Monday, June 11, 2012

The Titanic Story With A New Slant

The Dressmaker: A Novel

Yesterday, I finished reading The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott. The cover drew me in since I am a big fan of historical fiction. When I read the synopsis on the inside cover, I brought the book home from the library. It was yet another story about the sinking of the Titanic, but this one had a new twist. 

The author wrote a fictional account but based her story on real people, using their names within her story. There were plenty of fictional characters, as well. Woven into the story of the sinking of the great ship on her maiden voyage is a love story, a quest for a new life, the high fashion industry, women's rights, and the plight of a female journalist who had an upward battle to wage in the newspaper world of 1912 and .

Above and beyond all that, what fascinated me was a thread that runs through the novel that is eerily similar to our world today. I was unaware that there were congressional hearings soon after the ship sank concerning the actions of the crew and some of the passengers as well as the owners of the ship line that launched the Titanic. For me, this part is what made the book a very worthwhile read. Admittedly, I did enjoy the heroine and her plight, too. I'm a sap for a good love story, and when two men are in love with the same woman and she must decide where her heart lies, well, I'm hooked. 

The story flows well, kept my interest from start to finish, and I learned quite a few things. That's one of the reasons I like this genre. It's a totally painless way to learn history!

I found a review of the book that appeared in the New York Times. Unlike most reviews, this one dealt with the author and the difficulty she had in getting her book published. It's a fascinating story, which anyone interested in being published would benefit in reading. It will both encourage and dishearten you if you have a book you want to sell. You'll find the review here.

If you like historical fiction, give this one a try. Let me know if you enjoyed it, or if you didn't. 

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