Title: The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle
Author: Jennifer Ryan
Publication: May 31, 2022
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Historical Fiction
Barnes and Noble
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
After renowned fashion designer Cressida Westcott loses both her home and her design house in the London Blitz, she has nowhere to go but the family manor house she fled decades ago. Praying that her niece and nephew will be more hospitable than her brother had been, she arrives with nothing but the clothes she stands in, at a loss as to how to rebuild her business while staying in a quaint country village.
Her niece, Violet Westcott, is thrilled that her famous aunt is coming to stay—the village has been interminably dull with all the men off fighting. But just as Cressida arrives, so does Violet’s conscription letter. It couldn’t have come at a worse time; how will she ever find a suitably aristocratic husband if she has to spend her days wearing a frumpy uniform and doing war work?
Meanwhile, the local vicar’s daughter, Grace Carlisle, is trying in vain to repair her mother’s gown, her only chance of a white wedding. When Cressida Westcott appears at the local Sewing Circle meeting, Grace asks for her help—but Cressida has much more to teach the ladies than just simple sewing skills.
Before long, Cressida’s spirit and ambition galvanizes the village group into action, and they find themselves mending wedding dresses not only for local brides, but for brides across the country. And as the women dedicate themselves to helping others celebrate love, they might even manage to find it for themselves.
**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
I saw this book on Netgalley I was sooooo excited, I hoped that I would be chosen to read this book. I had read and reviewed the last several books that this author wrote and I loved the books. I was so excited when I got the email that said I could read it.
Violet, Cressida, and Grace are all women who are just trying their best with what the war and life has given them. Some are attempting to do their part more than others. Cressida lives in London and runs a successful design house. One night her house and design house are bombed. She is forced to go to her nephew’s house in the Kent countryside. There she meets her niece Violet and the vicar’s daughter Grace. Once they all meet their lives are thrust together in ways they didn’t know they could do. They are doing their part in the war. I devoured this book. It was so good. The book is broken into chapters that are each of the characters stories but the story is written in such a way that each of these three women’s stories is woven through each other’s chapters. So you never get upset that the chapters are changing. You do however have to pay attention to whose chapter is who otherwise you may lose the individual storylines.
I think Grace was my top favorite character. She developed so much over the book that it was fun to see it. She went from a mousy vicar’s daughter to someone who had confidence in herself even if she needed some push to get there. The writing is subliminal it flows well from storyline to storyline. It kept me saying just a few more pages every single night. It is a well-researched book. It is loosely based on what British women actually did for the war effort. They really did have a program that recycled and reused wedding dresses for women since fabric was being rationed. It’s amazing what they did under the circumstances they were put through. I honestly think that this author is one of the better historical fiction authors that I have read. She is an automatic book purchase when she puts out new things. I loved this book so much that I believe the only book I haven’t read by this author is moving to the top of my TBR pile from my bookshelf soon!!