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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.
María Dueñas's million copy best-selling tale of adventure, tragedy, love and war, The Seamstress, a Richard and Judy 2012 book club pick. Spain, 1936 and the brink of civil war. Aged twelve, Sira Quiroga was apprenticed to a Madrid dressmaker. As she masters the seamstress's art, her life seems to be clearly mapped out - until she falls passionately in love and flees with her seductive lover. But in Morocco she is betrayed and left penniless. As civil war engulfs Spain, Sira finds she cannot return and so turns to her one true skill - and sews beautiful clothes for the expat elite and their German friends. With Europe rumbling towards war, Sira is lured back to Franco's Nazis-friendly Spain. She is drawn into the shadowy world of espionage, rife with love, intrigue and betrayal. And where the greatest danger lies. . . 'María Dueñas is a true storyteller. Read this book and prepare to be transported' Kate Morton, author of The House at Riverton 'A wonderful novel with intrigue, love, mystery and tender, audacious and clean-cut characters' Mario Vargas Llosa 'A magnificent novel that flawlessly brings together history and intrigue' Juan Gómez-Jurado, author of The Moses Expedition María Dueñas holds a PhD in English Philology and is currently a professor at the University of Murcia. She has also taught at American universities, is the author of several academic articles, and has participated in various educational, cultural and editorial projects. She is currently writing her second novel.
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.
Torn between her dreams and the truth, she was faced with an impossible choice . . . Tess, an aspiring seamstress, is stunned at her luck when the famous designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon hires her to be a personal maid on the Titanic's doomed voyage. When disaster strikes, Tess is one of the last people allowed on a lifeboat - her employer also survives. On dry land, savage rumours begin to circulate: did Lady Duff Gordon save herself at the expense of others? Tess's dream of becoming a skilled dressmaker is within her grasp but now she is faced with a terrible choice. Suddenly she finds herself torn between loyalty to the fiery woman who could help her realise her ambitions and the devastating truth that her mentor may not be all she seems. Authentic and honest, The Dressmaker is a compelling and vivid story that will have you holding your breath until the last page. *Shortlisted for the Goodreads Historical Novel Award*
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.
A darkly satirical novel of love, revenge, and 1950s haute couture soon to be a major motion picture starring Kate Winslet and Liam Hemsworth After twenty years spent mastering the art of dressmaking at couture houses in Paris, Tilly Dunnage returns to the small Australian town she was banished from as a child. She plans only to check on her ailing mother and leave. But Tilly decides to stay, and though she is still an outcast, her lush, exquisite dresses prove irresistible to the prim women of Dungatar. Through her fashion business, her friendship with Sergeant Farrat the town s only policeman, who harbors an unusual passion for fabrics and a budding romance with Teddy, the local football star whose family is almost as reviled as hers, she finds a measure of grudging acceptance. But as her dresses begin to arouse competition and envy in town, causing old resentments to surface, it becomes clear that Tilly s mind is set on a darker design: exacting revenge on those who wronged her, in the most spectacular fashion."
New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini is back with another enthralling historical novel set during the Civil War era, this time inspired by the life of “a true Union woman as true as steel” who risked everything by caring for Union prisoners of war — and stealing Confederate secrets. Born to slave-holding aristocracy in Richmond, Virginia, and educated by Northern Quakers, Elizabeth Van Lew was a paradox of her time. When her native state seceded in April 1861, Van Lew’s convictions compelled her to defy the new Confederate regime. Pledging her loyalty to the Lincoln White House, her courage would never waver, even as her wartime actions threatened not only her reputation, but also her life. Van Lew’s skills in gathering military intelligence were unparalleled. She helped to construct the Richmond Underground and orchestrated escapes from the infamous Confederate Libby Prison under the guise of humanitarian aid. Her spy ring’s reach was vast, from clerks in the Confederate War and Navy Departments to the very home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Although Van Lew was inducted posthumously into the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame, the astonishing scope of her achievements has never been widely known. In Chiaverini’s riveting tale of high-stakes espionage, a great heroine of the Civil War finally gets her due.