Friday, November 6, 2020

The Dressmaker's Gift

Book: The Dressmaker's Gift
Author: Fiona Valpy

Paris, 1940. With the city occupied by the Nazis, three young seamstresses go about their normal lives as best they can. But all three are hiding secrets. War-scarred Mireille is fighting with the Resistance; Claire has been seduced by a German officer; and Vivienne’s involvement is something she can’t reveal to either of them.

Two generations later, Claire’s English granddaughter Harriet arrives in Paris, rootless and adrift, desperate to find a connection with her past. Living and working in the same building on the Rue Cardinale, she learns the truth about her grandmother – and herself – and unravels a family history that is darker and more painful than she ever imagined.

In wartime, the three seamstresses face impossible choices when their secret activities put them in grave danger. Brought together by loyalty, threatened by betrayal, can they survive history’s darkest era without being torn apart?-Goodreads

Review: In 1940, Mireille, Claire and Vivienne all find themselves working as seamstresses and living together during the war. I was easily immersed in their story about friendship, resistance and love. This storyline was strong enough for a single novel and I loved it. 

This book also had an alternative narrative with Harriet, Claire's granddaughter, in present day Paris. The way in which the war-time narrative was weaved with this was not executed very well. It was just not believable as to how Harriett leaned the story of her grandmother. Added to that, Harriet was a boring character and I didn't care much for what was going on in her life. 

Grade: 3/5 

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