The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott
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.
I love a story with a feisty heroine and Tess knew what she wanted and wasn't shy on going for it.
The plot is sound and the characters are well formed and nicely rounded, each one a complex personality. It could have been so easy for Lady Duff Gordon to have turned into a cariacature, but although she was imperious and narcissistic, she was also a product of her time and her status.
The setting made the book, I thought. And although there wasn't a great deal of focus on the actual.sinking of the Titanic, there didn't need to be - the aftermath was the main event here. It is well researched and fascinating, and brought a human element to the various reports and documentaries about the disaster.
A darned good read, in my opinion!