Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott -- Guest Post Book Review

I absolutely love having guest bloggers on my blogs---especially this one as it's fun to hear other peoples' thoughts on books they enjoy. Today my mom, Christy, is guest posting about a book she borrowed from me, The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott. I love anything having to do with the Edwardian/Titanic eras and this one doesn't disappoint!

I just finished reading this fabulous fiction by Kate Alcott, called The Dressmaker, which was written in 2012 but set in 1912. Ms. Alcott (I wonder if she is related to Louisa May) is a journalist who lives in Washington, DC and has covered politics there.

This is a fast-paced story written around a young, ambitious women named Tess. She wants to be a dress designer and finds herself aboard the Titanic and on her way to New York with her dreams and aspirations.

I love how the author has included plenty of the actual people who were on the Titanic on that horrific day of the sinking of the ship. One of the people aboard ship was Lady Duff Gordon, a world-famous designer of the times, who escaped along with her husband and her secretary. There was actually much controversy surrounding events that happened in their sparsely-filled lifeboat---which were told later.

Much of this novel is a fictional tale based on true events such as, what really happened in the lifeboats that night and the social and political events happening in New York this same year. We get to sit in on the hearings at the Senate Chamber and other interesting actual occurrences. The fight of Women's suffrage was very interesting and gave me several things to ponder about.

I felt like this story showed the integrity of Tess, Jim, Jack, Pinky, and others, while also giving grace to some of the survivors who made bad choices due to their own fears or selfishness. I think the character, Elinor, described Lady Duff Gordon perfectly, for this particular fiction, when she said, "Don't you see, dear? She is your Pygmalion."

I loved the romantic way this story ended and how it kept me guessing who Tess would choose to be her soul mate.

My favorite part of the book was the last paragraph of the author's note. It made me want to do some investigating on the birth of Millvina Dean. Maybe I should change my name to Pinky and become a reporter!

Ultimately, "For everything there is a season..."


  1. I enjoyed reading this review. I like historical fiction, and I'll keep an eye out for this book.

  2. Very good 'hook' at the end of this review. I want to read it just to get to the last paragraph of the author's note!