The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was quite an enjoyable story & it moved at a good clip.I couldn't stop turning the pages because I needed to know Tess would be alright & so would Jim. I very much liked that Tess really took time to try to figure out what she wanted & what was most important to her. She could have tossed in the towel with Lucile tonnes of times early on but she didn't. I was often annoyed but it felt honest for the character & the story being told. Tess seemed to me to have genuine development as a character so when she came to her conclusions, I believed they were right for her at those times. She had more patience than I have & I think it served her well.
Lady DG was a piece of work. I have to say that I was less offended by her actions in the lifeboat than I was by her general manner & demeanor. She was mercurial to the point of needing to be slapped repeatedly. And for all of Cosmo's faults, I actually cheered when he tired of her & told her he was basically leaving her. Elinor was a dutiful sister & even though Lucille was a pill, I was glad that she had that bond when most all her other relationships faltered. James was a decent enough guy but I was never much rooting for him. Also, I found it a little confusing going between the main men in the story: James Bremerton (the businessman) & Jim Bonney (the sailor). That Jim is often a nickname for James just threw me a few times & I wondered why the author chose to name the men so similarly.
The portrayals of real people was fun to read & no surprise, Molly was my favorite. I have to also say that I was impressed that the relating of the sinking of the Titanic was so well done & the immediate aftermath on the Carpathia. The author rendered an already well known instance with notes that were genuinely moving to me. And she didn't linger on the maudlin or get bogged down nor was the halcyon time before the sinking over-romanticized through Tess's eyes. It all felt even handed & true.
I won my copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.
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