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The Seamstress of New Orleans: A Fascinating…
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The Seamstress of New Orleans: A Fascinating Novel of Southern Historical… (edició 2022)

de Diane C. McPhail (Autor)

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Call Your Daughter Home meets Where the Crawdads Sing in a new historical novel from the acclaimed author of The Abolitionist's Daughter. Set in the jasmine-scented humidity of New Orleans during preparations for the first Mardi Gras of the 20th century, The Seamstress of New Orleans weaves the fascinating real-life story of the first all-female krewe, Les Mysterieuses, into a powerful novel of female friendship and empowerment. Against the backdrop of the first all-female Mardi Gras krewe in turn-of-the-century New Orleans, Diane McPhail's mesmerizing historical novel tells of two strangers separated by background but bound by an unexpected secret--and of the strength and courage women draw from and inspire in each other.   The year 1900 ushers in a new century and the promise of social change, and women rise together toward equality. Yet rules and restrictions remain, especially for women like Alice Butterworth, whose husband has abruptly disappeared. Desperate to make a living for herself and the child she carries, Alice leaves the bitter cold of Chicago far behind, offering sewing lessons at a New Orleans orphanage.   Constance Halstead, a young widow reeling with shock under the threat of her late husband's gambling debts, has thrown herself into charitable work. Meeting Alice at the orphanage, she offers lodging in exchange for Alice's help creating a gown for the Leap Year ball of Les Mysterieuses, the first all female krewe of Mardi Gras. During Leap Years, women have the rare opportunity to take control in their interactions with men, and upend social convention. Piece by piece, the breathtaking gown takes shape, becoming a symbol of strength for both women, reflecting their progress toward greater independence.   But Constance carries a burden that makes it impossible to feel truly free. Her husband, Benton, whose death remains a dangerous mystery, was deep in debt to the Black Hand, the vicious gangsters who controled New Orleans' notorious Storyville district. Benton's death has not satisfied them. And as the Mardi Gras festivities reach their fruition, a secret emerges that will cement the bond between Alice and Constance even as it threatens the lives they're building...… (més)
Membre:drslm
Títol:The Seamstress of New Orleans: A Fascinating Novel of Southern Historical Fiction
Autors:Diane C. McPhail (Autor)
Informació:A John Scognamiglio Book (2022), 304 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
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Informació de l'obra

The Seamstress of New Orleans de Diane C. McPhail

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The lives of 2 women, Alice Butterworth in Chicago and Constance Halstead in New Orleans, become intertwined like delicate stitches on the finest garments in a way neither could have imagined. After a surprising turn of circumstances, Alice makes her way to New Orleans. As Constance is grieving the loss of her husband Benton, a friend who knows both women sees an opportunity to help them.

It is an engaging story that brings aspects of the cultural expectations for women at the turn of the 20th century; the changes access to a sewing machine in the home brought to women’s lives, the first all-female Mardi Gras krewe, and the history of New Orleans Storyville district.

The dynamics of the seamstress creating a unique ball gown and mask for the Mardi Gras event, with each woman inspiring each other as they discussed the design and the accents possible due to their knowledge of mythology and the talent of the seamstress herself was an extraordinary part of the novel. Even with the author’s beautiful description, this is one time when I wished for at least a pen and ink drawing of Constance before she left for the special evening event.

The main secret in the women’s lives was easy to detect long before the reveal in the storyline but doesn’t diminish the reading experience, nor the inspiration of reading of the friendship that strengthens, encourages, and nurtures not only the women but the children in their lives.

Book clubs will appreciate A Reading Group Guide with discussion questions provided at the end of the novel. The Author’s Note and Q&A with Diane McPhail also illuminate interesting facts on the writing of historical fiction and are points specific to this title. ( )
  FerneMysteryReader | Oct 31, 2022 |
This was a heartwarming story with a unique plot. Two women, bonded with a tragic secret, leaning on each other's strengths to overcome the trials in their lives. I loved the strong female characters throughout the entire book. At a time where a woman's strength was still now recognized or celebrated, these women stood for one another and the less fortunate around them. The suspense of if and when their secrets would come out was very engrossing. While I would have liked better pacing and less parts that seemed to drag, this was an entertaining read. ( )
  busymomsreadtoo | Oct 8, 2022 |
Alice’s husband has disappeared. She is in dire straits. She is pregnant and has no source of income. She ends up traveling to New Orleans because of an overheard conversation about a needed seamstress. She takes a leap of faith and ends up in the home of Constance Halstead. But, everything is not as it seems and Alice may be taking a huge risk.

Jessica Marchbank is the narrator of this audiobook. And to be honest, I am not sure if she is the reason I gave this novel a 3 star rating or if it was the story itself. I found this narrator a bit too dramatic and too soft in her tone. Usually narrators do not bother me much. But, she just did not sit well with me.

The story itself is pretty good. It is a bit far fetched in the outcome. And I found it a bit contrived. But, I did enjoy the time period and the setting of New Orleans in the early 1900s.

Need a good historical fiction with some strong women characters…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review. ( )
  fredreeca | Jun 5, 2022 |
This beautifully written book took me back in time to New Orleans in 1900. I could visualize the merriment of Mardi Gras and hear the hustle and bustle of activity at the wharves. This Mardi Gras is not your typical one. For only the second time in New Orleans’ history, there is an all-female Mardi Gras krewe.

Constance and Alice, both with mysteriously missing husbands and both having lost an infant son, are thrown together in this tale of sisterhood. They draw on each other’s talents to create a magnificent ball gown for the Mardi Gras Ball. As each woman closely guards her own secret, they find strength and independence in each other.

McPhail brought the characters to life for me. Afraid their secrets would come out, I could feel the fear and shame each woman experienced. I smiled at the antics of Constance’s young daughters. The supporting characters were just as interesting as were the main characters: the strength of Analee, the compassion of Dr. Birdsong, and the dignified Dorothea Richard.

Filled with intrigue, the book was hard to put down. I loved the unexpected twist at the end. Perfect for the story. Why must daily life get in the way of being lost in such an enjoyable book!

I received an advance copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving an unbiased review. ( )
  BettyTaylor56 | May 28, 2022 |
Frustrating, beautiful, repetitious -these are the thoughts that come to me when I try to think of how to describe this book.

Ms. McPhail is a lovely wordsmith but lacks a little something in knowing when enough is enough department. Repetition, or 'the beating of a dead horse/horses,' becomes somewhat tedious after about the first third of the book.

The authors' descriptions of the making of the gown are exquisite, but the mystery/s are quickly figured out in the first quarter of this book. I kept reading, though, at times, I wanted to DNF. I needed to see how everything was resolved, which says something about this novel. I was a little disappointed with the ending; there was one huge secret that never came out. I would have loved to see how this secret could have come to light and what changes it might have on everyone's relationships.

For me, this was a good read that had me doing a lot of skimming---but I think most people will love this book for many different reasons. I learned a lot about the era and what women were doing to change them. Of course, these were wealthy women, and the ways they tried to change things seemed a bit frivolous to me. A Mardi Gras Ball? However, what the women were doing for the orphans and half orphaned girls was an exceptional storyline.

*ARC supplied by the publisher #Kensington Publishing Corp, the author. and #NetGalley. ( )
  Cats57 | May 24, 2022 |
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Call Your Daughter Home meets Where the Crawdads Sing in a new historical novel from the acclaimed author of The Abolitionist's Daughter. Set in the jasmine-scented humidity of New Orleans during preparations for the first Mardi Gras of the 20th century, The Seamstress of New Orleans weaves the fascinating real-life story of the first all-female krewe, Les Mysterieuses, into a powerful novel of female friendship and empowerment. Against the backdrop of the first all-female Mardi Gras krewe in turn-of-the-century New Orleans, Diane McPhail's mesmerizing historical novel tells of two strangers separated by background but bound by an unexpected secret--and of the strength and courage women draw from and inspire in each other.   The year 1900 ushers in a new century and the promise of social change, and women rise together toward equality. Yet rules and restrictions remain, especially for women like Alice Butterworth, whose husband has abruptly disappeared. Desperate to make a living for herself and the child she carries, Alice leaves the bitter cold of Chicago far behind, offering sewing lessons at a New Orleans orphanage.   Constance Halstead, a young widow reeling with shock under the threat of her late husband's gambling debts, has thrown herself into charitable work. Meeting Alice at the orphanage, she offers lodging in exchange for Alice's help creating a gown for the Leap Year ball of Les Mysterieuses, the first all female krewe of Mardi Gras. During Leap Years, women have the rare opportunity to take control in their interactions with men, and upend social convention. Piece by piece, the breathtaking gown takes shape, becoming a symbol of strength for both women, reflecting their progress toward greater independence.   But Constance carries a burden that makes it impossible to feel truly free. Her husband, Benton, whose death remains a dangerous mystery, was deep in debt to the Black Hand, the vicious gangsters who controled New Orleans' notorious Storyville district. Benton's death has not satisfied them. And as the Mardi Gras festivities reach their fruition, a secret emerges that will cement the bond between Alice and Constance even as it threatens the lives they're building...

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