The Dressmaker

  • by Kate Alcott
  • Narrated by Susan Duerden
  • 11 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Just in time for the centennial anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic comes a vivid, romantic, and relentlessly compelling historical novel about a spirited young woman who survives the disaster only to find herself embroiled in the media frenzy left in the wake of the tragedy.
Tess, an aspiring seamstress, thinks she's had an incredibly lucky break when she is hired by famous designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon to be a personal maid on the Titanic's doomed voyage. Once on board, Tess catches the eye of two men, one a roughly-hewn but kind sailor and the other an enigmatic Chicago millionaire. But on the fourth night, disaster strikes.
Amidst the chaos and desperate urging of two very different suitors, Tess is one of the last people allowed on a lifeboat. Tess’s sailor also manages to survive unharmed, witness to Lady Duff Gordon’s questionable actions during the tragedy. Others - including the gallant Midwestern tycoon - are not so lucky.
On dry land, rumors about the survivors begin to circulate, and Lady Duff Gordon quickly becomes the subject of media scorn and later, the hearings on the Titanic. Set against a historical tragedy but told from a completely fresh angle, The Dressmaker is an atmospheric delight filled with all the period's glitz and glamour, all the raw feelings of a national tragedy and all the contradictory emotions of young love.
From the Hardcover edition


What the Critics Say

“We all know how the Titanic went down, we all saw the movie. But what happened after? This brilliant book shows the aftermath of the tragedy, seen through the eyes of a brave, young girl who was on board, on her way to America, to start a new life as a dressmaker. From the minute Tess sets foot on the doomed ship, this is the kind of novel you simply cannot put down and cannot forget.” (Tatiana de Rosnay, author of Sarah's Key and A Secret Kept)
"This is a fascinating premise for a novel as well as a powerful, page-turning read. It's also a very valuable contribution to our understanding of the events surrounding the sinking of The Titanic, and its aftermath." (Isabel Wolff, author of A Vintage Affair)
"It's Titanic revisited, in a romance focused on the survivors and the scandal, seen from the perspective of an aspiring seamstress whose fortunes intertwine with real characters from the epic tragedy....interesting historical appealing, soulful freshness to this shrewdly commercial offering" (Kirkus)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good story, awful narrator

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The narrator's intonation and way of reading is very distracting. I could not get past the first 15 minutes. I tried, I wanted to get immersed into the story, which is very good, but found Duerden's delivery frustrating.

Would you be willing to try another one of Susan Duerden’s performances?

Absolutely not. I will avoid wasting a credit on a book read by her.

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- Victoria

Probably a good story, but couldn't finish it...

I love novels like this and it started out to be a good story, however I just couldn't get past the narrator. I gave it a half-hour hoping she would get better, but sadly that wasn't the case. Not only did she whisper most of what she read, but her tone had an odd, repetitive cadence to it. It was entirely too distracting. I moved onto something else... a waste of a precious credit!
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- Maria Lindbloom

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-21-2012
  • Publisher: Random House Audio