The American Dream thrives in 1912 New York City
Annie Wood, the housemaid-turned-pattern designer in The Pattern Artist, jumps at the chance to design her own clothing line when a wealthy New York couple offers to finance her endeavor. Joining the project is Annie’s new husband, Sean Culver, her best friend at Butterick, Maude Nascato, and a mother figure, Edna Holmquist.
Annie and her colleagues give up their careers, risking everything to follow a shared passion: clothes that are both fashionable and functional for modern, busy women in 1912.
Personal and financial setbacks test old relationships and new romances while threatening to keep the business from ever selling a single dress. No one said it would be easy. But the promise of the American Dream holds a deep hope for those who work hard, trust God, and never give up.
I read and reviewed The Pattern Artist back in 2016. I was surprised to learn that Nancy Moser had written a sequel to it, so I had to read it 🙂
Back in 2016, I read a novel called The Pattern Artist by Nancy Moser. In it, a young English maid runs away from her employer while on a visit to New York City. The woman eventually found a way to utilize her sewing skills, got a job, made friends, and fell in love. She also narrowly avoided death in an international disaster. While I would’ve liked to have read more about her friends, it felt like a complete book. Therefore, I was a little surprised to see a sequel. Seldom does a Christian romance focus on a married woman, and a happily married one at that. Annie had her man and a great future in front of her. What more was there to read about?
The Fashion Designer begins just a couple of months after The Pattern Artist. Annie and her husband are the primary characters, but this is an ensemble piece. Maude has a major role, as does Sean’s mother Vesta. There are various characters from The Pattern Artist, including one whose reappearance is quite significant. Many of them could be the titular character, not just Annie. If I had a gripe, it’s that almost every other marriage beside Annie and Sean’s (bar one) is troubled. The other husbands make Sean look like a saint.
This is a novel about women starting a fashion business in the early 20th century. What’s stylish? What’ll be more than a passing fad? What’s practical and affordable to wear? Will the corset last? How do women dress when they’re expecting a baby? Some of the issues of 1912 still exist today such as undoing a back-fastened piece and how do you know what size you are? Other women’s issues of the era are also featured such as the right to vote and the suffragette movement, and whether or not a respectable woman worked outside of the home. Overall, however, this is a Christian novel about the New York fashion industry at the start of the last century. If you don’t care for either of those subjects, then this probably won’t be a book for you. If you do have an interest, you’ll probably want to have read The Pattern Artist first.
Thank you to Barbour Publishing for my complimentary electronic copy of The Fashion Designer.
Have you read The Fashion Designer? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: Shiloh Run Press (an imprint of Barbour Publishing)
Publication Date: 01 July 2018
Page Count: 320