The Forgotten Seamstress by Liz Trenow
A stunning novel set in the Edwardian era about a seamstress working at Buckingham Palace. Full of drama, betrayal and addictive real-life detail – The Forgotten Seamstress by Liz Trenow is perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Joanne Harris.
When Caroline Meadows discovers a beautiful quilt in her mother’s attic, she sets out on a journey to discover who made it, and the meaning of the mysterious message embroidered into its lining.
Many years earlier, before the first world war has cast its shadow, Maria, a talented seamstress from the East End of London, is employed to work for the royal family. A young and attractive girl, she soon catches the eye of the Prince of Wales and she in turn is captivated by his glamour and intensity.
But careless talk causes trouble and soon Maria’s life takes a far darker turn.
Can Caroline piece together a secret history and reveal the truth behind what happened to Maria?
Welcome to The Forgotten Seamstress blog tour. Some of the blogs on the poster on the right hand side will have interviews and some will have reviews,visit them and see what others think.
This is Liz Trenow's second novel. The first one The Last Telegram I have reviewed here .
When you read a book and enjoy it so much that you can't wait to read the author's next one and wish she would hurry up there is always a chance that you may be disappointed if it's not as good as the last one.
I'm glad to say that this second book did not disappoint in fact it surpassed my expectations and I would go as far to say that I enjoyed it even more than the first one.
Maria's story unfolds as she tells it to a research student in 1970 who is recording the interview on a cassette recorder. She is doing research work on an old Asylum called Helena House and interviewing people who lived there.
Born in 1896 Marie is now 74yrs old but her memories of her youth are still vivid in her mind. The student Patricia is told not to believe everything Maria says and to remember that she was a patient in the asylum and as such was prone to delusions, including saying she worked at Buckingham Palace.
In 2008 Caroline finds an old patchwork quilt in her mother's attic. It was left to her by her grandmother and it brings back memories as she remembers it from her childhood. Carloine asks her mother the story of the quilt but she is in the throes of dementia and not much help. When Caroline consults her friend Jo who is an expert on historical fabrics they discover something amazing about the silk used in the quilt which makes Caroline determined to find out the story behind it. Everything does not go smoothly, there are many twists and turns along the way and a few heartbreaks for Caroline who has lost her job, split with her boyfriend and discovers her mum is not capable of living by herself anymore.
This book is such a good read I could not put it down. I don't want to give any more of the story away as I enjoyed finding it out for myself.
Maria's story was heartbreaking and part of what happened to her really did happen to lots of woman during that time. I wasn't even halfway through the book when I cried and then I cried again at the end.
The star of the book was the patchwork quilt and I imagined what it looked like as the description from the author was very exact. We follow the quilt through it's life, sometimes my heart was in my mouth and I had to keep reminding myself that it was just a quilt.
Moving from Maria's story to Caroline's story was done seamlessly as what was happening in one story had an effect on the other. Maria was such an endearing character but she was so vulnerable I just wanted to give her a big hug. It all came together very cleverly and the ending was perfect, I was sad to close the book on the last page. The Forgotten Seamstress is one of the best books I have read this year.
I absolutly love Liz Trenow's writing, her next book is called The Poppy Factory and I can't wait to read it.
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My thanks go to the publisher for a copy of this book in return for an honest review.