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Publisher's Summary

London, spring 1939. Eighteen-year-old Ada Vaughan, a beautiful and ambitious seamstress, has just started work for a modiste in Dover Street. A career in couture is hers for the taking - she has the skill and the drive - if only she can break free from the dreariness of family life in Lambeth.

A chance meeting with the enigmatic Stanislaus von Lieben catapults Ada into a world of glamour and romance. When he suggests a trip to Paris, Ada is blind to all the warnings of war on the continent: This is her chance for a new start.

Anticipation turns to despair when war is declared, and the two are trapped in France. After the Nazis invade, Stanislaus abandons her. Ada is taken prisoner and forced to survive the only way she knows how: by being a dressmaker. It is a decision that will haunt her during the war and its devastating aftermath.

©2016 Mary Chamberlain. Recorded by arrangement with Random House, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC. (P)2016 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

" The Dressmaker of Dachau is a thrilling story, brilliantly told. I couldn't put it down. Ada Vaughan is a character to fall in love with: utterly real, flawed, and beguiling." (Saskia Sarginson, author of R&J Pick, The Twins, and Without You)
"I found myself completely swept up in this tale of love, ambition and vanity." (Juliet West, author of Before the Fall)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Annoying reader and annoying lead character

The reader is so breathy it is maddening. Her men sound like women. The main character is young and dumb and annoying. Maybe if I could get through to the meat of the story the book would redeem itself, but as of now I have to walk away.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible!

This was a horribly depressing book but not just that. I have read other depressing books that I have loved - The Nightingale being one. This was a horrible story where the main character made mistake after mistake and never learned. She was hard to like and took being naive to a whole other level. I would have never finished this if it wasn't my book club book.

The narrator was almost unbearable. She read with a breathy dramatic cadence the entire book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good Story, Would have preferred a different narrator.

I liked the story overall. But if you want a book that's positive and uplifting this is not it. The main character makes mistake after mistake that causes her own misery, in my opinion. There is no happy ending to this book. But it keeps you interested and has a good feel of the war - feels realistic and well researched. It also goes into life right after the war, which is a nice change.

Also, listen to a sample before buying - the narrator had a weird breathy way of speaking and it took me some time to get used to it and not be annoyed by it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Performance Ruins It

I would ALMOST like to hear the rest of the story, but every minute I get annoyed by the narrator's performance. The writing itself is not grand, but the story line is good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A story of poor choices

After having read many Holocaust era books, this one annoys me no end. The research is admirable but the central character, Ada, is much less so. Almost at every turn, the author gives her character poor choices and denies her daring and resourcefulness. It’s a novel after all!
The reader’s clarity and phrasing are OK, but her breathy delivery in semi-whisper throughout the book also denies Ada full agency.
In the end, I rate the book three stars because, as Ada asserts, women’s experiences in war are very often different,invisible and misinterpreted in mainstream culture.