Historical Fiction Review: The Seamstress

 

About the Book

Title: The Seamstress
Author: Allison Pittman
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release date: February 5, 2019
Publisher: Tyndale

A beautifully crafted story breathes life into the cameo character from the classic novel A Tale of Two Cities.

France, 1788 

It is the best of times . . .
On a tranquil farm nestled in the French countryside, two orphaned cousins—Renée and Laurette—have been raised under the caring guardianship of young Émile Gagnon, the last of a once-prosperous family. No longer starving girls, Laurette and Renée now spend days tending Gagnon’s sheep, and nights in their cozy loft, whispering secrets and dreams in this time of waning innocence and peace.

It is the worst of times . . .
Paris groans with a restlessness that can no longer be contained within its city streets. Hunger and hatred fuel her people. Violence seeps into the ornate halls of Versailles. Even Gagnon’s table in the quiet village of Mouton Blanc bears witness to the rumbles of rebellion, where Marcel Moreau embodies its voice and heart.

It is the story that has never been told.
In one night, the best and worst of fate collide. A chance encounter with a fashionable woman will bring Renée’s sewing skills to light and secure a place in the court of Queen Marie Antoinette. An act of reckless passion will throw Laurette into the arms of the increasingly militant Marcel. And Gagnon, steadfast in his faith in God and country, can only watch as those he loves march straight into the heart of the revolution.

Click here to purchase a copy of this book for yourself.

My Review

I only needed to read the first few pages of The Seamstress, by Allison Pittman, to know that this story was not only powerfully profound, but that it was most certainly going to have an undeniable and lasting impact upon my heart. The Seamstress is historical fiction at its absolute finest. Utterly memorable and touching, this novel is the rare piece of literature that evokes the full spectrum of human emotions, thoughts, and sympathies. 
 
Nestled within its pages, this novel holds everything a reader wholeheartedly desires. The intensely compelling plot flows effortlessly between two points of view while also weaving together intricate scenes of adversity, suspense, intrigue, romance, sacrifice, and redemption. Every word and phrase within this outstanding book is rich with deep meaning and thoughtful purpose. The well-researched details and the remarkably stunning descriptions ensure that every moment spent reading this story is a moving experience to be savored and treasured. Most assuredly, this novel deserves numerous compliments, ongoing attention, and purposeful re-readings. 

Page after page, the Seamstress succeeded in stitching an indelible pattern upon my heart and in my mind. That a story so full of tragedy and loss could be told so beautifully and still be infused with such hope is a testament to the phenomenal writing talent the author possesses. This is the first book I have read by Allison Pittman, but with it she has easily secured a place among my most favorite of authors. It is my sincere pleasure to recommend this unforgettable novel to all readers. 

*I was given a copy of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley and Celebrate Lit. A review was not required. The review I have written contains opinions that are entirely my own.

My Reflection

When historical fiction takes ideas and experiences from the past and makes them accessible and relevant today, it is a powerful and transformative reading experience that touches my heart and mind beyond mere entertainment. This book, so rich with the themes of love and loss, rejection and acceptance, fear and courage, and shame and forgiveness, impresses upon me the necessity and the inspiration to pursue faith and compassion in my daily living and in my interactions with others. 

This novel emphasizes that we as individuals need others more than we realize in order to be whole and to thrive. Through the challenges and hardships experienced by the characters and the sincere nature of their personal and spiritual growth throughout the novel, I was reminded that each one of us has a story to share, and each one of us has a purpose to pursue. Like the characters in this book, I hope that I too am brave enough to accept God’s forgiveness, to trust fully in his will, and to turn trials into opportunities to shine God’s love brightly wherever darkness and despair linger.

About the Author: Allison Pittman


Allison Pittman is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed novels and a three-time Christy finalist—twice for her Sister Wife series and once for All for a Story from her take on the Roaring Twenties. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, blissfully sharing an empty nest with her husband, Mike. Connect with her on Facebook (Allison Pittman Author), Twitter (@allisonkpittman) or her website, allisonkpittman.com.

Guest Post from Allison

My dream of being an author began by “finishing” other author’s works, fleshing out the stories of neglected characters. When I read the final books in the Little House series, I was far more interested in Cap Garland than I was in Almonzo Wilder, and I imagined all kinds of stories in which he was the hero. 
This, The Seamstress, is one of those stories that came to me in a single burst of thought. I was teaching my sophomore English class, discussing through the final scenes in A Tale of Two Cities, when the little seamstress in those final pages reached out to me. She is a nameless character, seemingly more symbolic than anything. Dickens, however, gives her an entire backstory in a single phrase: I have a cousin who lives in the country. How will she ever know what became of me? I remember pausing right then and there in front of my students and saying, “Now, there’s the story I want to write.”

Now, years later, I have.

While every word of every Charles Dickens novel is a master class in writing, what he gave to me for The Seamstress is the kind of stuff that brings life and breath to fiction. I have to convey the fact that any character on my pages—no matter how much story space he or she is allotted—has a life between them. Every man was once a child; every woman a vulnerable young girl.

So, Dickens gave me the bones of the story. A seamstress. A cousin in the country. A country ripped apart; family torn from family. I did my very best to put flesh on those bones, but no writer can ever bring the life and breath. Only a reader can do that.

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Allison is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card, a hardcover copy of The Seamstress, and this copy of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/db0e/the-seamstress-celebration-tour-giveaway


Click here to visit Celebrate Lit's tour page for The Seamstress.

Blog Stops

Fiction Aficionado, February 9
The Lit Addict, February 9
The Power of Words, February 9
Lis Loves Reading, February 10
Maureen’s Musings, February 10
Carpe Diem, February 11
All-of-a-kind Mom, February 12
Emily Yager, February 12
Mary Hake, February 12
Stories By Gina, February 13
Inspired by fiction, February 14
Remembrancy, February 14
Inklings and Notions, February 16
Bibliophile Reviews, February 17
Texas Book-aholic, February 17
Margaret Kazmierczak, February 18
A Reader’s Brain, February 18
By The Book, February 18
Multifarious, February 19
Pause for Tales, February 19
Bigreadersite, February 20
Simple Harvest Reads, February 20
Janices book reviews, February 20
For the Love of Books, February 21
Book by Book, February 21

Comments

  1. What a beautiful review! I agree with every word. This is a literary masterpiece.

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  2. Your review is lovely! This sounds like a great book!

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  3. I've been hearing/reading only good things about this book! If I don't win a copy I may have to use some of my Amazon credit and buy a copy.

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    Replies
    1. Hey, Patty! It's still a great deal on Kindle--4.00!! :)

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  4. Thank you for the enlightening review. I have been quite curious about this book. As an author myself, I don't have much free time to simply enjoy reading, but your description makes me believe this is a must read. Lis, you write so eloquently and with such spiritual depth. Blessings and thanks again!

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    1. I soooo get the sadness of not reading enough for pleasure. I've found audiobooks to be a great help there. I listen when I drive, when I clean my kitchen--I've doubled my reading in the past few years.

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  5. I love a Tale of Two Cities. It is a long time favorite. I’m anxious to see how this story develops.
    Thanks for the review and the chance to win.

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    1. Always glad to see another Tale of Two Cities fan!! :)

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  6. I am enjoying these tours and finding all the terrific books my family is enjoying reading. Thanks for bringing them to us and keep up the good work.

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  7. Such an uplifting review! It's always good to find a new favorite author.
    Dianna

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  8. Sounds like a great book with a beautiful cover, thanks for sharing.

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