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 tragedy.
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 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 strikes.
Amidst 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 lucky.
On 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.
From the Hardcover edition
©2012 Kate Alcott (P)2012 Random House Audio
“We all know how the Titanic went down, we all saw the movie. But what happened after? This brilliant book shows the aftermath of the tragedy, seen through the eyes of a brave, young girl who was on board, on her way to America, to start a new life as a dressmaker. From the minute Tess sets foot on the doomed ship, this is the kind of novel you simply cannot put down and cannot forget.” (Tatiana de Rosnay, author of Sarah's Key and A Secret Kept)
"This is a fascinating premise for a novel as well as a powerful, page-turning read. It's also a very valuable contribution to our understanding of the events surrounding the sinking of The Titanic, and its aftermath." (Isabel Wolff, author of A Vintage Affair)
"It's Titanic revisited, in a romance focused on the survivors and the scandal, seen from the perspective of an aspiring seamstress whose fortunes intertwine with real characters from the epic tragedy....interesting historical facts...an appealing, soulful freshness to this shrewdly commercial offering" (Kirkus)
Funny, I didn't find the narrator nearly as bad as so many have said. I thought Tess was kind of a flighlty character and the narrator fit her well. It didn't bother me at all.
I titled this "A Guilty Pleasure" because I can see that it's not really a great book, but I enjoyed it all the same. It's kind of like a romance novel with the "steamy" parts cut out, which is fine with me. Girl runs away to America, gets on the Titanic, survives, must choose between two men, and deal with a talented but demanding dress designer and her empire. That about sums up the whole story.
I have to say, though, when I was reading the part where the Titanic was sinking I was absolutely riveted. I was so involved in what was going on I have no real memory of driving home. That part was definitely worth the credit. The author did a nice job of weaving fictional characters into a story with real events and real characters. The designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon was a real person who survived the Titanic sinking and was credited with starting one the first off the rack clothing lines and Tess' story revolves around her. Some of the trial is included in the story and intrigued me enough to look online for the transcript of the trial, which you can read in its entirety.
If you want a kind of Summer at the Beach listen this might be a good story. If you want something more substantial, I'd say pass.
this was a very compelling, engaging, historical drama. it kept my interest all the way through, and I was sad when the story was over.
a beautiful narration. perfect for the book.
The triumph of a desire women's independance made for great story that I could relate to.
Maybe, there are some slow parts that one must have to hang in there for to get to better ones. The author tried to paint a picture of the trials post the titanic's sinking. It doesn't mesh well with the main character's plight.
Yes in pace but ick on the voices it was strange at times and made me cringe.
In nine years of listening to audible books - I have only 3 times not finished a book. For the most part if it's a 3 or a 5 star book - I finish it. The other two were because the story was really bad. This time I was unable to make it through 5 minutes of the performance.
The phasing of this reader is awful - it's about 4 to 5 words...and she pitches up the last word, even if it's in what sounds like the middle of a sentence. It is so irrupting to the flow of the story I couldn't following what was going on. If they release at a future time with a different reader I'll try The Dressmaker again.
Anger - that I wasted a credit on this book! Do you guys refund?
The Dressmaker is a fascinating and engaging novel. Expertly written and beautifully told, this historical comes alive as you listen, so that you feel as if you have stepped back in time and are actually there in the life boat watching the Titanic go down. Alcott weaves the story of the fictional and non-fictional characters in the aftermath of the famous disaster into a seamless whole that makes you believe that everything in the book is what actually happened. Highly recommended!
I am enjoying this story- but find the narration to be off-putting. There is no inflection in the narrator's voice and I took the book out of the library to finish it- this is the first problem I've had with narrators, but it was very disappointing!
Tess is a lucky girl. She gets a place on the Titanic at the last minute as a maid. Tess can sew and her new employer is a fashion designer. Of course the Titanic sinks, but Tess survives, but that is just the start of the story. Loyality and love and friendship are all tested. Tess is a lucky girl. Her dreams seem to have come true, but which dreams does she want to follow and how does she avoid the nightmares. This is a book about a girl becoming a woman and how she finds her inner strength to do what is right. The book doen't judge, it lets you do that after telling you all the facts. There are no good or bad, just people with a person's weakness and strength. The history is great and the author lets you into the world at the time before WW1. The narration is perfect with just the right voice and attitude for each character. I loved this book and will listen to it again in a few months to catch up on what I missed the first time.
I am an avid reader of mysteries. I dwell in the golden years of English mysteries and the well written words by master story tellers.
The background story of place and time.
Very easy to listen to. Nice narration style.
Tess is the leading character and she was interesting. I also liked her boyfriend that she ends up with at the end of the book. He had a strong character that served him well in the end.
This book was a good read, it had a sympathic lead character that you could really care about and lots of diverse people to enrich the story. It had just enough historical accuracy to make the story meaningful and enough fiction to tie it all together. Very entertaining.
Yes I would
The historical accounts
Some of the other reviews had a problem with the narraters voice, it didn't bother me. I thought she did a great job distinguishing each character. I hope this becomes a series.
Only if they were reading it. I liked the story, but the narration will put you to sleep!
The narrator attacks every sentence as an individual entity giving each one the same intonation. She even uses this same cantor when giving Chapter numbers and reading the authors note at the end. Her narration does not flow with the story making it very boring.
Fortunately, the story was good enough to get me past the narration. I would not read any more books read by this same narrator.
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