The Seamstress Kindle Edition
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|Length: 437 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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[A] lyrical, propulsive story. Featuring two fully formed, headstrong, and resilient heroines, the novel stitches together a gripping tale of grace and truth amid incomprehensible suffering. -- Publishers Weekly
Enthralling! Brilliantly executed, in The Seamstress Pittman borrows a minor character from Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities and attempts to answer the tantalizing questions that arise in her brief, but pivotal appearance in that literary classic. Highly recommended. -- Anna Lee Huber, national bestselling author of the Lady Darby Mysteries --This text refers to the paperback edition.
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 437 pages
- ASIN : B07F93RQW4
- File size : 10563 KB
- Publisher : Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (February 5, 2019)
- Publication date : February 5, 2019
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #189,562 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The characters, especially Renee, are beautifully drawn as well. Three-dimensional, with flaws and realistic motivations, they fit perfectly into their time period. I especially enjoyed Renee's story and character growth, but Laurette held my attention as well. Throughout the novel, Allison puts her own spin on some familiar tropes and plotlines, such as the impoverished country girl being whisked to the grand palace, the testing of a close bond between cousins, and some ill-fated romances.
The spirituality here is subtle for the most part, but a huge selling point. Renee's final decisions, and final moments, were actually some of my favorite parts because they showcased her courage, compassion, and the struggle she was put through in choosing sides. Did she choose correctly? I am not sure, and I think a lot of readers might feel the same way. But that's what I love about this book. Even though some characters, like Laurette, get "happy endings," not much is tied up with a pretty bow, much like real life.
Speaking of not being tied up with a pretty bow, I enjoyed Allison's explorations of both sides of the Revolution. In her author's note, she mentions some "controversy" over her choice to portray Marie Antoinette sympathetically. However, I liked that. In situations such as those presented in The Seamstress, it can be impossible to tell who's a good guy and a bad guy, who to trust, even who to love and protect. It's rare to see this kind of thing explored in Christian fiction, so major kudos to Allison on that point.
At times, The Seamstress feels a little long. The romantic plot threads in particular are a bit odd at times. That is, Renee and Laurette's journeys make compelling plots in themselves; I'm not sure how much we needed of Marcel, Bertrand, and the other guys in their lives. I'm also not sure I'm on board with Laurette's final relationship with Gagnon, seeing as he started out being her father figure. Overall though, The Seamstress is a familiar, yet off the beaten path story that takes you deep into the French Revolution and asks you to go on complex journeys with real people. It gets a definite recommendation.
I was immediately drawn into the first-person account of the life of eighteenth-French peasants. Their grinding poverty is the backdrop that shapes their every moment. Some choose rebellion; others faith-filled obedience. Renee and Gagnon were the characters I found most endearing. I knew I was immersed in the book when I started lecturing Laurette, who exasperated me with a string of ill-advised decisions.
“The Seamstress” is the kind of book I can’t quit thinking about. What if? If only! Why? I know I’ll never see “A Tale of Two Cities” again without remembering Laurette and Renee.
I recommend keeping a full box of tissues handy, especially for the last chapter.
A commendably spiritual vibe is woven through Pittman’s novel, which describes the lives of a pair of orphaned cousins (both girls now in their teens) who were taken in by a farmer bereft of his wife and child. He's my favorite character, in that he conveyed the attributes of God as Adopter; as a Father to prodigal children; and, later in the tale, as Suitor and Spouse. The cousins' paths diverged, and formed a contrast to each other, even as each went on to experience romance (and such tragedy) amidst the French Revolution.
As with Pittman's novel "Loving Luther," the proofreading efforts of her editing team shine here. Bits of untranslated French are included (but an online translator came to my aid). One critique: To see a few characters -- notably clergy -- compromise around the Sacrament of Confession felt inconsistent with the heavily Catholic culture of late-1700s France. Yet I was willing to interpret it as among the flaws of Christians practicing their beliefs down the centuries. That aside, this turned out to be an enjoyable read!