Another book to add to your summer beach reading list:
The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott. This historical fiction novel starts on the Titanic – on the evening of April 13th – the early hours of April 14th is when the ship sank. The story follows Lady Lucile Duff Gordon, an American fashion designer, and her husband, and a seamstress/maid named Tess Collins who has been “lucky” enough to meet the Duff-Gordons and get hired by them and joins them on the trans-Atlantic journey.
Tess and the Duff-Gordons survive the sinking of the Titanic but when they get to New York, there are a lot of questions about what happened in their respective lifeboats.
Senator William Alden Smith calls for an inquiry and survivors testify in New York and Washington, DC. Everyone’s trying to get to the bottom of why some lifeboats carried a dozen survivors when they could have held many more. There’s a feisty New York Times reporter named Pinky who is trying to get to the bottom of the story and she also befriends Tess. Oh, and of course there are two men vying for Tess’ love and affection. It wouldn’t be a beach read without a love triangle!
This novel is really the story of what happened next when survivors of the Titanic disaster were trying to get on with their lives. It’s dramatic and not a heafty read, but a book that I couldn’t put down! While this doesn’t come with a soundtrack of Celine Dione singing My Heart Will go On, one can’t help but think of Kate and Leo…
Interesting aside about the author…Kate Alcott is the pen-name of Patricia O’Brien. Ms. O’Brien has written many books but was having a difficult time selling The Dressmaker to publishing houses. When her agent shopped the book as written by “Kate Alcott”, the story sold in three days. Hence, the book really being judged by the name on its cover.