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The Dressmaker's Gift

Narrated by: Anne Flosnik, Justine Eyre
Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
4 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

Non-member price: $34.82

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Publisher's Summary

From the bestselling author of The Beekeeper’s Promise comes a gripping story of three young women faced with impossible choices. How will history - and their families - judge them?

Paris, 1940. With the city occupied by the Nazis, three young seamstresses go about their normal lives as best they can. But all three are hiding secrets. War-scarred Mireille is fighting with the Resistance; Claire has been seduced by a German officer; and Vivienne’s involvement is something she can’t reveal to either of them.

Two generations later, Claire’s English granddaughter Harriet arrives in Paris, rootless and adrift, desperate to find a connection with her past. Living and working in the same building on the Rue Cardinale, she learns the truth about her grandmother - and herself - and unravels a family history that is darker and more painful than she ever imagined.

In wartime, the three seamstresses face impossible choices when their secret activities put them in grave danger. Brought together by loyalty, threatened by betrayal, can they survive history’s darkest era without being torn apart?

©2019 Fiona Valpy (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What members say

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Eliza McNally
  • Eliza McNally
  • 28-10-2019

Fifty/Fifty

The war portion of this story far outweighs the present day story. I did not grow to like Harriet. Her story doesn’t have the power of that of her grandmother’s. I wasn’t really interested in her “poor me, nobody loved me” ideas. It would have been a better book just to tell the WWll story.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lydia C.
  • 17-10-2019

Don't let it stop.

What a moving story, from the present to the past; from the joy to the pain. The reader envelopes you and brings you into the story keeping you engrossed throughout.

Highly recommend!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kim Wyatt
  • 12-10-2019

A little hard to follow

Although this book was a little difficult to follow, it was another great glimpse into history. It's hard to hear what people had to endure during the war. It makes one appreciate their sacrifices.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • BDundee
  • 01-11-2019

Fascinating story!

It reinforces the brutality of the Nazis and the courage of the men and women in the Resistance.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrayanne Dineen
  • 13-10-2019

not her best

the story was very interesting but dragged at may points. the repetition of the theory of mental illness coming from family past trauma over and over was really wearing. the voice and accent of the primary reader was really grating.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Pam
  • 09-10-2019

Memorable

This book will stay with me for a very long time. I moved between tears a smiles so often - the lines between kinship, love and horror where very close. I can only imagine how harrowing the research must have been.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • S. Brower
  • 15-11-2019

Disappointing

I never really got into this story. I’ve read several in this genre and this does not compare at all. Harriet was shallow, and I empathized w the seamstresses, but would have liked something more from them. To be fair, it could be because of the audio format. I just felt like it was a lot more “tell” than “show.”

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Evelyn Schumacher
  • 29-10-2019

Deeply moving and interesting

This is a tender and sensitive story of the war and it's generational effect. I highly recommend this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 28-10-2019

Great story!

Loved this story. It has friendship, love, courage, faith and a history lesson wrapped in beautiful prose from the narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • MR Murphy
  • 27-10-2019

extraordinary story

This was a welcome surprise. This book shares the story of three woman who grow to be friends and support each other during war time. Its also about a woman discoverying who she is and healing from old wounds.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs Jamey Appleby
  • 28-11-2019

A good story of civilian life in wartime France

Very interesting to dip into the lives of the civilians sharing Paris with German troops throughout the war and the effects it had on their lives, particularly from a female perspective.
Only negative is that the narrator who reads the modern day sections of the book has a slightly annoying intonation to her voice.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Alison Bedlow
  • 16-11-2019

Great story but awful voices

It sounded like the voices were computer generated. Very disappointing.
The story however was a lovely follow up to the Beekeepers promise

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-11-2019

Not too impressed

I found this really slow, the basis of the story was good i just found it hard to stick with, this could possibly be due to the narration, it was very robotic.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • R Griffiths
  • 15-10-2019

Disappointing.

I did finish this but expected it to be much better. The story is weak. It has two time lines. In the modern sections an angst ridden young woman goes to Paris to find out about the life of her grandmother who was a seamstress during the occupation. There seems to be a current glut of similar stories of people trying to discover family wartime secrets - I never realised how secretive families can be! This story line is unoriginal and tedious, young person trying to find out who she is and understand herself etc etc.
The other time line held out more promise being set in the occupation with three seamstresses being involved in the Resistance. However parts of this are barely credible. For example the Gestapo capture a radio operator and her friend and are known to be watching the address where they lived. Despite this the Resistance decide to use the place as a safe house. I feel this just would not have happened. Also there is little detail about what the Resistance network actually did, none of the excitement one would expect in novels with this setting.

I agree with the first reviewer about the weakness of the narration. Both voices sound wavery and croaky and not easy to listen to.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-10-2019

Voice over ruined it

Was looking forward to hearing this book but, whilst I have tried hard, I cannot bring myself to listen any further. No idea what the accent is, the French attempt sounds more realistic than the English somehow!