I was naturally upset by the treatment she received from the publishing industry and by the time I finally landed a copy of her work was convinced her struggle was entirely unjust Then of course, I read the book I m sorry, but Jack Dawson winning a pair of tickets in a lucky hand of poker was believable than Tess Collins landing a position with Lucile Duff Gordon on the docks the day Titanic set sail It is a pivotal moment, one the entire book depends on, but I couldn t force myself to swallow it for anything The very idea is nothing short of ridiculous though not quite so much as the manner in which Alcott tackled the actual sinking.Alcott s story begins in Cherbourg on April 10th, the iceberg made famous by the tragedy is first mentioned on page 48 and by page 65 our plucky heroine is watching dawn break over the waves from a lifeboat in the north Atlantic While I can understand that Alcott wanted to focus on the hearings that followed the sinking, I cannot wrap my head around actual event receiving less than twenty pages of text Honestly it might as well have been left out entirely.Do you see what I m getting at The story lacked plausibility, there is no real development of the characters or their relationships and it utterly failed to strike the emotional chord I expected considering the intense subject matter I wanted to like the piece, but Alcott missed the mark at nearly every turn, the exception being female reporter Pinky Wade who I actually enjoyed even if her involvement with the suffragette movement clashed with the legal proceedings that inspired Alcott to write the book I forced myself to finish the piece, but it was an uphill battle all the way By the time I completed the final page I couldn t help wondering if this book was ever given a fair shot It was initially rejected because of the author s sales record, but it was also part of the rush of Titanic lit that was released to coincide with the centennial anniversary of the disaster Was it at all possible that the book was rushed through the editing process Would this lack of development and conflicting storylines exist if the book were to have been released on some other date Would the marketing department have created a promotional campaign that accurately reflected the content of the book if they hadn t been concerned with a deadline These are just a few of the questions that plagued me every time I attempted to write this review, the root cause of my frustration and reason I don t really know how to phrase my feelings on the book I honestly don t know if I had trouble with The Dressmaker because I couldn t appreciate Alcott s style of storytelling or because I set an unrealistic expectation and that my judgment was corrupted before I even got hold of the piece I am willing to admit both played a part in forming my overall impression of the book, but I suppose in the end it doesn t really matter I liked the idea of the book, Alcott s exploration of the aftermath, but the execution failed to draw me in.

  3. says:

    This book was a different take on the Titanic sinking Told from the viewpoint of a young woman who wanted desperately to leave England She was working as a cleaning lady but was very skilled in dressmaking She arrives at the departure gate just as Lady Duff Gordon, a world renounced dressmaker, just gets the news that her assistant will not be coming with her After a brief discussion Tess is hired as a maid.While on board Tess catches the eye of two very different men, a rich handsome self made man and a sailor who is going to America to find a new life She discovers that all is not as it seems, including the two men, who both survive and the extremely wealthy who belong in the Duff Gordon s circle After surviving the sinking and arriving in New York there is much controversy about the millionaire boat that held only 12 people that refused to come back for people There were also many men on board The reporting of the investigation changes many lives including Tess s she was on another lifeboat.This is a story of bravery and the class system in which most of the survivors were from the first class section.The characters are very well drawn, Tess is a young woman looking to make a new life in America, Pinky a voracious reporter but lonely soul, Jim the sailor with great carving skills and many others too numerous to report.I would recommend this book to lovers of anything Titanic and also historical fiction lovers The facts are real, the story is fiction.

  4. says:

    Set in 1912, The Dressmaker tells the story of Tess Collins, an aspiring dressmaker, who manages to find a job working for the world renowned dress designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon as a maid while she and her husband travel to America on board the Titanic On board the ship, Tess meets two men, one an older but handsome Millionaire and the other an attractive, kind and good hearted sailor and develops feelings for both of them This is a tale about the aftermath of the disaster and about Tess, her dreams for her career as a dress designer and finding love The Dressmaker is an engrossing, compelling and well written story of the aftermath of the Titanic s sinking with interesting and well developed characters It is a mostly fictional book set around factual events I really enjoyed this novel It was very hard to put it down I loved all the historical details about the Titanic and its survivors I liked this unique take on the Titanic disaster Not many books about the Titanic sinking feature the aftermath of it and how survivors try to deal with what happened and move on Most of the characters were quite likable and easy to relate to The character I liked best of all was Pinky Wade The Duff Gordon s and Elinor Glyn weren t likable at all The three of them came off as being cold and manipulating I had complicated feelings for some of the characters I really liked the character of Tess but sometimes she annoyed me Tess was very fickle at times and I got pissed off at her and just wanted her to make up her mind already view spoiler I wished Tess had chosen Jack over Jim I loved Jim but I felt that Tess and Jack just seemed to be a better couple They suited each other better I was hoping Jim would end up with Pinky Pinky seemed to be falling for Jim throughout the novel and I thought she deserved Jim than Tess did hide spoiler

  5. says:

    Look at this cover It s gorgeous right I was really expecting a romantic, titanic tale with some rich designer or something This was pretty good, but it wasn t that.In a nutshell this is a fictional story trying to answer why did only one life boat go back to rescue overboard passengers from the titanic Alcott really focuses in on one boat in particular Lifeboat 1, the Duff Gordon s boat I am warning you I think I am about to go on a Kristy Ramble.This book was very informative, like spitting out facts even if they were fictional I later found out Alcott was a former journalist and she definitely wrote this book like a journalist I hope that makes sense Also, this thing needed to make up it s mind Are you a romance book If so, there needed to be a lot If not, there needed to be less I needed emotion You were on the Titanic for cripes sake Like I said, everything was just so factual, so robotic The sinking, the imaginary read between the lines romance, the court case Decent, but I am now on the lookout for a good Titanic story.3 starsPeace out lovelies This and other reviews and other fun stuff over on my blogMessyhousehappylife

  6. says:

    This should have been a slam dunk for me, since I am a dressmaker and a hard core Titanic enthusiast But no.Flat, unlikable characters the I was obviously supposed to like them, the less I did and the most boring retelling of an incredible story I ve ever read Couldn t even get through it all by the middle I was just skimming This book suffers from the worst sort of historical writing error that of giving everyone a modern sensibility Plus, I hated how the author tried to create villains from among the genuine historical people The sinking of the Titanic was a horrific tragedy, and none of the people involved were villains The shipbuilders built the most technologically advanced ship of their age, and it was stocked with lifeboats in accordance with the regulations of a ship of its size The crew did their best, and most of them were genuine heroes The passengers behaved in an amazingly brave manner for the most part, and the few who didn t They weren t villains either, they were just frightened, traumatized people It s easy for an author to look back and point fingers, but that s a foolish thing to do I will not be reading any of this author s books.

  7. says:

    I really liked this book even with the romance storyline it made me want to do research on what happened after the sinking of the Titanic and to learn about the survivors, which to me is what makes a good historical fiction book We all know the story of the sinking of the Titanic but I for one knew almost nothing about the aftermath, the scandal of what happened on the lifeboats, and the senate hearings.This book is about than just the aftermath of the Titanic but that is the backdrop that makes it fascinating A young lady named Tess is an aspiring dressmaker and is hoping to get a job on the Titanic to get passage to America however no jobs are to be found the day of sailing while on the dock wondering what to do but not willing to give up she overhears a conversation, famous designer Lady Duff Gordon s maid isn t going to make the trip and Tess jumps at the chance and talks the woman into hiring her Tess is astounded by the opulence of the ship and is also enad by Lady Duff Gordon But as we all know the trip does not go as planned but it is what happens afterwards that makes this story Tess and the Duff Gordon s are in separate lifeboats and the rumors about what happened in the Duff Gordon s boat are shocking and to Tess completely unbelievable, but what really happened, is her new boss what she thought or are the stories true There is also a bit of a chaste love triangle involving Tess which didn t deter me from my enjoyment of this book it actually added nicely to the story and fleshed out the character of Tess The other characters in this book were all well fleshed out and believable.I really enjoyed this book and stayed up till 3 am finishing it because I just needed to know what was going to happen with Tess I would actually love a second book to find out what happens to Tess next and if she ended up fulfilling her American dream.I highly recommend this well written historical drama.4 StarsI received this book from Librarything Early Reviewers Program

  8. says:

    The basic plot outline Tess Collins chafes at the life as a servant, and wants to realize her true skills as a seamstress, and whilst looking for opportunities at the dock she catches the attention of Lucile Duff Gordon Lady Lucy is minus a maid at the last minute, Tess gets the gig and before you know it servant Tess is out of steerage and walking the main decks of the Titanic, literally bumping into folks left and right including the very wealthy and still married Jack Bremerton I think everyone knows the fate of the Titanic so you know what happens next, just be warned that it happens fairly early on in the book, so if you re expecting the novel to focus on the actual voyage and sinking you might be a bit disappointed The bulk of the book focuses on what happens to Tess after her arrival in New York, a decision between the two men in her life, as well as the ensuing hearings regarding the catastrophe and ultimate responsibility Lucile Duff Gordon was a famous couture and her actions during the sinking of the Titanic werewella bit scandalous.That s pretty much it in a nutshell, and I have to say this one didn t exactly bowl me over I really would have liked to have seen of life on the ship, and of the sinking itself This was like wham bam thank you ma am and it was over before the book had barely started and no real emotional impact to me as a reader Lucile s character was rather shallow, but not in the way that I enjoy watching a self centered socialite, but that there was nothing there and no real character development I really had a hard time swallowing the Lucile Tess relationship a women of her social standing in that era wouldn t socialize with a servant, let alone them bringing her along to dinner at the Palm Court or for a shopping spree at Macy s, and even discussing business practices For me it all seemed a rather contrived plot device to get Tess into a dressmaking shop and into the lives of the upper crust All in all a rather meh book, and very much on the lighter side of historical fiction I did enjoy learning about Lucile that was a new one to me , I liked the character of Molly Brown a lot but Debbie Reynolds did it better, natch , and the hearings were very much the high point for me I see most other reviewers had much positive reactions than I did so it s probably just me again It usually is.

  9. says:

    Where I got the book audiobook from my local library.I read this book because I got into a discussion with Misfit about the likelihood of heroine Tess having a close relationship with the employer to whom she was supposed to be a maid And then it s about the Titanic, and we really need novels about the Titanic No, seriously, it hasn t been mined out So, the plot Tess is desperate to get away from life as a maid and fulfill her destiny as a seamstress Fortunately she miraculously bumps into famous designer Lady Duff Gordon while trying to weasel onto the Titanic as somebody s, anybody s, employee, and Lady D G offers her a job as her maid after five minutes acquaintance She proves a hopeless maid so, instead of firing her, Lady D G promotes her to secretary and seamstress on the strength of a collar or something.The Titanic sinks, but not before Tess has attracted the attention of not one but two gorgeous men and generally shown everyone how brilliant she is Tess, naturally, survives and arrives in New York with the D Gs to find that they are at the center of a scandal about how their boat had only 12 people in it and didn t go back for Tess s brilliance continues to shine and she ends up practically in charge of Lady D G s business, with the aforesaid two gorgeous men at her feet At this point everybody starts calling Lady D G Lady Duff and the scandal grows bigger with the suicide of a fictional Cowardly Man of the Titanic Will Tess desert Lady Duff in her hour of need Will she choose Rich Jack or Rough Jim Will her rationalizing of the reason for her final choice ever end What exactly was the dramatic purpose of journalist Pinky Wade Oh, the questions.Now, let s consider the timespan of this book Two months Two Months That s a short time even for brilliant Tess who, inexplicably, in the audiobook has a posh accent even though she was a farm girl turned maid to rise from cleaning toilets to dining with New York s highest society Of course, this IS America, and they do things differently there But basically this is pure unadulterated fantasy, which sits a little oddly with the true story, to wit the whole Duff Gordon get off my boat affair Lady D G might just possibly have had a soft spot for Tess, and having risen from the ranks herself might have been willing to give the girl a leg up But imagine what Tess would have had to have learned she would have had absolutely no experience of the etiquette, manners, speech and habits of the upper classes Practically every item of food would have been new to her she found the stuffed olives attractive Really Did she steal them from her former employer and the Brits on the ship would have pinned her as an uppity lower class girl the moment she opened her mouth we re like that.I really liked the post Titanic storyline, and for that reason awarded three stars Yes, yes, let s talk about the Duff Gordons and various other rich people who dunked the hoi polloi into the Atlantic because they didn t want riffraff sinking their lifeboats The Titanic was a perfect, nastily dramatized lesson about what was wrong with the class system of the time Was Pinky Wade s purpose to drive that point home Otherwise, I really had no idea what that character was doing in the book nor why we made a sudden excursion into Votes For Women right at the very end.And then, there was the head hopping thing It s just possibly defensible on the basis that we were looking at the action from the point of view of the Omniscient Narrator so beloved of older novels, but I don t really think so Much of the time we were firmly inside Tess s head, but at every crisis point we began hopping from one character to another as if Tess had suddenly developed telepathic powers Let me give a very paraphrased example to quote it I d have to find it on the audio CDs, which I listened to in the car We are in a newsroom, hearing the thoughts of an editor who is talking to Pinky Wade He notes her reactions, thinks about her, etc etc Then Pinky leaves the room and for a glorious moment the POV floated like a lifebelt on the ocean and then suddenly we are in HER head, thinking about the editor Yeeeeeeuuurgh.Why is this wrong, Jane You re the one who s always saying writing rules should be broken And it could have been a lot of fun to deliberately slide the POV around like a traveling camera that follows first one character, then another But the trouble was, we were so often in Tess s head that I felt she should have been allowed to carry the whole show Either your heroine s strong enough to hold up the entire novel, or she isn t, and she might have been strong enough given the chance I m falling back on the thought that the problem lay with trying to make a true story fit together with a fictional romance in the old fashioned sense James Cameron pulled it off I don t think Alcott did.And now to the audiobook Narrator Susan Duerden delivered her performance in a breathy, well bred singsong that drove me absolutely nuts, because she put exactly the same inflection on the last syllable of about 90% of her sentences She was rather good at the Lady D G and Elinor Glyn voices, but there was that Tess is too posh thing to contend with Elinor Glyn, by the way, is rather a fascinating character and I d like to see of her, and Lady D G, and the post Titanic fallout in the future The main strength of The Dressmaker lay in its conception of how the events on the Titanic would bleed into the lives of both the survivors and those responsible for determining the truth of that fatal night I m just sorry the execution wasn t entirely to my taste.

  10. says:

    Here is a sweet historical romance, and though it is light on realism and tends towards idyllic fiction, several slightly deeper themes make the sweetness satisfying It offers a refreshing middle path between new fiction which leans towards the sadder extremes of human experience and that which artificially sweetens it for pure escapism In this respect it reminded me of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, though that comparison shouldn t be taken too far.The plot, which follows an English servant girl on her voyage on the Titanic and what follows, is not realistic in the sense that so many things work in her favour view spoiler She walks out on her serving position but gains another straight away, is hired immediately before the ship sails by a woman who does not know her, this woman happens to be a famous fashion designer she herself is an expert seamstress , she accidentally meets a middle aged millionaire who is polite but immediately attracted to her, she accidentally meets a sailor who is soon sweet on her as well, she happens to be quite beautiful which is probably why all this happened , her employer upgrades her room to level A on the night of the disaster which enables her to survive the sinking, she continually makes mistakes but her erratic employer does not dismiss her, and much hide spoiler

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