To escape a big-city scandal, a Depression-era lingerie seamstress flees to the countryside, where she hopes to live and work in peace. Instead, she finds herself unraveling uncomfortable secrets about herself and those closest to her.
In February of 1931, Marion Hatley steps off a train and into the small town of Cooper's Ford, hoping she's left her big-city problems behind. She plans to trade the bustling hubbub of a Pittsburgh lingerie shop for the orderly life of a village schoolteacher. More significantly, she believes she'll be trading her reputation-tainting affair with a married man for the dutiful quiet of tending to her sick aunt. Underpinning her hopes for Cooper's Ford is Marion s dream of bringing the daily, private trials of all corset-wearing women especially working women to an end, and a beautiful one at that.
Instead, she confronts new challenges: a mysteriously troubled student; frustrations in attempts to create a truly comfortable corset; and, most daunting, her ailing aunt. Once a virtual stranger to Marion, her aunt holds the key to old secrets whose revelation could change the way Marion sees her family and herself.
As her problems from Pittsburgh threaten to resurface in Cooper's Ford, Marion finds herself racing against time to learn the truth behind these secrets and to get to the bottom of her student s troubles. Meanwhile, Marion forms a bond with a local war veteran. But her past, and his, may be too much to sustain a second chance at happiness.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Great story about a talented woman who makes her own way, set in the 1940s. Fascinating look at the life of a seamstress who invents a better corset. But more than that, it is a tale of talent, resilience and hope. Funny, surprising, exciting and tearful at different turns. Beautiful writing makes it a pleasure to read. Well done Beth Castrodale!
love a book with a strong female lead. It allows me to jump into the shoes of the main character, to see the world from her perspective. Marion Hatley decides to head to Cooper's Ford, a small country town, leaving her big city life (with it's problems and scandals) behind. She must start anew and readjust to her new world, all while trying to find her footing, set herself up financially and face new challenges head-on. One of the trials that Marion faces, is designing a new and comfortable corset. I found this aspect of the book utterly fascinating, as the travails of corset-wearing heretofore hasn't been on my study radar. (Also, my Google history is now filled with searches like "Corsets of the 30's," and "Uncomfortable corsets," and "Why women stopped wearing corsets." #nerdproblems) I found myself absolutely loving everything about Marion, her strength and her determination, as well as the part of her that perpetually remained a misfit. I was also equally drawn to the other characters in the book, which is a rare treat! I found myself wanting to know more about Elder, Ina and Walter, wondering where their story might lead, hoping for a happy ending for each of them. Bottom Line: Marion Hatley is a book that keeps you thinking, long after you've finished the last page. Beautiful characters, wonderful writing.