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Book Review: "The Dressmaker" by Kate Alcott

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The sinking of the Titanic changed the lives of many people. Many perished in the sinking of the ship while some survived and had to deal with the horrors and heartbreak of that experience. The experience affected people differently. Some were courageous during the sinking of the ship and helped others. Meanwhile, others looked out for their own survival and had to live with the guilt. In "The Dressmaker" by Kate Alcott, readers are introduced to a variety of characters, real life and fictional that were on that doomed voyage, what their experiences and choices were, and what the fallout was.

"The Dressmaker" is seen through the eyes of three strong females. Tess Collins leaves behind a frustrating life as a servant in England and lands a job as a personal maid to a famous fashion designer and a voyage on the Titanic. Lady Lucile Duff Gordon is that famous fashion designer, known for her glamorous and uber feminine creations, she gives Tess a chance as not only a personal maid, but eventually a seamstress and designer for her fashion house. Pinky Wade is a female news reporter covering the sinking of the Titanic and having to uncover harsh truths about people on board. The novel follows Tess and her new life in New York City working for Lucile, falling in love with two very different men, and dealing with her disgust at the decisions Lucile made during the sinking of the ship. It also follows Lucile's very callous actions during the sinking of the Titanic and how that fallout affects her. Lastly, it follows Pinky's quest to find out the truth of what exactly happened during the sinking and rescue efforts of the Titanic. All three women are connected through the sinking of this grand ship and all three have very different personalities, emotions, and ways of life. At the end of the day, their common theme is their desire for success and survival.

"The Dressmaker" is a very interesting novel on the sinking of the Titanic and all that happened following the sinking of the ship. Alcott's use of portraying the story through three very different female characters is unique. Each woman is so different, but they are connected and you find yourself understanding them at different parts of the story. Readers will journey with Tess and her desire to succeed in fashion, but also be a good person, roll their eyes at Lucile's entitled ways, but always be surprised at her actions, and cheer on Pinky, the determined feminist. Each female main character is well-developed and interesting.

The historical part of the novel is also fascinating. Lucile was a real life person, as were many of the famous passengers on the ship. Also, Alcott goes into great detail describing the Titanic, the actual sinking of the ship, and the media frenzy following the sinking of the ship. Alcott has clearly done her research.

"The Dressmaker" is a great novel for those who enjoy history, strong female characters, fashion, and some romance. It's a wonderful combination of all those things. Leave your fascination with the Leonardo DiCaprio movie behind and enjoy a more complex and real story on the Titanic sinking.

To purchase "The Dressmaker":


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