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Extended Audio Sample The Dressmaker, by Kate Alcott Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (8,493 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kate Alcott Narrator: Susan Duerden Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Tess, an aspiring seamstress, thinks shes had an incredibly lucky break when she is hired by famous designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon to be a personal maid on the Titanics's doomed voyage. Once on board, Tess catches the eye of two men, one a roughly-hewn but kind sailor and the other an enigmatic Chicago millionaire. But on the fourth night, disaster strikes.

Amidst the chaos and desperate urging of two very different suitors, Tess is one of the last people allowed on a lifeboat. Tess’s sailor also manages to survive unharmed, witness to Lady Duff Gordon&’s questionable actions during the tragedy. Others&—including the gallant Midwestern tycoon&—are not so lucky.

On dry land, rumors about the survivors begin to circulate, and Lady Duff Gordon quickly becomes the subject of media scorn and later, the hearings on the Titanic. Set against a historical tragedy but told from a completely fresh angle, The Dressmaker is an atmospheric delight filled with all the periods glitz and glamour, all the raw feelings of a national tragedy and all the contradictory emotions of young love.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Dressmaker achieves the remarkable—it makes the sinking of the Titanic feel like a story never told before.  By focusing on the search for justice in the aftermath of the tragedy, this compelling first novel examines humanity at its best and worst, as seen through the eyes of one of the ship’s survivors, a courageous young woman who is determined to make her own way in America.”

    Lauren Belfer, author of A Fierce Radiance

  • “Brims with engrossing storytelling...For fans of Sarah Jio, Susanna Kearsley, and immigrant tales.”


  • “We’re all riveted by a tragedy, but what happens to the survivors? The Dressmaker is that rare novel that asks not only what comes next but what we would do in a morally unspeakable situation—and how we live with those choices. A brave, truly gripping novel.”

    Jenna Blum, author of Those Who Save Us

  • “A fascinating and thought-provoking book that begs us all to look at the sinking of the Titanic, how we view differences in the classes, and how we each would act in a similar situation. . . . An amazing journey.”


  • “We learn a good deal about what it was like when the ship went down. But we also follow Tess as she learns about the high-fashion business in New York.”

    Washington Post

  • “Filled with the atmosphere, clothes, and historical figures of the times.”

    Huffington Post

  • “[Alcott’s] research into the Titanic, its sinking, and the hearings subsequently prompted is impeccable…Fascinating…Historical figures become intricate characters in Alcott’s hands.”

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer

  • “Offers a heroine you can really root for.”


  • “Seamlessly stitching fact and fiction together, Alcott creates a hypnotic tale.”

    USA Today

  • Selected for the March 2012 Indie Next List
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Auntynisey | 2/13/2014

    " I enjoyed it as I do most books about or set on the Titanic. It was interesting to read about the backlash of the Tragedy. There are many things we will never know! though it was a work of fiction it has sparked a desire to look deeper into the aftermath of the sinking. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Heidi | 2/8/2014

    " A titanic story.... Not much to say about it "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Beth Heggan | 2/5/2014

    " This was disappointing. I thought it would be interesting since it was a story about the titanic. Very shallow characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Camilla Bohman | 2/4/2014

    " This was such a refreshing break from some of my more serious readings. I was so relieved to find out this wasn't a book about the disastrous events of the Titanic complete with death and loss, but more a survivor's tale of progressing through such loss. I didn't love the protagonist as much as I would have liked to, but I absolutely loved the historical retelling of the Senate hearing following the Titanic disaster. It was such a unique part of history and I loved learning about it. I especially admired how the author switched perspectives, bouncing back and forth from seven different characters so the reader never grew bored with the same storyline. It was an enjoyable, fun read. "

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