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July 9, 2013


THE DRESSMAKER                                      4 STARS
A novel
by Kate Alcott

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 her personal maid on the Titanic. Once on board, Tess catches the eye of two men—a kind sailor and an enigmatic Chicago businessman—who offer differing views of what lies ahead for her in America. But on the fourth night, disaster strikes, and amidst the chaos, Tess is one of the last people allowed on a lifeboat. 

The survivors are rescued and taken to New York, but when rumors begin to circulate about the choices they made, Tess is forced to confront a serious question.  Did Lady Duff Gordon save herself at the expense of others? Torn between loyalty to Lucile and her growing suspicion that the media’s charges might be true, Tess must decide whether to stay quiet and keep her fiery mentor’s good will or face what might be true and forever change her future.

After nearly 100 years, the Unsinkable Titanic is still a topic of discussion.  The doomed cruise begins on a basis of some true, although sad facts of the events. Tess Collins, a supposed seamstress, actually just a maid, quits and looks for a way to secure any position to aboard  the ship and go to England.  Sad, but true, her fate is sealed for a long time to come.  She ends up in First Class and finds a whole new world.  She is awed by a Mr. Jack Bremerton.

Then her world and everyone on board the Titanic, has turned it's ugly head. An iceberg is hit and the ship will sink.  The harsh reality stares at many, there aren't enough life boats.   People like Molly Brown (Unsinkable Molly Brown) lived through the tragedy.  Tess meets a young Sailor, Jim Bonney.  They begin a friendship.  This causes Tess, later on, to think hard about her friendships.
I loved the reporter for the TIMES, Pinky Wade.  She was strong willed and had a sense of humor about her.  She let no one push her around.,  Now, we meet Tess's employers, real people, Lord and Lady Duff Gordon.  Inevitably there is an investigation.  I would recommend this book to anyone.  Take a voyage with Tess and the others on the UNSINKABLE  Titanic!

I would give this book 4 STARS.

 I was given a complimentary copy of this book  THE DRESSMAKER, from the author Kate Alcott for this unbiased review.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: (from Lit Lovers)

Author Bio
Kate Alcott is the pen name of author Patricia O'Brien, who is the author of Harriet and Isabella, The Glory Cloak and co-author of I Know Just What You Mean, a New York Times bestseller. She lives in Washington, D.C.

A New York Times article explains the reason for O'Brien's new pseudonym:
Patricia O’Brien had five novels to her name when her agent, Esther Newberg, set out last year to shop her sixth one, a work of historical fiction called The Dressmaker. A cascade of painful rejections began. Ms. O’Brien’s longtime editor at Simon & Schuster passed on it, saying that her previous novel, Harriet and Isabella, hadn’t sold well enough.

One by one, 12 more publishing houses saw the novel. They all said no.

Just when Ms. O’Brien began to fear that The Dressmaker would be relegated to a bottom desk drawer like so many rejected novels, Ms. Newberg came up with a different proposal: Try to sell it under a pen name.

Written by Kate Alcott, the pseudonym Ms. O’Brien dreamed up, it sold in three days.

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