Written by Natasha Lester
Crossing generations, society’s boundaries and international turmoil, The Paris Seamstress is a beguiling, transporting story perfect for fans of Lucinda Riley, Kate Furnivall and Penny Vincenzi.
What must Estella sacrifice to make her mark?
1940: Parisian seamstress Estella Bissette is forced to flee France as the Germans advance. She is bound for Manhattan with a few francs, one suitcase, her sewing machine and a dream: to have her own atelier.
2015: Australian curator Fabienne Bissette journeys to the annual Met Gala for an exhibition of her beloved grandmother’s work – one of the world’s leading designers of ready-to-wear.
But as Fabienne learns more about her grandmother’s past, she uncovers a story of tragedy, heartbreak and secrets – and the sacrifices made for love.
A Packed Read – Superbly Executed!
You’re in for a real treat with this novel – it’s outstanding!
Estella Bissette lives in Paris with her maman, Jeanne, and they work together in an atelier producing stunning couture for well-off ladies. In 1940, with the German troops advancing on the city they love, Estella is shocked to be packed off to the United States of America on the last ship to leave with that destination from her beloved France. In 2016, we join Estella’s Australian grand-daughter as she arrives in New York for the Met Gala to celebrate her grandmother’s career. Fabienne uncovers more about her Mamie than she ever realised was there . . .
I’m very fond of books which follow two or more characters, either in parallel times or some years apart, and this is a superb read. Following Estella and Fabienne alternatively, we find out about both their lives, careers, hopes, dreams and loves. The details unravel slowly, but there is always plenty happening to be going on with. This is a skilfully written story, and the historical details have obviously been researched in depth. There is lots of interesting information about the fashion industry that I was completely unaware of, and the descriptions of fabric and the resulting creations paint a vivid picture. This is a well-woven tale of life in both times and I really appreciated the careful planning that must have gone in to revealing enough to keep the reader’s full attention, but always holding something back to look forward to.
From first to last, this is a stunning read with a great story and excellent characters. It’s an especially strong read for those interested in the empowerment of women and has most definitely put this author on my radar. Highly recommended!
My thanks to Little, Brown Book Group for my copy via NetGalley. This is my honest, original and unbiased review.
Tags: historical fiction
- Format: Paperback
- Print Length: 448 pages
- Publisher: Sphere
- Publication Date: 4 Oct. 2018
- Purchase Links: Amazon UK
- Amazon US
Meet the Author
Natasha Lester worked as a marketing executive for L’Oréal, managing the Maybelline brand, before returning to university to study creative writing. She completed a Master of Creative Arts and has written several novels including A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald, Her Mother’s Secret and The Paris Seamstress. Her sixth novel, The French Photographer, will be published in April 2019.
In her spare time Natasha loves to teach writing, is a sought after public speaker and can often be found playing dress-up with her three children. She lives in Perth.