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 her personal maid on theTitanic. Once on board, Tess catches the eye of two men—a kind sailor and an enigmatic Chicago businessman—who offer differing views of what lies ahead for her in America. But on the fourth night, disaster strikes, and amidst the chaos, Tess is one of the last people allowed on a lifeboat.
The survivors are rescued and taken to New York, but when rumors begin to circulate about the choices they made, Tess is forced to confront a serious question. Did Lady Duff Gordon save herself at the expense of others? Torn between loyalty to Lucile and her growing suspicion that the media’s charges might be true, Tess must decide whether to stay quiet and keep her fiery mentor’s good will or face what might be true and forever change her future.
BONUS: This ebook edition includes an excerpt from Kate Alcott's The Daring Ladies of Lowell.
The class tensions, politics, and fashion of the heady 1910s collide in this disappointingly conventional novel set aboard the Titanic and in the aftermath of its sinking. Tenacious Tess Collins, a maid determined to use her seamstress skills to transcend her class, meets world-renowned fashion designer Lucile Duff Gordon just moments before boarding the majestic and doomed ship. Lucile's hesitant agreement to hire Tess as her personal maid sends both women on a life-altering trajectory of volatile friendship, convoluted mentoring, loyalty, and conflict, all of which comes to a head in the wake of their survival. The notoriety and familiarity of the Titanic story demands a fresh retelling, a challenge Alcott, in her fiction debut, doesn't quite meet. Plowing into an iceberg not only sinks the Titanic, it largely sinks Alcott's narrative, as she shifts focus to testimonies, politics, and "Pinky" Wade, a headstrong female journalist making her way in a chauvinistic world and stirring up trouble in Tess's life. Pinky and a handful of other side characters beleaguer rather than benefit the novel, although Alcott redeems her story with Tess, managing a sweetness that stops short of cloying in her heroine's ever-positive perseverance.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Stays Interesting Throughout
A quick read, this book kept me interested until the end. Some parts were contrived, but the character storylines were appealing. Worth the price for a little escapism added to a little historical truth. If looking for a definitive Titanic in-depth exposé, do not bother reading "The Dressmaker". But for some light entertainment, especially on the 100th Anniversary of the Titanic sinking, this book will entertain.
Enjoyed the Story
Loved the book and all the history involved, especially the storyline about the titanic. Sadly, history doesn't change much - especially with those who feel a sense of entitlement. A tad predictable on that front. I enjoyed how several of the main characters grew throughout the book, especially the main character. I also found it interesting to look up the real characters in Wikipedia. I love this genre of historical fiction. Definitely, a good read.
The Dress Maker
Oddly similar to reading an American Girl book. Perhaps it belongs in the YA section.