I’m delighted to be on tour today sharing my thoughts on The Dressmaker of Draper’s Lane by Liz Trenow.
As a foundling who rose from poverty and now runs her own successful dressmaking business in the heart of society London, Miss Charlotte is a remarkable woman, admired by many. She has no need, nor desire, to marry. The people she values most are her friend Anna, her recently-found sister Louisa and nephew Peter.
She feels herself fortunate, and should be content with what she has. But something is missing.
A small piece of rare silk discovered in a bundle of scraps at auction triggers a curious sense of familiarity, and prompts her to unpick a past filled with extraordinary secrets and revelations . . .
The Dressmaker of Draper’s Lane revisits the opulence and extravagance of the London silk trade in the mid-eighteenth century which Liz Trenow wrote about in her previous bestselling novel, The Silk Weaver.
The Dressmaker of Draper’s Lane is published by Pan Macmillan (21st February 2019) and is available to purchase in digital, paperback and audiobook formats.
I enjoyed Anna’s story in The Silk Weaver so I was looking forward to immersing myself again in this time period with Charlotte.
The prologue at the Foundling Hospital is heart-wrenching. What makes this even more hard hitting is the fact that this scene could well have taken place in reality. Liz Trenow certainly knows how to hook her readers in emotionally!
I was drawn in to Charlotte’s quest and found it frustrating when she kept hitting brick walls. Louisa (her sister) obviously knew more than she was prepared to share and these scenes kept me intrigued. I loved the family time on those visits, well, the ones where Ambrose wasn’t present …
Charlotte is a complex character. Independent and fierce on the outside, she is full of doubts on an inner level. She’s not afraid of confrontation though or of doing the right thing whether that’s for her business or in her private life. I must admit I found her actions with the leeches rather daring, considering what the possible consequences could be. She shows bravery visiting suppliers for payment of overdue bills, outstanding customer service and puts her life on hold when she’s needed by others. Loyal and selfless.
You’ll find real historical people woven into The Dressmaker of Draper’s Lane and factual information at the start of each chapter. The information at the start of the chapter details an item of clothing or fabric and what it is – all relevant to the chapter. A fabulous idea and in my opinion, gives deeper understanding for the fashions and foibles of the time.
After the story, Liz Trenow has included links to the historical places and people should you wish to find out more.
I’ve loved walking through time with Charlotte. If you enjoy historical fiction with secrets and intrigue with women at its core then you should add this one to your reading list.
A recommended read from me.
Connect with Liz Trenow
Don’t forget to check out the other hosts on tour.
Read all posts in the historical fiction genre on Jera’s Jamboree.