Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott

A life of servitude isn't for Tess and the seamstress has always dreamed of a bigger life for herself. When she sees folks waiting on the dock to board a new grande ship called Titanic on her maiden voyage, Tess leaves her servant job behind and has a chance meeting with famed designer Madame Lucile Duff Gordon. Lucile agrees to take her under her wing and allows her to board the ship for their journey to the United States. 

While board the ship, Lucile treats Tess like more of a servant than an apprentice, but she hopes that if she bides her time, she will gain the help with her career as a budding dress designer she desperately desires. On the ship, she meets both a dashing Chicago millionaire and a lowly but thoughtful sailor. However, any chance at romance at that point comes to stop when the ship hits an iceberg.

Lucile demands a lifeboat for her and her husband, and with only a few other passengers on a lifeboat that seats over fifty, it sets out prematurely. Both Tess and Lucile are saved when another boat picks them up, but what Tess learns about her idol in the coming weeks about what transpired on that ship has her second guessing everything.

We all know the history of the well-written about ship, but Alcott uses real people and events to focus her story on the trials of what happened during not only this catastrophic event but especially on "Lifeboat One" (Lucile's lifeboat). At the heart of her story is one woman's plight to make a better life herself in New York during the women's suffrage movement. Readers will be enthralled from the beginning to the end in this easy, yet thought-provoking, novel.

No comments: