Customer Reviews for

The Dressmaker

Average Rating 3.5
( 182 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(57)

4 Star

(55)

3 Star

(33)

2 Star

(18)

1 Star

(19)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

28 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

Couldn't Put It Down

I read the novel in just two sittings, eager to find out what happened to Tess and her beaus and Lucile. I have to admit that I didn't know much about what happened after the Titanic disaster and this book filled in all those gaps in my historical knoweldge but also kep...
I read the novel in just two sittings, eager to find out what happened to Tess and her beaus and Lucile. I have to admit that I didn't know much about what happened after the Titanic disaster and this book filled in all those gaps in my historical knoweldge but also kept me immensely entertained. The writing is solid but not showy, the characters are wonderful and real and the drama is heartfelt and often surprising.

posted by 11166496 on February 28, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

15 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

A snoozer....

This book had promise, but fell very short. The characters were underdeveloped. The reader feels no connection at all. The writing was choppy and confusing at times. I struggled through this one. I did appreciate the historical aspects of the book.

posted by NKSTMo on March 8, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2013

    Hmmm...

    Like others, I was very disappointed with this book. I was really looking forward to reading it. With the author's credentials, one would think she would have done better research. Loads of historical inaccuracies, slow moving and dull characters... I will not be recommending this book to any of my friends or family.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I wasn't quite certain what to expect when I began reading this

    I wasn't quite certain what to expect when I began reading this debut historical novel by Kate Alcott book, but since I have a yen for the turn of the 19th century (prior to WW I) I thought I'd give it go. I was most happily surprised with an excellent read that is historical fiction at some of its best.

    The book begins as a young Tess Collins flees from the home where she is employed doing menial labor and stitching for the family of a vexing, sexually groping teenaged boy. Determined to better herself, and become the dressmaker that she dreams of becoming, Tess rashly flees the house and heads to the dock where the Titanic is tied up, waiting to begin her ill fated voyage to America and the history books. Somewhat easily, Tess wrangles a position as a lady's maid to the famous designer, Lady Duff Gordon (aka Lady Lucille) and quickly finds herself surrounded in a luxurious world of good food, designer clothing a soft bed, kind gentlemen and an imperious mistress. On board Tess makes the acquaintance of an interesting, well dressed,well mannered handsome man, Jack Bremerton. She also becomes friendly with a sailor named Jim.

    From this point the book covers much of the usual Titanic fare. The iceberg and the ill trained staff, the life boats that launched half empty and the flailing and screams that came from the tortured waters. Tess and the Duff-Gordons are separated and wind up in separate life boats. Eventually rescued by the crew of the Carpathia the story picks as the differing tales of what really happened in those life boats begins. Tess imagines that the fascinating Jack did not survive as there had been no word of him. Jim and she meet on the deck of the Carpathia, both had survived.

    Upon arrival in New York the few surviving passengers and crew begin to pick up the remnants of their lives. Tess moves with the Duff-Gordons to the Plaza hotel and is hired to be 'an assistant', rather than a maid, in Lucille's dress atelier. Jim manages to locate Tess, and they discuss those fateful hours together. Jack Bremerton is, indeed, found to have survived the tragedy. He finds Tess and begins courting her. A female reported for the New York Times called Pinky becomes involved with the investigation, and befriends both Tess and Jim. Ultimately, the Senate becomes involved in the investigation and survivors and crew are called upon to testify. There are allegations that Lady and Cosmo Duff Gordon bribed the sailor to not go back for more survivors and that they pushed people back into the sea fro fear that they would be swamped in the effort.

    The cast of characters is well rounded and well fleshed out. The 'unsinkable' Molly Brown is also one of the characters in this novel. What I really liked about this book is the historical portrait of the times that it provided. The suffragette movement and women's rights for equal pay were in full swing during this time period, as was the beginning of the industrial revolution. The times were changing, and the people were trying to adapt to the world that I think they felt was becoming out of control. This book presents not only a portrait of a tragedy it amply provides a fleeting glimpse of what the world was like during these precious pre war moments... it was a time on the brink of change and this book brings you into the time and the place quite well.

    I found myself fully involved in these characters and in the times in which they lived. Ms. Alcotts presentation was flawless and I look forward to her next book!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    Dont buy

    Horrible read waste of money very bory storyline flat undeveloped characters

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 2, 2012

    Disappointing

    This book was a big disappointment!!! The author had too many different stories going on and didn't concentrate on just telling one.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2012

    Dissappointed!

    Too much jumping back and forth. Either write only about the historical facts and inquest, or develop and tell the story of the Dressmaker and her mentor - that would have been much more interesting!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2012

    Not good

    Ju

    2 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 18, 2012

    In honor of the 100th anniversary the Titanic's demise, I wanted

    In honor of the 100th anniversary the Titanic's demise, I wanted to read a good historical fiction and this was perfect. It has it all, a good mystery from one of the lifeboats, a love story, the blooming of women in the workforce (ladies we owe those women so much), nasty British upper-class, a history lesson in the hearing to determine what happened...yep all there! A very quick read, good characters...I really enjoyed this book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2012

    Great book!

    This was a great book. I am really into sewing and the Titanic so this peaked my interest. I couldn't put it down and I really liked how it was based off true events and real people!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2012

    Great book!!

    Great book!!! Fast read!!! Thoroughly enjoyed!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 27, 2013

    There wasnt anything really wrong with this book, but the story

    There wasnt anything really wrong with this book, but the story did not hold my interest after the first half or so. It seemed to lose momentum. I will probably go back & finish it at some point, however.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2013

    What an outstanding book! I was looking for another book about T

    What an outstanding book! I was looking for another book about Titanic and found this by chance and am so happy I bought it. It gives another point of view of survivors. I enjoyed it very much and highly recommend it.  I think it would be great for a book club review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    If you enjoy historical fiction, this is a must read!

    The Dressmaker transports the reader to a tragic time in history that impacted the lives of so many. It was fascinating to step into the lives of the working class and the privileged who were aboard the Titanic and then journey with the survivors through the months that followed the catastrophe at sea. Their lives were changed forever in expected and unforeseen ways. The characters were well-developed in many layers, and Kate Abbott skillfully brought them to life.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2013

    amazing

    This book was well written and extremely interesting would highly recomend

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 2, 2012

    Liked the different aspect of the Titanic history

    I like historical fiction. the book provided information I did not know about the Titanic and made me do a little research.

    The story was good and well written . Have recommended it to others

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2012

    I listened to the audio version of this book and I found myself

    I listened to the audio version of this book and I found myself sitting in the driveway so as not to have to stop!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2012

    A page turner

    In this 100 year anniversary of the Titanic sinking, here's a very good fictionalized story incorporating real life characters (both survivors and non-survivors.) A fairly quick read, it held my interest throughout.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Recommend

    I enjoyed this book alot

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2012

    Totally Recommend.

    This ia a great story from the eyes of a servant girl who ran away aboard the Titanic and survived the sinking. It shows how life went on afterwards and about the government inquires into why it sank and why the life boats where so empty. A very good read and and it covers a subject ( the inquireies) that I never even heard of before. Highly recommend

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2012

    America's Fascination With The Titanic Still Sparks High Interest

    In the story of The Dressmaker, Lady Duff Gordon who was a famous London Designer, employed a fictitous seamstress named Tess. Both ladies were on board the Titanic, the night the great ship hit an iceberg and sank in The North Atlantic Ocean. Lady Duff Gordon and Tess managed to survive this horrible catastrophe; and testified at hearings many years later. Because of the huge fascination The Titanic sparks, I would definitely recommend this for book club discussions.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2012

    Review

    Wonderful, fast moving tale post The Titanic and 1914 New York. It also gives an interesting insight into the world of high end fashion at that era and what was to come in the 20s.
    Highly recommended and good for a book club discussion
    Mary

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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