The Dressmaker

The Dressmaker

Book - 2006
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In this romantic debut novel, a reserved provincial French tailor falls head over heels in love with a woman who's hired him to create her wedding dress

Claude Reynaud is a bit of a throwback, an old-fashioned dressmaker working in a cluttered studio outside modern-day Paris, quietly designing his famous gowns by hand. Every spring he ushers pretty young society brides into his studio, measures them, and designs their dresses without ever contemplating for himself the sort of romance that will lead these ladies and their grooms to the altar.

But one afternoon a woman arrives who shatters his composure: Valentine de Verlay is charming, beautiful, a lady of society, and, of course, engaged. She comes with no instructions for her wedding dress, just a beautiful figure, a long graceful neck, and total faith in her dressmaker. Claude, forty-six years old, devoted to his work, and long since deserted by his wife, finds himself smitten.

As Valentine's wedding approaches, his commitment to her dress makes it impossible for Claude to keep a safe distance, and everything he's come to rely on in his small, focused life looks ready to collapse. Worse still, as he is welcomed into her circle of friends and family, it appears that the betrothed Valentine may share his feelings.

The Dressmaker is a perfect gem of a novel, an enchanting portrait of another world, and, above all, a sly and irresistible love story.
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Co., 2006.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780805080339
0805080333
Branch Call Number: OBE
Characteristics: 306 p. ; 22 cm.

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GLNovak
Sep 13, 2012

This story, basically an unrequited love story, is taken to a higher level through the author's lovely descriptions of outfits worn by the characters. They are woven into the narrative very nicely and done in such a way that you can see them in your mind's eye. The dressmaker is infatuated with his client and quietly, carefully plans his pursuit - slow and measured but full of restrained emotion. Will she choose him with his adoring love, or will she stay with her husband? As a side story, the relationship between the dressmaker and his own family is one of deep love and respect. I enjoyed that aspect almost as much as the main story line.

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