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For readers of Amy Bloom, Sarah Waters, and Anthony Doerr, The Dressmaker’s War is the story of a brilliant English seamstress taken prisoner in Germany during World War II: about her perseverance, the choices she makes to stay alive, and the haunting aftermath of war. London, 1939. Ada Vaughan is a young working-class woman with an unusual skill for dressmaking who dreams of opening her own atelier. When she meets Stanislaus von Lieben, a Hungarian aristocrat, a new, better life seems to arrive. Stanislaus sweeps Ada off her feet and brings her to Paris. But when war breaks out and Stanislaus vanishes, Ada is abandoned and alone, trapped on an increasingly dangerous continent. Taken prisoner by the Germans, Ada does everything she can to survive. In the bleak horror of wartime Germany, Ada’s skill for creating beauty and glamour is the one thing that keeps her safe. But after the war, attempting to rebuild her life in London, Ada finds that no one is interested in the messy truths of what happened to women like her. And though Ada thought she had left the war behind, her past eventually comes to light, with devastating consequences. Gorgeously written and compulsively readable, The Dressmaker’s War introduces us to an unforgettable heroine—Ada Vaughan, a woman whose ambition for a better life ultimately comes at a heartbreaking cost. Advance praise for The Dressmaker’s War “Mary Chamberlain’s clear, bright prose is river-swift and Ada Vaughan is a character rich with beautiful, flawed humanity. This is a gripping story about limits and the haunting, brutal way they can be drawn and redrawn in war.”—Priya Parmar, author of Vanessa and Her Sister “A thrilling story, brilliantly told—I couldn’t put it down. Ada Vaughan is a character to fall in love with: utterly real, flawed, and beguiling.”—Saskia Sarginson, author of The Twins and Without You “I found myself completely swept up in this tale of love, ambition, and vanity.”—Juliet West, author of Before the Fall “The Dressmaker’s War is a powerful and gripping tale of longings and dreams, and how a chance meeting that seems to offer the answers and more instead comes with devastating consequences. It’s a story about what a person will do and can do under force. The world before, during, and after World War II is amazingly well-drawn. But it is the character of Ada Vaughan that lingers: her resolve, her passion, and her flaws.”—Cecilia Ekbäck, author of Wolf Winter From the Hardcover edition.
Spanning the intense years of war, The Dressmaker of Dachau is a dramatic tale of love, conflict, betrayal and survival. It is the compelling story of one young woman's resolve to endure and of the choices she must make at every turn - choices which will contain truths she must confront.
Spanning the intense years of war, The Dressmaker of Dachau is a dramatic tale of love, conflict, betrayal and survival. It is the compelling story of one young woman's resolve to endure and of the choices she must make at every turn - choices which will contain truths she must confront. London, spring 1939. Eighteen-year-old Ada Vaughan, a beautiful and ambitious seamstress, has just started work for a modiste in Dover Street. A career in couture is hers for the taking - she has the skill and the drive - if only she can break free from the dreariness of family life in Lambeth. A chance meeting with the enigmatic Stanislaus von Lieben catapults Ada into a world of glamour and romance. When he suggests a trip to Paris, Ada is blind to all the warnings of war on the continent: this is her chance for a new start. Anticipation turns to despair when war is declared and the two are trapped in France. When the Nazis invade, Stanislaus abandons her and she is taken prisoner, sent to Germany as slave labour and forced to survive on her wits alone. Resilient at every turn, Ada finds the strength that extremity breeds and survives the only way she knows how: by being a dressmaker.
Poor seamstress Sira Quiroga forges a new identity during the Spanish Civil War and becomes the most sought-after couture designer in North Africa, where she is enlisted to pass coded information to the British Secret Service.
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize: This psychological drama set in Liverpool during WWII follows the courtship of a US soldier and an English working-class girl. Rita is a passive and naïve seventeen-year-old who has been raised by two middle-aged aunts: Nellie, a curmudgeonly dressmaker obsessed with polishing the furniture, and Margo, a lively widow wise to the ways of the world. Rita’s father, whom she calls Uncle Jack, is too busy with his butcher shop the next town over to pay much attention to his daughter. Regardless, surrounded by the ruins of houses bombed in the Blitz, this strange family is bound together as they face wartime life in Liverpool. The government is enforcing stringent rations on even the smallest pleasures, and an influx of well-off American soldiers is wooing all the local girls. Though World War II has dramatically changed the family’s standard of living and altered their perspective of the world, Nellie is determined to enforce her traditional ideas about the proper behavior and priorities of the lower middle class. This includes hampering the romantic desires of both Rita and Margo. It is no wonder, then, that Rita starts lying to her aunts about where she goes on Saturday nights. She has fallen in love with a Yankee GI named Ira. Or rather, she has fallen in love with the idea of this young soldier and all that he represents as someone who can make her a bride and whisk her away to a lavish life in the United States. But Ira is hardly the man she’s dreamed of, and a relationship is the last thing on his mind. In a sinister turn of events, the years of stifled happiness finally catch up to Margo and she betrays her young niece. And through this transgression, Nellie reveals just how far she will go to enforce her rules, especially when it comes to the furniture . . . Written in strategically-doled-out prose that keeps readers on the edge of their seats, The Dressmaker is a thrilling historical novel about repressed sexuality, sibling rivalry, and the dire consequences of bigotry. An immediate classic in British fiction, it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and made into a film starring Jane Horrocks, Billie Whitelaw, and Joan Plowright. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Beryl Bainbridge including rare images from the author’s estate.
When the Taliban took control of Kabul, Kamila Sidiqi and all the women of Kabul saw their lives transformed. Overnight, they were banned from schools and offices and even forbidden from leaving their front doors on their own. The economy collapsed and young men left the city in search of work and security. Desperate to help her family and support her five brothers and sisters at home, Kamila began sewing cothes in her living room. Little did she know that the tailoring business she started to help her siblings would be the beginning of a dresmaking business that would create jobs and hope for one hundred neighbourhood women and would come to mean the difference between starvation and survival for hundreds of families like her own.
Set in 1850s London, at the height of Victoria's reign, Posie Graeme-Evans' glorious fourth historical novel tells of a woman ahead of her time. Ellen Gowan is a famous dress designer for ladies of high society and one of the very few women in England who owns her own business. But her life wasn't always one of such privilege. The only surviving daughter of a Cambridge scholar-turned village minister and a beautiful woman who was disowned by her family for marrying for love, Ellen had a childhood plentiful in affection, if not in currency and dresses made of fine silks. Tragedy strikes on her thirteenth birthday, when her father dies suddenly, leaving Ellen and her mother penniless and dependent upon the kindness of her mother's estranged family. Life takes Ellen down various roads of opulence and depravity until she lands in the arms of the devilishly handsome Raoul de Valentin, whom she marries. Just when Ellen realizes that she is with child, Raoul abandons her. Determined to survive, she begins her long climb to success, first by toiling at a dress factory, then opening up her own salon in the fashionable Battle Square. The Dressmaker is a romantic odyssey that takes readers into the most luxurious of ballrooms and the most squalid of brothels. It is the sweeping story of a true heroine and her quest to live life fully-to find success, to find love, in an era when such ideas were unheard of for a woman. Brimming with romance, social intrigue and rich, detailed illustrations of Victorian London and its varied inhabitants

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