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The Dressmaker's Gift

Narrated by: Anne Flosnik, Justine Eyre
Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
Categories: Fiction, Sagas
3.5 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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Summary

From the bestselling author of The Beekeeper’s Promise comes a gripping story of three young women faced with impossible choices. How will history - and their families - judge them?

Paris, 1940. With the city occupied by the Nazis, three young seamstresses go about their normal lives as best they can. But all three are hiding secrets. War-scarred Mireille is fighting with the Resistance; Claire has been seduced by a German officer; and Vivienne’s involvement is something she can’t reveal to either of them.

Two generations later, Claire’s English granddaughter Harriet arrives in Paris, rootless and adrift, desperate to find a connection with her past. Living and working in the same building on the Rue Cardinale, she learns the truth about her grandmother - and herself - and unravels a family history that is darker and more painful than she ever imagined.

In wartime, the three seamstresses face impossible choices when their secret activities put them in grave danger. Brought together by loyalty, threatened by betrayal, can they survive history’s darkest era without being torn apart?

©2019 Fiona Valpy (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What members say

Average customer ratings

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Poorly written

Narration drive me potty! The story was ok yes harrowing in parts, however the constant description of the the surroundings, ie the cat followed us to the... Or the swift wings fluttered... This is when the narration was at its most irritating, the accent, the freestyle of the voice, detracted from the story, not my thing sorry, to fluffy! Spoilt it entirely for me, the narration was neither modern woman, or woman, just silly at times, within the context,

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I dont like to give bad reviews but...

I've never left an Audible review previously, being content usually to just fill in the stars thing, however I felt so strongly about this that I really had to.
The story is alright, nothing new; female friendships in the French resistance, love, the atrocities of war. what I really REALLY struggled with (to the point of it distracting me from the story at times) was the voice of the narrator. It grated on me like nails on a chalkboard. Is English not her native language and she is attempting to hide a strong accent? Is she playing a part and believes that her intonation will add to the story (believe me, it does not).
I'm sorry. I know this is how you make your living Ms Narrator, but I think you should consider a different career path because I for one would never purchase another Audible book if you're narrating.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

excellent book

harrowing and emotional journey of courage enduring friendship and family tragedy with excellent narration. I look forward to reading more from this author.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Compelling

Really enjoyed this book very clever how the author has related issues from 1940's to present day.

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excellent

very good excellent story. have recommended this to friends and have purchased it a gift.

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    5 out of 5 stars

A good story of civilian life in wartime France

Very interesting to dip into the lives of the civilians sharing Paris with German troops throughout the war and the effects it had on their lives, particularly from a female perspective.
Only negative is that the narrator who reads the modern day sections of the book has a slightly annoying intonation to her voice.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story but awful voices

It sounded like the voices were computer generated. Very disappointing.
The story however was a lovely follow up to the Beekeepers promise

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not too impressed

I found this really slow, the basis of the story was good i just found it hard to stick with, this could possibly be due to the narration, it was very robotic.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointing.

I did finish this but expected it to be much better. The story is weak. It has two time lines. In the modern sections an angst ridden young woman goes to Paris to find out about the life of her grandmother who was a seamstress during the occupation. There seems to be a current glut of similar stories of people trying to discover family wartime secrets - I never realised how secretive families can be! This story line is unoriginal and tedious, young person trying to find out who she is and understand herself etc etc.
The other time line held out more promise being set in the occupation with three seamstresses being involved in the Resistance. However parts of this are barely credible. For example the Gestapo capture a radio operator and her friend and are known to be watching the address where they lived. Despite this the Resistance decide to use the place as a safe house. I feel this just would not have happened. Also there is little detail about what the Resistance network actually did, none of the excitement one would expect in novels with this setting.

I agree with the first reviewer about the weakness of the narration. Both voices sound wavery and croaky and not easy to listen to.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Voice over ruined it

Was looking forward to hearing this book but, whilst I have tried hard, I cannot bring myself to listen any further. No idea what the accent is, the French attempt sounds more realistic than the English somehow!

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  • Eliza McNally
  • 28-10-19

Fifty/Fifty

The war portion of this story far outweighs the present day story. I did not grow to like Harriet. Her story doesn’t have the power of that of her grandmother’s. I wasn’t really interested in her “poor me, nobody loved me” ideas. It would have been a better book just to tell the WWll story.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lydia C.
  • 17-10-19

Don't let it stop.

What a moving story, from the present to the past; from the joy to the pain. The reader envelopes you and brings you into the story keeping you engrossed throughout.

Highly recommend!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kim Wyatt
  • 12-10-19

A little hard to follow

Although this book was a little difficult to follow, it was another great glimpse into history. It's hard to hear what people had to endure during the war. It makes one appreciate their sacrifices.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • BDundee
  • 01-11-19

Fascinating story!

It reinforces the brutality of the Nazis and the courage of the men and women in the Resistance.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrayanne Dineen
  • 13-10-19

not her best

the story was very interesting but dragged at may points. the repetition of the theory of mental illness coming from family past trauma over and over was really wearing. the voice and accent of the primary reader was really grating.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Pam
  • 09-10-19

Memorable

This book will stay with me for a very long time. I moved between tears a smiles so often - the lines between kinship, love and horror where very close. I can only imagine how harrowing the research must have been.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Great Tutu Kona
  • 07-11-19

Not for me

Terrible narration, dismal story, slow moving plot, if any. I just couldn't face another hour of that voice.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • S. Brower
  • 15-11-19

Disappointing

I never really got into this story. I’ve read several in this genre and this does not compare at all. Harriet was shallow, and I empathized w the seamstresses, but would have liked something more from them. To be fair, it could be because of the audio format. I just felt like it was a lot more “tell” than “show.”

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Evelyn Schumacher
  • 29-10-19

Deeply moving and interesting

This is a tender and sensitive story of the war and it's generational effect. I highly recommend this book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 28-10-19

Great story!

Loved this story. It has friendship, love, courage, faith and a history lesson wrapped in beautiful prose from the narrator.

1 person found this helpful