The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott

The Dressmaker.jpgTitanic spoiler: it sank. Then what?

Rich and poor, adults and children, (not /t/o/o/ /m/u/c/h/ any black and white), all had to deal with the blame game and also with survivor’s guilt.  Kate Alcott snagged all these people from history, and made their stories accessible. (memo to those who didn’t know: Hollywood’s Titanic was beautiful but not particularly accurate)

dressdress2Tess, running away from a job she hates, meets a rich woman at the gates of the Titanic and persuades her to hire a stranger as her maid. Lady Lucile Duff Gordon was a famous fashion designer.

What happens when Tess, dependent on a rich woman, falls in love with … hm, with one rich man and one poor man. She met them all at the Titanic, and now the survivors are looking for targets to blame. And Lady Lucile Duff Gordon has been mouthing off at reporters, coming off as rich and uncaring and possibly determined to save herself while leaving poor people behind. And the witness to Lady Lucile’s high-handed ways are…  the poor but honest sailor who is in love with Tess.

The Author Note at the end says that Kate Alcott used transcripts of the trials, newspaper accounts, and other ‘I was there” documents for the book. It feels very, very real.


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