The Dressmaker's Gift by Fiona Valpy

The Dressmaker's Gift

A Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestseller. 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; Cl...

Details The Dressmaker's Gift

TitleThe Dressmaker's Gift
Release DateOct 1st, 2019
PublisherLake Union Publishing
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, War, World War II

Reviews The Dressmaker's Gift

  • Paige
    3.5 starsThis novel follows other modern historical fiction trends: the modern-day character, Harriet, finds an old photograph in box that shows her grandmother as a young lady with two other girls, and Harriet then makes it her goal to uncover the past of her familial history concerning her grandmother, Claire.The first chapter was very cliché. Harriet moves to Paris obtaining a job in the same building that her grandmother, Claire, worked in. ...
  • Marian
    Making the hand rocking motion.The grandmothers' story was interesting and good. The granddaughter's story was not so interesting, and the coincidences required a suspension of disbelief beyond what I could muster. Also, the granddaughter was, well, kind of annoying and weak through most of the book, which made it difficult not to whiz through her sections.
  • Jackie
    Dissenting opinionI picked this free book through the Amazon First Reads program (or something like that). I love stories set in WWII and I am always looking to read something from a different angle. I enjoy books that move back and forth in time and reading about a character in the present discovering something about their family. I also enjoy sewing as a hobby. So the description of this book rang a lot of happy bells for me. I’m sad that it ...
  • Amanda
    Fantastic with one small noteFantastic book. It was gripping and suspenseful, painful and emotional, uplifting and allegorical for the times. My one note is that the story of the three seamstresses is set up to be revealed to Harriet through some letters. I don’t want to say any spoilers so I’ll just say that it seems unlikely that the person writing the letters would have such in depth knowledge of events that took place without him/her. I l...
  • Ankit Garg
    The Dressmaker's Gift by Fiona Valpy is a must read historical fiction novel.It follows the common trend most of the novels in this genre are following - a young protagonist trying to discover their familial history and uncover their roots. The plot is cliched at times, yet the execution makes the journey of reading this book worth its while.There are abundant mentions of Paris and its fashion industry. The end also mentions a few good books rela...
  • Lillian Martin
    So......the writing is not compelling, completely sophomoric and unimaginative. I’m finding myself skimming..not sure how this got such high ratings!
  • Amanda Williams
    A hauntingly beautiful story. This book was completely immersive and really transports you back through time. It's rare I read wartime stories that actually depict everything how it actually was rather than romanticizing everything. Very down to earth book with relatable characters.
  • Karren Sandercock
    Thanks to NetGalley, Amazon Publishing UK and Fiona Valpy for my copy of her new book: The Dressmaker's Gift. I have read her previous book: The Beekeeper's Promise and I loved it.Paris, 1940. The city is occupied by the Nazis, three young French seamstresses Claire, Mireille and Vivienne are kept busy sewing beautiful dresses for German officers wives and their mistresses.The girls share a tiny apartment, it's situated on the top floor of the fa...
  • Georgina
    ‘I see now it is one of the paradoxes of life that if we love it so much that we are frightened of losing it, it can make us live a half-life, too scared to get out there and live whole-heartedly because we have too much to lose’Guided by a photo from her grandmother’s past, Harriet finds herself in Paris. Desperate to find a sense of identity and recover from her past, she sets about finding out the truth of what happened during World War ...
  • Vicki Willis
    This was a historical fiction book set during WW2 in France. There was a MC who was in current time trying to find out about her grandmother. Her grandmother was one of 3 young women living in France during WW2. I found the background about fashion and dressmaking very interesting. The portion of the book describing the heinous war crimes was graphic and heartbreaking. This was the first book I have read by this author and I will checking out her...
  • Greta Halliday
    What an amazing book this turned out to be. So sympathetically written, the story slipped seamlessly between present and past intertwining the lives of people and creating a picture of death and sorrow mingled with Joy and happiness. This story is so convincing it could almost be real. My favourite kind of book set during the war years, it is a must read and if I was able I would award 10*
  • Chandni
    A good enough read. It started out slow but picks up. The Harriet character was annoying and her chapters were hard to get through. Overall an interesting story worth a read once.
  • Leigh
    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 f...
  • Jill Miclean
    Yet another dual timeline story that falls short in the history department. This book didn't have much going on and nothing really happens until about half way through. The 3 girls are supposed to be spies during WWII but they are the most boring spies ever until they are caught. By then, you really don't care much about them as there is not a lot of emotional depth to this book. There isn't enough history for my taste. The only real history come...
  • Karen
    The Dressmaker’s Gift by Fiona Valpy is a story that pulls at the heartstrings. Set in two-time periods, Claire's granddaughter, Harriet travels to France to complete a one-year internship in a Paris fashion house in 2017. Her internship includes housing in an apartment on an upper floor of the fashion house. While settling, her roommate sees a picture of three women that Harriet places next to her bed. Her roommate tells her one of the girls i...
  • Kathy
    I have struggled to finish off this book for months, seeing it in my list of books on my kindle and trying to engage with the story. It was one of those Amazon First Read selections back in September of 2019. I never do well with those choices. There are so many good books covering WWII challenges in Paris, and I can't say that this is one of those. For me it was too sentimental/emotional.I own this, but it is now available as Kindle Unlimited if...
  • Debby
    What can I say about Fiona Valpy...just that this first time author to this reader did an outstanding job of keeping me engaged and enjoying a wonderfully written story in 1940 Paris during WWII setting. Such a historical story of three women that revealed suspense, painful, and emotional drama. I was captivated by the historical parts of the story. The friendship between the women was pivotal as their loyalty to one another and their cause was e...
  • Trudy
    So difficult giving this book only 4 stars. Here’s why: The beginning almost lost me. After previously reading three 5 star books in a row, I was not sure this one would keep my attention. There were just too many eye rolling coincidences. BUT THEN.....It just got BETTER AND BETTER AND BETTER with each page! I couldn’t read it quickly enough! At that point, it was an exciting 5 star read and this was the majority of the book. I just couldn’...
  • Page Turner
    Another historical fiction novel with the time frame leading up to and through WWII. The setting includes Great Britain, France and Germany. This book focuses on the fashion and designer industry and I found it very interesting. It is a well written book and the characters include several generations of three young women from different countries and social classes. A good read from start to finish.
  • Pattie
    I enjoyed this!!
  • Donna Hines
    I'm often asked how I rate a book and I'm glad it's asked because I've seen other reviewers rate based how they like the characters, unexpected v expected outcome, historical factors even if fiction based, but rarely do you hear about the writing, the plot, the flow, etc.I'm one that also adds on more to this mix:emotions. In the end, would it be something I'd recommend to others? Did it stir up the creative juices? Was it moving and heartfelt an...
  • Mary Ann
    This was an Amazon First Read (September), and I was underwhelmed; I'm not having much luck with First Reads lately. The basic structure of two alternating narratives is okay: 1) a young woman (Claire) and her two co-workers and friends (Mireille and Vivianne) working with the Resistance in WWII Paris and 2) the search by her granddaughter (Harriet) for her family's history in a 2017 Paris rocked by the 2015 series of terrorist attacks. The story...
  • Andi
    I enjoyed this book, set in Paris, a city that has fond memories for me.I liked the friendships of all the girls, and the writing brought the little apartment to life for me. I love a good dual time line too.
  • Vanessa
    **FULL REVIEW**This book was so well thought out, I found myself thinking about it even when I wasn’t reading. Claire’s story, along with Vivi and Mierelle in war-torn Paris during the German occupancy...the uprising against the Nazi soldiers in a secret network of people determined not to succumb to a communist way of life. Women were grossly underestimated and utilized their resources in creative and deceptively simple ways.I loved the ties...
  • norma linza
    Unique historical novelI liked the unique story and the historical references. I wish the author had given more on Coco and her betrayal and morals. Coco was a traitor and profited from her immoral lifestyle. Deep, almost unbelievable, information in what life was like.What I didn't like was the rambling on and on, the musing over and over again. Especially the end.With drastic editing this could even be a great movie. The author just writes way ...
  • Carolyn
    If you like historical novels about World War II, you may like this. I found the coincidences in the story too unbelievable and the writing wasn't that compelling to me.
  • Chelsie
    Another amazing story about women war heroes during WWII! Three young seamstresses befriend each other when they get put together in the same rooming area while working in a seamstress shop. The three of them all have their secrets, and their secrets all become tangled within each other.
Claire, Vivienne, and Mireille find themselves relying and learning to trust each other with all of the resistance work they are each individually doing, meanw...
  • Kristi N
    I began this book as an audio book and quickly switched over to reading it. With so many female characters with French names, it was a bit hard for me to distinguish who was who to start. Well written and entertaining WWII historical fictions are plentiful right now but even given the dark subject matter I enjoyed reading this novel. You empathized with the women and the French people and it took a bit of a different twist to the retelling of the...
  • Cat
    What an amazing story. The author beautifully tells two stories and how they intertwine. It starts with the tale of three seamstresses in 1940 Paris. The seamstresses work creating coutre dresses as war comes to Paris. As it goes on, they each have secrets as the Resistance fights for Paris. In the current time, Harriet, a grand-daughter comes to Paris to work in the same building where her grandmother worked. Harriet learns more about her grandm...
  • Micah Gonzales
    I specifically liked how the stories in this book comes full circle as it shared multi-generational stories of survival, courage, and hope. It is comforting to read such a book during these times of rising danger and harm all over the globe. The circumstances in the stories may be different, but the author's way of highlighting the relevance of a human spirit's strength when intertwined with other more brave souls are significant for me to recomm...