Just in time for the centennial anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic comes a vivid, romantic, and relentlessly compelling historical novel about a spirited young woman who survives the disaster only to find herself embroiled in the media frenzy left in the wake of the tragedy.
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 a personal maid on the Titanic's doomed voyage. Once on board, Tess catches the eye of two men, one a roughly-hewn but kind sailor and the other an enigmatic Chicago millionaire. But on the fourth night, disaster strikes.
Amidst the chaos and desperate urging of two very different suitors, Tess is one of the last people allowed on a lifeboat. Tess's sailor also manages to survive unharmed, witness to Lady Duff Gordon's questionable actions during the tragedy. Others - including the gallant Midwestern tycoon - are not so lucky.
On dry land, rumors about the survivors begin to circulate, and Lady Duff Gordon quickly becomes the subject of media scorn and later, the hearings on the Titanic. Set against a historical tragedy but told from a completely fresh angle, The Dressmaker is an atmospheric delight filled with all the period's glitz and glamour, all the raw feelings of a national tragedy and all the contradictory emotions of young love.
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"While the fictionalizing of real characters, notably Lucy, doesn't wholly convince, there's an appealing, soulful freshness to this shrewdly commercial offering." - Kirkus Reviews
"Taking the tale of the Titanic out of the frigid sea and docking it in the courtroom and early 20th-century New York gives the familiar story a fresh feel." - Library Journal
"Pinky and a handful of other side characters beleaguer rather than benefit the novel, although Alcott redeems her story with Tess, managing a sweetness that stops short of cloying in her heroine's ever-positive perseverance." - Publishers Weekly
"We all know how the Titanic went down, we all saw the movie. But what happened after? This brilliant book shows the aftermath of the tragedy, seen through the eyes of a brave, young girl who was on board, on her way to America, to start a new life as a dressmaker. From the minute Tess sets foot on the doomed ship, this is the kind of novel you simply cannot put down and cannot forget." - Tatiana de Rosnay, author of Sarah's Key and A Secret Kept
"This is a fascinating premise for a novel as well as a powerful, page-turning read. It's also a very valuable contribution to our understanding of the events surrounding the sinking of The Titanic, and its aftermath." - Isabel Wolff, author of A Vintage Affair
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Patricia O'Brien's award-winning career has spanned the worlds of books - fiction and non-fiction - journalism, politics and education.
Her latest novel, The Dressmaker, written under the pseudonym of Kate Alcott, is a New York Times best seller. Centered on the aftermath of the sinking of the Titanic, it was published by Doubleday in 2012. Another novel, The Daring Ladies of Lowell, is slated for publication in 2014.
She is the co-author, along with Ellen Goodman, of the New York Times non-fiction bestseller entitled, I Know Just What You Mean The Power of Friendship In Women's Lives.
She is also the author of two other historical novels, Harriet and Isabella, a novel about Harriet Beecher Stowe, which was published by Simon and ...
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