- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (May 6, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1402282486
- ISBN-13: 978-1402282485
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 585 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Forgotten Seamstress Paperback – May 6, 2014
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Trenow, author of the WWII-era The Last Telegram (2013), reaches further back in time for her latest compelling historical novel. When orphan Maria Romano, a talented and creative seamstress, is singled out for a position at Buckingham Palace in Edwardian-era London, her future prospects appear limitless. After catching the eye of the Prince of Wales, however, and embarking on an affair with the royal heir, her unfortunate fate is sealed. Rather than risking a scandal, a pregnant Maria is whisked off to an asylum, where she is dismissed as a raving fantasist. Determined not to lose herself completely, she weaves her own story into an intricately designed quilt. Nearly 100 years later, Caroline discovers the quilt and is determined to unlock its secrets—a quest that leads to her own voyage of self-discovery along the way. The two narratives are seamlessly woven together, forming a heartrending tapestry of tragedy and resilience. --Margaret Flanagan
"Weaving together Caroline's and Maria's journeys, Trenow meticulously stitches each piece of this engrossing story into a unified-and heartwarming-whole." - Kirkus
"The two narratives are seamlessly woven together, forming a heartrending tapestry of tragedy and resilience." - Booklist
"An intriguing patchwork of past and present, upstairs and downstairs, hope and despair." - Daisy Goodwin, New York Times bestselling author of The American Heiress
"Told with attention to historical detail and including lush descriptions of the quilt and its fabrics, this is a story that will be long remembered. " - Cayocosta72
"Liz Trenow sews together the strands of past and present as delicately as the exquisite stitching on the quilt that forms the centerpiece of the story." - Lucinda Riley, author of The Orchid House
"A beautiful and captivating dual-time story..." - 100 Pages a Day...Stephanie's Book Reviews
"Sewers, quilters, and lovers of women's fiction will love how this tale is woven together. The Forgotten Seamstress leaves you behind with notable characters and a beautiful tale you will be wanting to read again and again." - The Blessed Homemaker
"The characters are strong, caring and well developed, and the descriptions of the handmade quilts will appeal to those who also have passion for quilting. Trenow has written a spellbinding story that will keep readers up late to find out what happens next. " - RT Book Reviews
"A page-turner with eye-opening details about the conditions of mental hospitals in the 20th century, as well as the provenance of royal fabrics, the art of quilting, and the vagaries of modern interior design." - Publishers Weekly
"It was a mystery to be solved and the ending was a good one. I enjoyed the book." - Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell
"This seamlessly written tale is one that lovers of sewing could enjoy, if you don't find your heart breaking with the story itself." - Buried Under Romance
"If you're a fan of Downton Abbey, you'll fall under the spell of this book, too. It has a twisty romance, an intriguing puzzle, and memorable characters. Tidbits about quilting and textiles are sprinkled through the pages...it's one of the best novels I've read this year." - Rattlebridge Farm
"I definitely recommend this wonderful story. The ending alone left me with such a good feeling. I know that this will make it into my top 10 of 2014. " - From The TBR File
"THE FORGOTTEN SEAMSTRESS was a wonderful book with memorable characters and brilliant descriptions of quilts and quilt-making. Highly recommended!" - Book of Secrets
"Liz Trenow clearly did her research into this and it provides for a rather interesting aspect to include in the story line. Coupled with the details about quilting and sewing and I was utterly fascinated.
" - Always With a Book
"The Forgotten Seamstress is a wonderful heart-tugging read...This is an awesome work of historical fiction and not to be missed! " - Night Owl Reviews - Top Pick
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The second and if you ask me, far more interesting story is that of the quilter. She was an orphan named Maria who along with her friend Nora are plucked from their orphanage at a young age to go work in what turns out to be Buckingham Palace in the sewing room because they are both very talented seamstresses. While there Maria catches the eye of the Prince of Wales and well, he's a Prince and she's a very naive young girl. What happens to her is horrifying and forms the basis of the story of the quilt. I don't want to ruin the tale so I will leave you with just these tidbits.
If only Caroline's story was as captivating and as well told as Maria's was. Caroline is completely hapless and hopeless and honestly I just didn't find her interesting or believable as a character. If she had been 20 years younger I might have understood some of the decisions she made but not as a 38 year old woman. I have problems with books when characters don't feel real to me. Maria felt more alive and fully developed to me than Caroline who seemed a bit of a cardboard cutout.
Ms. Trenow does have a lovely writing style and that kept me reading until the end despite my not caring what happened to Caroline. I wanted to know very much how Maria's life played out - she carried the book for me.
*I received a free copy for my honest review