Saturday, April 21, 2012
The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott
I began this story on the 100th anniversary of the Titanic tragedy, it just so happened to show up from my holds list at the library.
Tess Collins is a maid in Cherbourg who wants a better life for herself and flees to the docking area of the new luxury ship Titanic hoping to find employment and passage there. She meets up with the true life character of Lady Duff Gordon, the famous fashion designer. Hired on as her assistant, they make their way to New York and of course we all know what happens on the way.
This story deals mostly with the trials after, how the survivors cope with the loss and their actions, the media circus, and lack of acknowledgement of responsibility and cover up from the White Star line. Tess is torn between two love interests and she eventually has to make the decision to stand up for herself and the truth, to follow her heart, and whether or not to abandon her dream of becoming a successful dressmaker under Gordon's tutelage.
An interesting blend of fact and fiction that prompted me to look up some of the characters in the story and to learn more about the aftermath of this tragedy that so could have been prevented. I also learned that Lady Duff Gordon was supposed to sail on the Lusitania and had to cancel due to illness.