Rosa Kusstatscher has built a global fashion empire upon her ability to find the perfect outfit for any occasion. But tonight, as she prepares for the most important meeting of her life, her usual certainty eludes her.
What brought her to this moment? As she struggles to select her dress and choose the right shade of lipstick, Rosa begins to tell her incredible story. The story of a poor country girl from a village high in the mountains of Italy. Of Nazi occupation and fleeing in the night. Of hope and heartbreak in Switzerland; glamour and love in Paris. Of ambition and devastation in Rio de Janeiro; success and self-discovery in New York.
A life spent running, she sees now. But she will run no longer.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I requested this book, but I tend to really enjoy anything Paris related and so the title reeled me in. In actual fact very little of the book is based in Paris, but this didn’t deter me and I was swept into an emotional roller coaster of a book. I honestly felt every single emotion whilst reading this soul-stirring and sentimental novel.
It’s beautifully constructed, narrated by the main character Rosa Kusstatsher who is telling her life story to someone referred to as ‘ma chère’ – we don’t know who this is until towards the end. The narrative reflects on Rosa’s life, beginning in the Italian Alps in World War 2 and spanning several decades, we follow her through to Switzerland, Paris, Rio de Janeiro and finally New York. She escapes from Italy as a young girl after something devastating happens to her, she leaves her family and makes her way on her own. Rosa is a talented seamstress and we see her gradually becoming successful in building up her fashion empire. Some of the diverse characters we meet along the way are wonderful and you can’t help but empathise or fall in love with them. The story is not at all predictable and there are one or two twists that really surprised me.
The Dressmaker of Paris is a real treasure of a book which will stay with me for a long time to come. It’s a beautiful, emotional and thought provoking and I was completely captivated by this wonderful story.
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 4 February 2021
Page Count: 329
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Historical Fiction
Thank you to the publisher via Netgalley for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Please do not hesitate to comment below if you liked my review or have any comments about this book 😊