Regular price: $31.50

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

“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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    103
  • 4 Stars
    110
  • 3 Stars
    86
  • 2 Stars
    26
  • 1 Stars
    9

Performance

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    97
  • 4 Stars
    83
  • 3 Stars
    65
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    26

Story

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    96
  • 4 Stars
    100
  • 3 Stars
    63
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    10
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • deborah
  • Palm Coast, FL, United States
  • 03-09-12

Stretches credulity, but a quick paced story

Fast moving story about the weeks following the sinking of the Titanic, through Senate hearings, yellow journalism, class warfare, all told through the eyes of a servant who finds wonder in the New World. Worh the credit.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Fantastic

Loved the history and the fictional story that tied it together. Alcott's work is fantastic, and Duerden does a nice job of capturing the characters.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • MD
  • Idaho
  • 04-04-16

Titanic again!

Pretty boring, especially since I'd already seen Titanic the movie. It's like hearing your friends wife retell a story your friend has told you several times already.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Outstanding

I was hooked right away. Highly recommend it. Very interesting angle that I never realized happened.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Predictable

Read it for my book club...it was ok. A very light read and much too mushy for my taste.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • DIANE
  • Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada
  • 11-04-14

An interesting outlook on the Titanic disaster

The title would never give away the fact that this novel surrounds the Titanic disaster, and the effect it has on numerous people, including the protagonist. There is a bit of romance thrown in, and the heroine has to choose between two suitors... one with money and one without, and she makes the right choice in the end. A good story but not great. It was not memorable particularly, but was an enjoyable read. Can't say I'd be running to recommend it though.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Read the reviews and listen to the sample

What would have made The Dressmaker better?

A different narrator.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I can't say as I haven't been able to listen to enough of the story yet. The narrator is so monotonous as to make it painful to listen to.

What didn’t you like about Susan Duerden’s performance?

Everything. She only seems to have one intonation for the ends of sentences that puts you to sleep.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Dressmaker?

Haven't listened to enough in order to say.

Any additional comments?

Had I listened to the sample and read the review I wouldn't have purchased this book in audio. I would have got a paperback. It is a shame that I didn't listen to it soon enough to be able to return the audio.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Patti
  • Chittenango, NY, United States
  • 07-18-14

Good Story

This was a good enough story but definitely does not rank in my top choices. Each of the characters were well developed but what wasn't developed was the relationships between each. For example, Tess becomes very loyal to Lady Duff-Gordon. That happens very quickly so I reckon that is a strong character trait of Tess's. There is no story-line to promote that loyalty. In fact, if anything, the story lines would create the opposite. None of the relationships that are developed have any explanation to them. Explanation really isn't the right word, but none other comes to mind that is any better. A good story is good because of how it comes about.

The historical details of the story are interesting. I did not find the narration as distressing as some other reviewers.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great Narrator!

What did you love best about The Dressmaker?

The narrator. She had a unique voice for each character which made the story come alive.

What did you like best about this story?

We've all heard stories about the sinking of the Titanic, and they all end when the ship goes down. This story begins at the sinking and how some characters faced that nightmare - and how some created their own nightmare.

Have you listened to any of Susan Duerden’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is my first Susan Duerden narration and I liked her so much that I specifically searched for and purchased another book she narrated.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Story Ruined by Narrator

Would you try another book from Kate Alcott and/or Susan Duerden?

I might purchase another of Kate Alcott's books but will never purchase another one narrated by Susan Duerden.

If you’ve listened to books by Kate Alcott before, how does this one compare?

This was my first Kate Alcott book.

What didn’t you like about Susan Duerden’s performance?

Her narration style was more like a drone or an unpleasant up and down cadence. There was simply no life to her performance and after just a few minutes I was ready to turn it off because it became very hard to listen to. I would seriously discourage anyone from purchasing this book narrated by Ms. Duerden because it was very bad.

Was The Dressmaker worth the listening time?

No.

Any additional comments?

Read the hard copy of this one.