The Paris Seamstress

Narrated by: Penelope Rawlins
Length: 14 hrs and 57 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (380 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

For fans of Lilac Girls and The Nightingale comes an internationally best-selling World War II novel that spans generations, crosses oceans, and proves just how much two young women are willing to sacrifice for love and family.

1940: As the Germans advance upon Paris, young seamstress Estella Bissette is forced to flee everything she's ever known. She's bound for New York City with her signature gold dress, a few francs, and a dream: to make her mark on the world of fashion. 

Present day: Fabienne Bissette journeys to the Met's annual gala for an exhibit featuring the work of her ailing grandmother - a legend of women's fashion design. But as Fabienne begins to learn more about her beloved grandmother's past, she uncovers a story of tragedy, heartbreak, and family secrets that will dramatically change her own life.

"I loved The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah and I have a feeling that I'm going to love this dual timeline World War II novel based in war-torn France and present day." (Debbie Macomber)

"This rich, memorable novel unfolds beautifully from start to finish. (Publishers Weekly

"Fascinating and impeccably researched." (Gill Paul, author of The Secret Wife)

"A fantastically engrossing story. I love it." (Kelly Rimmer, USA Today best-selling author)

"Gorgeously rich and romantic." (Kate Forsyth, author of Bitter Greens)

"Intrigue, heartbreak...I cannot tell you how much I loved this book." (Rachel Burton, author of The Things We Need to Say

"If you're looking for a swoon-worthy romance, then The Paris Seamstress is for you. Natasha Lester's novel features not one but two love stories, spanning continents and centuries.... Fans of historical romance will eat this one up." (Refinery29)

"Combine family secrets, World War II, tragedy and heartbreak and you have the compelling ingredients of this month's book buyer's pick." (Costco Connection)

©2018 Natasha Lester (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"[A] fascinating and impeccably researched evocation of the New York fashion world during World War Two...and some divine-sounding dresses!" (Gill Paul, best-selling historical fiction author)

"This book was beautifully written and the characters have such rich history! The book is about two really strong women, two different generations, and the secrets that can bring them together or tear them apart. Natasha's style of writing flows easily, and the storyline and love story had me hooked."(Girly Book Club)

What listeners say about The Paris Seamstress

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

This book would makes for a mindless read.

I felt this book read like a soap opera full of terrible tragedy. Just when you think the character will be happy the rug is pulled out from under them. Not the best story I've read. I wouldn't recommend it.

6 people found this helpful

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Focused more on fashion than WWII

Only got about halfway through. Lots of fashion, not much about WWII in Paris. American accents were not very good and distracting.

5 people found this helpful

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Weak historical fiction story

While there were accurate history references to WW2 and the famed fashion stars of the early 20th century, the story was less history and much more sappy love saga. Predictable and read like a Danielle Steel novel. I read this because it was compared to the Lilac Girls and The Nightingale as well as many other great historical fiction stories abut WW2. This doesn’t even come close. The one redeeming quality was the performance of the narrator. Her voices, dialects, etc were fantastic. I hope to hear her again. Not reading any more of the author’s books though.

1 person found this helpful

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Review if The Paris Seamstress

The overall story was well done. My problem was with the reader. Most of the female voices were done well; the male voices were annoying to my ear. It would have been better to use a male voice for male characters or find someone that can do both well.

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing, hard to put down.

The author does a great job of weaving the past into the story at the present time.

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Pretty good

This story has some amazing plot twists, but the modern day character is vapid and predictable, as is often the case in historical fiction. The reader must slog though the Hallmark-movie plot line of the modern character as payment to discover the resolution of the historical plot line.
The evolution of fashion depicted in this book is fun, and the ties to real-life characters does lend credibility to the story. It was an easy listen, but far from gripping.

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  • BB
  • 02-13-20

Amazing!!!

I absolutely loved everything about this book. I couldn’t stop listening. It’s beautifully written and such a wonderful story.

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Up In The Air

I am going to start with the writing was not the best. The beginning of the story reminded me of other War War II period books that were recently written, but when Estella moves to NY, my attention is grabbed. I couldn’t put it down. I never grew to like Estella because she seems to never learn until she’s elderly and has knowledge to pass on. Love scenes seemed cheesy. With all that said it was still an Interesting book!

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Performance was stunning for female roles but left lacking for male

I was amazed at the various accents the narrator used. It was clear who each character was, however for the male voices it was lacking. All men sounded like sniveling snakes despite several being kind, heroic and sexy.

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Awesome compelling

the story was great captured my attention from the beginning likable characters and fast paced from start to finish