A beautifully crafted story breathes life into the cameo
character from the classic novel A Tale of Two Cities.
It is the best of times . . .
On a tranquil farm nestled in the French countryside, two orphaned cousins—Renée and Laurette—have been raised under the caring guardianship of young Émile Gagnon, the last of a once-prosperous family. No longer starving girls, Laurette and Renée now spend days tending Gagnon's sheep, and nights in their cozy loft, whispering secrets and dreams in this time of waning innocence and peace.
It is the worst of times . . .
Paris groans with a restlessness that can no longer be contained within its city streets. Hunger and hatred fuel her people. Violence seeps into the ornate halls of Versailles. Even Gagnon’s table in the quiet village of Mouton Blanc bears witness to the rumbles of rebellion, where Marcel Moreau embodies its voice and heart.
It is the story that has never been told.
In one night, the best and worst of fate collide. A chance encounter with a fashionable woman will bring Renée’s sewing skills to light and secure a place in the court of Queen Marie Antoinette. An act of reckless passion will throw Laurette into the arms of the increasingly militant Marcel. And Gagnon, steadfast in his faith in God and country, can only watch as those he loves march straight into the heart of the revolution.
Allison Pittman has taken a minor but memorable Dickens character and created a whole world for her, thoroughly researched and beautifully detailed. The seamstress’s rags-to-riches-to-rags story is an endlessly fascinating and touching one. You’ll find yourself caring deeply not just about her, but also about everyone she cares for.
I finished reading The Seamstress three days ago and can’t stop thinking about it. Well-drawn characters inspired by Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities, and exquisite writing in the spirit of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, combine in Pittman’s latest novel of life and faith amid the upheaval of the French Revolution. Researched in great detail, a brilliant and ingenious work, not to be missed.
Destined to be a classic in its own right, The Seamstress is everything I love about historical fiction. The robust characters not only interact with real and pivotal events, but they embody the attitudes of the day in ways that are accessible for the modern reader. Pittman’s power of language drew me deep into revolutionary France, and her accurate and sensitive portrayal of the turmoil earned my undying respect. The Seamstress is an intricate tapestry hemmed in truth and grace. A masterpiece.
Set amid the tumultuous French Revolution, The Seamstress is unabashedly profound and yet crafted with such care that I relished every heartrending word until the very last one. Through the lives of vibrant and genuine characters, notes of love, faith, and loyalty rise from its pages—all striking with one unanimous chord of courage. Allison Pittman has woven a novel that fortifies the spirit brick by brick so that as a nation is broken and transformed, so takes new shape yet another landscape: the reader’s heart. The Seamstress is an absolute masterpiece with all the makings of a classic, and is one of the finest novels I have ever read.
In The Seamstress, Allison Pittman has given us a novel of revolutionary France sweeping in its scope, a story of hope and despair, strength and frailty, courage and cowardice seamlessly stitched. With its pages filled with characters who will haunt the heart long after the last is turned, it is a story hemmed in triumph—of the human spirit in the midst of national chaos, but even more of Christ’s infinite love, transcending ideology, reaching alike into palaces and poverty. I finished this novel with a holy hush in my soul.
In the midst of revolution and royalty, Pittman weaves a captivating tale of two cousins whose humble beginnings birth remarkable journeys. A beautiful, rich tale of love, loss, and amazing faith, The Seamstress is a book that haunts, satisfies, and inspires all at once. I loved this book!
The Seamstress is a study in nostalgia: carefully evoking a classic while establishing itself as a classic in its own right. Deftly and intelligently nodding to its magnanimous source material, A Tale of Two Cities, it remains confident as its own entity. Appealing equally to Dickensian readers and the uninitiated, The Seamstress is a lush, moving, and brilliantly sewn world. The thinking reader’s inspirational read, it is at once rich, beguiling, and accessibly readable. Its aftertaste will spoil you for any other story for a long, long while.
[R]eaders will feel and care for the well-drawn characters’ struggles and joys as they live out their lives and loves . . . the undemanding writing style, using both first- and second-person points of view, makes for a pleasurable read. Highly recommended.
[A] lyrical, propulsive story. Featuring two fully formed, headstrong, and resilient heroines, the novel stitches together a gripping tale of grace and truth amid incomprehensible suffering.
Enthralling! Brilliantly executed, in The Seamstress Pittman borrows a minor character from Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities and attempts to answer the tantalizing questions that arise in her brief, but pivotal appearance in that literary classic. Highly recommended.