Review: The Forgotten Seamstress by Liz Trenow

the-forgotten-seamstress“She Kept Her Secret for a Lifetime…

A shy girl with no family, Maria knows she’s lucky to have landed in the sewing room of the royal household. Before World War I casts its shadow, she catches the eye of the Prince of Wales, a glamorous and intense gentleman. But her life takes a far darker turn, and soon all she has left is a fantastical story about her time at Buckingham Palace.

Decades later, Caroline Meadows discovers a beautiful quilt in her mother’s attic. When she can’t figure out the meaning of the message embroidered into its lining, she embarks on a quest to reveal its mystery, a puzzle that only seems to grow more important to her own heart. As Caroline pieces together the secret history of the quilt, she comes closer and closer to the truth about Maria.

Page-turning and heartbreaking, The Forgotten Seamstress weaves together past and present in an unforgettable journey.” – Goodreads

1918: Maria Romano grew up at an orphanage called The Castle, where she grew to be a gifted and talented seamstress – so much so that at the age of fifteen she was chosen to work in service as a seamstress to the royalty at Buckingham Palace. Shortly after arriving at the Palace, Maria has the chance to make some alterations for the Prince of Wales. The next day he summons her to his chambers and the two become friends – and soon, lovers. His Royal Highness eventually leaves to serve in World War I, but not before he and Maria share a secret that threatens to ruin both of them. Soon, Maria is whisked away from the Palace and brought to a hospital, where she believes she is to receive care – until she realizes it is an insane asylum, where she has been committed indefinitely. Maria’s worst nightmares become true as she is locked away, never to see the outside world again…

2008: Caroline Meadows has just been made redundant from her job at the bank. Her mother is declining into dementia and is in increasing need of care. While going through her mother’s attic, Caroline comes across a beautiful, old quilt that she recognizes from her childhood. It belonged to her grandmother, Jean, but after reading a mysterious message embroidered into the quilt’s lining, Caroline sets out on a quest to find the quilt’s maker. She enlists the help of a local newspaper reporter, Ben, and the two work together to hunt down the mystery of the quilt and its maker – and end up uncovering a long-buried secret from Caroline’s past as well.

The Forgotten Seamstress by Liz Trenow is a robust and engrossing tale of times past and secrets uncovered. I would love to share more of the story with you, but I simply can’t bring myself to spoil the wonder you will come upon when you read this story. Trenow’s writing is lively and engaging and held my interest from the first page in. The two stories, seemingly unrelated, are woven together seamlessly and effortlessly. With a mix of history, mystery, and even a little bit of love, you will be drawn headfirst into this heart-wrenching tale of Maria’s fate and Caroline’s rebirth. Liz Trenow is also the author of The Last Telegram and the upcoming The Poppy Factory, due out in August, 2014.

The Forgotten Seamstress by Liz Trenow. Buy it, read it, love it.

4 stars

Source: Free Library of Philadelphia Digital Library

 

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