5.4.13

THE DRESSMAKER, by Kate Alcott

Based on a little-known incident of incredible selfishness and criminal cruelty during the Titanic disaster, this unsettling book keeps you locked in to the experiences of talented young dressmaker Tess Collins, who signs on at the last minute as personal maid to the mercurial Lady Lucile Duff Gordon, an aristocratic couturiere whose designs are becoming passe.  The narative of the actual sinking is mesmerizing; you'll be right there with the survivors as they watch the ship slip beneath the water. Once safe in New York, Tess, trapped in Lucile's orbit, locates two utterly different yet charming men of wildly different stations, both Titanic survivors. When unpleasant questions are raised about the Duff Gordons' behavior after the ship sinks, Tess must learn the truth and decide where her own heart will go. It's a 5.