Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Dressmaker's Dowry
by Meredith Jaeger

Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  An exquisite ring, passed down through generations, connects two women who learn that love is a choice, and forgiveness is the key to freedom...

San Francisco: 1876

Immigrant dressmakers Hannelore Schaeffer and Margaret O'Brien struggle to provide food for their siblings, while mending delicate clothing for the city's most affluent ladies. When wealthy Lucas Havensworth enters the shop, Hanna's future is altered forever. With Margaret's encouragement and the power of a borrowed green dress, Hanna dares to see herself as worthy of him. Then Margaret disappears, and Hanna turns to Lucas. Braving the gritty streets of the Barbary Coast and daring to enter the mansions of Nob Hill, Hanna stumbles upon Margaret’s fate, forcing her to make a devastating decision...one that will echo through the generations.

San Francisco: Present Day

In her elegant Marina apartment overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, Sarah Havensworth struggles to complete the novel she quit her job for. Afraid to tell her husband of her writer’s block, Sarah is also hiding a darker secret—one that has haunted her for 14 years. Then a news headline from 1876 sparks inspiration: Missing Dressmakers Believed to be Murdered. Compelled to discover what happened to Hannelore and Margaret, Sarah returns to her roots as a journalist. Will her beautiful heirloom engagement ring uncover a connection to Hanna Schaeffer?


Kritters Thoughts:  One of my favorite sub genres is a dual narrative with one being present tense and one being historical - so this book started right in my wheelhouse.  I love when the reader knows how these two stories will intertwine from the beginning with still a few surprises held to the end.  

Sometimes in these books I tend to love and enjoy one storyline over the other and favor one, but not so in this one.  I honestly loved each storyline equally and wasn't trying to skip one over the other!  Sarah Havensworth has married "above her station" and into a family of prestige and wealth.  Hannaelore Schaeffer is barely making ends meet for her family and may find herself in the presence of people above her station and they will forever change her life.

One thing that stood out for me was reading about the different walks of life in New York City in 1876.  I loved reading a historical fiction storyline that didn't revolve itself around a war, but more about how life was like at the time.

The one way that I could knock this book is that maybe the similarities between the storylines was a little overt and obvious.  The reader was almost hit over the head with how obvious the historical storyline and characters were to the present day.  I wouldn't have minded a little more subtlety!  

I loved this debut book and am adding Meredith Jaeger to my must watch author list, hoping that she comes out with more and more just like this.  


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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