The Paris Seamstress

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 04 Oct 2018

Member Reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Beautifully written with great attention to detail. I’m looking  forward to reading her other books
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Using a dual timeline The Paris Seamstress by Natasha Lester flits between 1940s World War 2 and 2014/15, Paris and New York,  drawing out the family history of the Bissette women. This novel has it all, historical fiction, romance, intrigue and wonderful characters, something to keep everyone turning the pages

The despair of the war and the darker secrets of the novel are well counter-balanced by the romance and the details of fashion design and the fashion world.. 

With thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for sending me a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.
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Three and a half stars from me, losing half a star because I didn't believe in the extreme love affairs (keeping a vague comment so as not to have any spoilers). I found the fashion and all that it entailed very interesting, especially during the war before and once America had become involved; how the styles came into fashion and the necessity for a talented 'cutter'. The description of the area of France that Estella was familiar with was well described too. The time frames worked well between Estella's youth (in the 1940s) and her granddaughter's (Fabienne) in 2015. Very easy to read.
Many thanks to Netgalley/Natasha Lester/Little Brown Book Group for a digital copy of this title. All opinions expressed are my own.
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You're in for a real treat with this novel - it's outstanding!

Estella Bissette lives in Paris with her maman, Jeanne, and they work together in an atelier producing stunning couture for well-off ladies. In 1940, with the German troops advancing on the city they love, Estella is shocked to be packed off to the United States of America on the last ship to leave with that destination from her beloved France. In 2016, we join Estella's Australian grand-daughter as she arrives in New York for the Met Gala to celebrate her grandmother's career. Fabienne uncovers more about her Mamie than she ever realised was there . . .

I'm very fond of books which follow two or more characters, either in parallel times or some years apart, and this is a superb read. Following Estella and Fabienne alternatively, we find out about both their lives, careers, hopes, dreams and loves. The details unravel slowly, but there is always plenty happening to be going on with. This is a skilfully written story, and the historical details have obviously been researched in depth. There is lots of interesting information about the fashion industry that I was completely unaware of, and the descriptions of fabric and the resulting creations paint a vivid picture. This is a well-woven tale of life in both times and I really appreciated the careful planning that must have gone in to revealing enough to keep the reader's full attention, but always holding something back to look forward to.

From first to last, this is a stunning read with a great story and excellent characters. It's an especially strong read for those interested in the empowerment of women and has most definitely put this author on my radar. Highly recommended!

My thanks to Little, Brown Book Group for my copy via NetGalley. This is my honest, original and unbiased review.
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With thanks to Netgalley and Little Brown Book Group for the ARC of this book. 

I enjoyed the story for several reasons: WW2 fiction is my preferred genre, I enjoy books that cover two or more time periods, I am a hobby dressmaker - so this one pushed lots of buttons. 

The story of Estella and her journey from Paris to America and her struggles and successes makes for a great story. The back story was unusual which is good as there is so much sameness in stories nowadays and I enjoyed the slow reveal about Estella's family history.. Overall a very good read but not quite five stars for me. But I shall be downloading more of Natasha Lester's work as I liked her writing style and research.
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Well, where to start with feedback for this wonderful book.  Its not often I'm sitting at my desk in work with tears in my eyes!  It has taken me over a week to read The Paris Seamstress which is fairly long for me, but I was completely and utterly immersed in the story over that time.  

My favourite genre is historical fact intertwined with fictional reimagining.  The Paris Seamstress tells the story of Estella, a young woman in Paris at the beginning of the Nazi invasion of France, who escapes from the city and travels to New York for the duration of the war.  On the boat across the Atlantic, Estella meets Sam, and they bond over their love of fashion design, her being a seamstress and Sam being a talented young cutter.  

In New York, Estella meets another young woman who looks so like her that she questions her parentage and ultimately family secrets are unearthed.   Fast forward to present day New York and we meet Fabienne, granddaughter of Estella who is finding her own feet following the death of her father, and who idolizes her grandmother.  In the dual storyline, on Estella's death Fabienne tries to piece together Estella's parentage and history.  How did a young French girl in Paris in 1940 have American papers?  Who was Estella's father?  Why did Estella's mother never talk about her past?   

The Paris Seamstress took me on a journey through the 1940's fashion houses in Paris and New York, through the factual history during the gilded age of Evelyn Nesbitt, John Barrymore and Harry Thaw, through war torn France, right through to present day New York.  This is a book that is multi-layered, evocative of the time, full of emotion, romance, secrets, sadness, sacrifice and triumph.  I loved it.
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Thankyou to NetGalley, Little Brown Book Group UK, Sphere and the author Natasha Lester for the opportunity to read an advanced readers copy of The Paris Seamstress in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. 
When I read a book of this calibre,  I find myself at a loss for words. Nothing I could say would give this book the justice it deserves. The storyline was beautifully written and engrossing. 
Definitely well worth a read.
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Estella is forced to flee Paris as the Germans invade. Her mother Jeane stays behind but gives her daughter her blessing to leave. Estella promises to return as soon as it's safe.
Working as a seamstress Estella finds a job in the garment district,she also copies patterns for high couture dresses for other companies. 
In 2015 Estella's granddaughter Fabienne is called to her bedside just before she passes away. As Fabienne goes through her grandmother's possessions we learn what a heartbreaking life Estella had and how ordinary people like her and those connected to her helped the war effort.
There are many surprises in this story and I shed a few tears. I liked the duel storyline and the way the story of Estella was revealed. 
Another author I've just found and I need to read more of her books.
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This story oozes love in every page, in its various forms of passion, fierce, depraved. From dark to pure to beautiful it has love in all its glorious forms. I loved the story.
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Thank you Netgalley and Little Brown Book Group for the ARC.

The Paris Seamstress is a story of fabulous fun and heartbreaking sadness in times of war. Combine this with a good mystery, et voìla: historical fiction at its best!

The book first takes us to 1940's Paris where we get to know Estella and her mother Jeanne and their life as seamstresses for the big names in fashion. 
When war is closing in on Paris, Jeanne sends her daughter to New York. Estella soon makes friends and life in the Garment District is one big adventure filled with fashion, fun and jazz.
Then the mystery enters the story and we start switching between the fashionable 40's and Estella's granddaughter Fabienne in 2015. Fabienne has inherited the fashionhouse after Estella's death and is left with tons of questions about her past.

The story mainly takes place in the 1940's and unfolds a life filled with pain and sadness, despite the happy world of fashion. The mystery twists and turns all the way through and leaves the reader guessing until the end. Very well crafted, fast paced excitement. 
What happens in 2015 is added bonus, not the main story, although there are similarities and of course connections to the 1940's events.

I really enjoyed this book, even though the family structure had me confused now and then. There is a good balance between the cheerful fashionworld, the horrors of war and the complex workings of family secrets.
The characters are indepth and easy to identify with. The surroundings are beautiful.

The Paris Seamstress is about strong woman and fierce friends. An entertaining and deeply moving read.
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It was a slow start and I thought that the part between Estella and Lena was drawn out too much but having said that I did like the book and I've just downloaded the next one.
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