08 November, 2015

The Dressmaker

My favorite of the same titles

I'm always on the search for good books to read. Sometimes, I only read for 6.7 minutes before zonking out. I do like to read. When I get a good book, it's very difficult to put down and I must finish it. 

Somewhere, I read online that The Dressmaker was good and going to be a movie. I plugged the title into my county library system and found four (4!) books with that title. It turns out that I have yet to read the book that inspired a movie but I did read these four.

* This first one by Alcott is, ummm, bad - don't read it. It starts out promisingly but than needs to be drastically edited down to 34 pages. We get to re-live the sinking of the Titanic and the cliched Unsinkable Molly Brown for a while before we finally land in New York. Maybe one page {all together}  was actually about sewing.

*** This one by Elizabeth Oberbeck was interesting. About a small town talented tailor who finds his muse in a younger woman who comes to him to design her wedding gown. And their little romance. Some sewing. A little unexpected story twist - not what you would predict.

**** This title by Posie Graeme-Evans was a great romantic with a little thriller mixed in. How our dressmaker grew up poor, her father the rector, dies, her mother has long-lost RICH relatives who have problems of their own. Then she and her mom flee, find succor with an acquaintance, then the friend's son has a plot of his own. She marries him, has a baby, discovers somehow, overnight, she is the dressmaker to the rich and famous. I liked this one. The story flowed predictably and had a lot of sewing stuff inside. 

This one by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon was my favorite. I could not put it down. It tells a story of Afghanistan when the Taliban took over and women were forced to stay inside their home unless a male relative could escort them grocery shopping. When women were forced to wear the chador - completely covered up. All the men were off fighting and women had little means to support their families. They were not allowed to work.

This story tells of a very young gal who manages to find a way to earn money by sewing clothes for the clothing stores. Her entire family helps out as well as relatives. Her dad and older brother were forced to flee to avoid Taliban retribution. This gal came up with several business ideas to support not just her family but others as well. Lots of sewing.

A few years back, I was involved in a soldiers scheme of helping out Afghanistani and Iraqi women by sending over bundles of sewing supplies. The idea was to provide women with something of usefulness from the American's in order to turn the tide on the war.

This book was an extension of that aid and the resiliency of women to figure out ways to survive.

My library system doesn't have the Rosalie Ham version, The Dressmaker, yet.

I can see if Minnesota public library has it. I have my sister's library card #.  That's the secret of my kindle success. Oregon has very few e-books and only lets you check out six at a time. Minnesota lets you check out 50 (I dare you!) and has the most current titles and best-sellers.

I really enjoy the Kindle on trips but at home, I like turning pages in real books. Looking back a few pages when I get the plot confused, dog-earing the page to mark a recipe.

Right now I am finishing up Jenny Lawson's  Furiously Happy . I read her first one: Let's Pretend This Never Happened a week ago. Her journey through mental illness - she is a hysterically funny writer. Apparently, she writes a big-time blog. Her books contains some of her blog stories.


  1. Are you going to see the movie? I am currently reading a YA novel, The Keeper's Tattoo, by Gail Arbuthnot. Speaking of tattoos, I am sporting a henna tattoo from one of my high school age friends! It is so cool!

  2. What a neat idea to read several books of the same title. I just read an interesting book set on Mt. Hood - a story about a boy growing up living in a cabin in Zig Zag and a side story of a Pine Marten who grows up in the same area. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  3. I've read 2 of those books - I agree the Alcott one had very little about sewing in it. I really liked the Oberbeck one. A book you might enjoy is called "The time in-between - a novel" by Maria Duenas. It has some sewing and some undercover agent in WWII - I enjoyed it a lot.

    1. Thank you! And my library had it. ( now I wonder if it also has an airplane in it).

  4. Kindles are great for holiday, but my choice would always be for a real book!


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