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The Dressmaker's Dowry: A Novel

The Dressmaker's Dowry: A Novel


The Dressmaker's Dowry: A Novel

valutazioni:
4/5 (69 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
9 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Feb 7, 2017
ISBN:
9780062659729
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Descrizione

For readers of Lucinda Riley, Sarah Jio, or Susan Meissner, this gripping historical debut novel tells the story of two women: one, an immigrant seamstress who disappears from San Francisco's gritty streets in 1876, and the other, a young woman in present day who must delve into the secrets of her husband's wealthy family only to discover that she and the missing dressmaker might be connected in unexpected ways.

An exquisite ring, passed down through generations, connects two women who learn that love is a choice, and forgiveness is the key to freedom...

San Francisco: 1876

Immigrant dressmakers Hannelore Schaeffer and Margaret O'Brien struggle to provide food for their siblings, while mending delicate clothing for the city's most affluent ladies. When wealthy Lucas Havensworth enters the shop, Hanna's future is altered forever. With Margaret's encouragement and the power of a borrowed green dress, Hanna dares to see herself as worthy of him. Then Margaret disappears, and Hanna turns to Lucas. Braving the gritty streets of the Barbary Coast and daring to enter the mansions of Nob Hill, Hanna stumbles upon Margaret's fate, forcing her to make a devastating decision...one that will echo through the generations.

San Francisco: Present Day

In her elegant Marina apartment overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, Sarah Havensworth struggles to complete the novel she quit her job for. Afraid to tell her husband of her writer's block, Sarah is also hiding a darker secret—one that has haunted her for 14 years. Then a news headline from 1876 sparks inspiration: Missing Dressmakers Believed to be Murdered. Compelled to discover what happened to Hannelore and Margaret, Sarah returns to her roots as a journalist. Will her beautiful heirloom engagement ring uncover a connection to Hanna Schaeffer? 

A HarperAudio production.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Feb 7, 2017
ISBN:
9780062659729
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Informazioni sull'autore

USA Today bestselling author Meredith Jaeger was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, the daughter of a Swiss father and an American mother. While working for a San Francisco start-up, Meredith fulfilled her dream of writing a novel, the result of which was The Dressmaker,s Dowry. Meredith lives in Alameda with her husband, their infant daughter, and their bulldog.


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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)
    Author Meredith Jaeger’s debut work, “The Dressmaker’s Dowry”, is a compelling mystery which connects San Francisco of the Victorian Era to its celebrated status as a world-renowned city of our modern times. As the storyline weaves together events and characters from past to present and back again, the author’s wonderfully descriptive writing shapes the city into a character itself. In contemporary San Francisco, former journalist Sarah Havensworth is struggling to meet the societal expectations of her husband’s prominent family while still achieving her own personal and career goals. Haunted by an unsolved crime case more than a century old, Sarah is determined to find out what really happened to the two young dressmakers who disappeared so long ago. In 1876, San Francisco is a turbulent blend of wealthy citizens and multicultural immigrants. As dressmakers Hannelore and Margaret cater their seamstress skills to the wants and whims of the wealthy, they do not remain untouched by the atmosphere and elements of the wharves of the notorious Barbary Coast. When Margaret vanishes, Hannelore turns to Lucas, a wealthy client from the tailor shop where the women work, to help her find her friend. Despite the differences in their social status, Hannelore and Lucas find themselves becoming friends, and the promise of something more glimmers in dreams. As Sarah researches the past lives and events involved in the disappearance, she discovers a sinister link to her own husband’s well-to-do family, but is it a secret that can remain hidden? If Sarah reveals the total truth, will she lose all that she holds dear? A richly atmospheric setting and an involving storyline make for a very worthwhile read.Book Copy Gratis William Morrow via Goodreads First Reads
  • (5/5)
    Meredith Jaeger, I am so grateful that "Early Reviewers" introduced me to you. I've fallen in love with your mesmerizing writing and can't wait to see what you write next. Perhaps I'm a little biased as a girl born in San Francisco and raised in the bay area, but the way you describe the city (both present and past) is absolutely breathtaking and has a way of sweeping you into San Francisco's magic. I love the way the characters have depth and dynamic, and the way they also have a strong sense of voice. You have a gift, Meredith Jaeger, and I can't wait to see where it takes you next. P.S. Even if you don't have a love affair with the bay area, this book's beautiful blend of historical fiction and a dash of mystery is absolutely unique and fantastic and I'd guarantee that it'd keep almost any interested reader locked in until the very last page.
  • (5/5)
    A story of two women, one ring, a century apart.1876, Barbary Coast San Francisco. Hannalore Schaffer a young immigrant is making her way in life as a dressmaker alongside her good friend Margaret O'Brien, both from sad dysfunctional homes. Margaret soon goes missing and at her wits end Hanna turns to Lucas Havensworth, a young man from a rich and powerful family to help find out what happened to Margaret. As the search moves ahead and seems more and more dismal a true love develops between the two only to be shattered when Hanna finds the truth of what happened to he friend.Present day, we find Sarah Havensworth, new bride to Hunter Havensworth is wearing the same ring that would have been Hanna's. When she comes across a article about the disappearance of both Hanna and Margaret she takes it upon herself to solve the mystery. Sarah, at the same time is finding it harder everyday to keep a secret from her past she has not shared with her husband.I found The Dressmakers Dowry a very thoughtful story of both women. It is not to complicated and comes to a uplifting and peaceful conclusion.
  • (5/5)
    I received this book for free from the Early Reviewers in exchange for an honest review.I absolutely loved this book! It hooked me from the very beginning and kept a good steady pace throughout the book. I enjoyed the two different timelines and think the author did a great job at blending them together. There was a bit of mystery in each time line concerning the main characters which kept me interested. I especially liked the way Sarah's secret was told. The only thing I didn't like about the book was how conveniently Sarah found Georgina's diary. I felt like that was a real long shot. I also didn't like that the Havensworth's didn't receive any repercussions from what was done. I understand that back in the 1800's they probably would have gotten away with it but if I were Sarah I would have wanted that brought to light in the present. Overall this is quite definitely the best book ARC book I have received and recommend it to anyone who enjoys dual timeline books or historical fiction.
  • (4/5)
    Sarah Schmidt Havensworth is struggling to complete her MFA degree. The novel she's working on is not coming together and Sarah doesn't want to tell her husband or her academic advisor. Then Sarah has a spark that quickly becomes an inner fire when she reads about two immigrant women from the late 19th century. Sarah finds herself pulled to find out the truth behind this missing and presumed dead women from over a hundred years in the past. Little does Sarah know that this story has ties to her husband's family past and there are some secrets that are best kept in the dark.The Dressmaker's Dowry is told in alternating voices of Sarah Havensworth and Hannelore "Hanna" Schaeffer. Hanna is a hardworking seamstress struggling to provide for her younger siblings and avoid the physical abuse heaped on them all by their alcoholic father. When Hanna's father becomes abusive to the point of serious injury Hanna does the only thing she knows to do and that's run. She takes her younger siblings and leaves, but she refuses to leave town until she knows the fate of her missing friend and co-worker Margaret. The only person she knows that might help her is Lucas Havensworth, the only wealthy customer that ever treated her as a fellow human being worthy of kindness instead of as a lowly servant deserving scorn and ridicule. Not only does Lucas help Hanna with her search for her friend, but he takes Hanna and her siblings to his family's home and offers refuge. Will they be able to find the truth about Margaret before she becomes a victim of the rampant crime in town? Sarah's journey is to seek the truth about these two missing women, be there for her friends, and be supportive of her husband's growing business. The more Sarah learns about Hanna, the more she realizes that Hanna may have close ties to her husband's family. She also must quietly contend with threats against continuing to seek the truth about what happened to Hanna and Margeret. Will she be able to reveal the truth about Hanna and Margaret without having her secrets revealed? Will that secret be the death knell for her marriage?I found The Dressmaker's Dowry to be a fast-paced and engaging read. I enjoy reading stories that combine contemporary and historical storylines and Ms. Jaeger has done an admirable job with Hanna and Sarah's stories. The author provides the reader with glimpses into the past, especially the lives of immigrants in an inhospitable environment. That storyline is nicely melded with the contemporary storyline that includes social entrepreneurship on the part of Sarah's husband Hunter Havensworth, who has a clothing company that offers free clothing to the homeless for every clothing item sold. Both storylines focus on the haves and the have-nots in society and how many of the "haves" talk a good game about raising funds and awareness for the "have-nots" but don't want to get their hands dirty by actually dealing with these people. Yes, there's a lot more going on in the story than just missing women and social entrepreneurship, there's child abuse, poverty, family secrets and the lengths people will go to just to protect those secrets, and romance. If you enjoy reading historical fiction or stories with a realistic bent, then you'll definitely want to add The Dressmaker's Dowry to your TBR list. I look forward to reading more from Ms. Jaeger in the future.
  • (5/5)
    From San Francisco 1876 to present day, we learn of the plight of the poor, the privilege of the wealthy, and secrets of a family that connect both eras.Sarah married into a wealthy family and brought a secret with her that she never revealed to her husband. Her husband's family had a secret too, but he was unaware of it. Or was he?Sarah was writing her thesis and came across two dressmakers, Hannalore and Margaret, who lived in1876 and who fascinated her because of the story of their lives.As Sarah researches, she finds connections between the dressmakers and her husband's family.THE DRESSMAKER'S DOWRY moved us back and forth in time with Hannalore's life story being much more interesting than Sarah's story about her life as the wife of a wealthy man and a journalist.Hannalore's story tells of her hardships as well as her resilience as she takes care of herself and her three siblings after her mother dies and they escape from their drunken, abusive father.The characters definitely were authentic especially the wealthy with their fancy clothing and privileges. The destitute were equally well described, and you could feel their pain and suffering through the excellent writing style and descriptions of Ms. Jaeger.I enjoyed THE DRESSMAKER'S DOWRY.I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy historical fiction, switching back and forth in time, and finding items from from past to present turning up for a mystery that includes a bit of love. 5/5This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
  • (4/5)
    It was like having two mystery books in one! I especially liked how both stories intertwined through out the novel.
  • (3/5)
    could have been better; the story line started out interesting but ended up cheesy and predictable. more a tacky romance than historical fiction.
  • (4/5)
    This was a delightful diversion for me from my more involved and darker reads – not that a book with the themes that this one uses doesn’t involve some dark acts. It just doesn’t delve into them too deeply. Our heroine, Sarah is married to the man of her dreams and in the middle of writing a novel for her thesis but it’s not all going that well for she is keeping a big secret from her husband and her novel is going nowhere. As she continues her research into San Francisco’s less than savory past she stumbles upon an intriguing headline of two dressmakers who went missing. Little does she know where this one small tidbit of history will lead her.Sarah is a young woman who has come up from nothing to marry into one of the wealthiest families in the San Francisco area. Her husband is nothing liker her cold father in law. While her mother in law welcomes her into the family she never quite feels as if she belongs. She somehow feels adrift until she stumbles upon the story of the two missing seamstresses. Once she decides to investigate their story instead of writing her novel everything changes; she feels alive again but she also starts to receive threatening messages. Why? From whom?This was a book that entertained me, gave me a look into San Francisco’s dark history and let me escape for a while. It’s not a book that required a lot of thought and to be honest it’s better if you don’t think too hard while reading it. It’s an escapist piece of reading and well suited to that realm. I’d pick up another book by the author without hesitation for an enjoyable afternoon’s reading
  • (4/5)
    Please let me finish reading the book!! It is a great read so far!
    I feel asleep during the last couple chapters. ?
  • (4/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    Even after several months since finishing the book, I find it easy to recall the characters and events. San Francisco of today and yesteryear are linked in this story through a ring and parallel love lives. Lovers of historical fiction will really enjoy this tale.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (4/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    This book follows the same formula of many books that I've enjoyed. We are introduced to a present day woman (Sarah) who has something in her past that still haunts her and she had come across a woman from the past (Hanna) who's story she must figure out. The formula has worked before for me and it definitely worked in this book.Normally I end up only enjoying one woman's storyline but I really enjoyed reading about both Sarah and Hanna. There were mysteries involving both women and I was dying to figure out what they were. Once I learned about Sarah's past I really understood the decisions she had made about her life. Learning what had happened to Hanna was heartbreaking but I did enjoy where she ended up in the end.I received this book from a Librarything Early Reviewers giveaway. My review is not affected by that in any way.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (4/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    This is an excellent debut historical novel from Meredith Jaeger. The novel is well written and extremely interesting and once I started it, I had trouble putting it down again. The novel takes place in San Francisco and is the story of Hanna, a German immigrant working as a dressmaker in 1876 and Sarah in present day trying to complete her thesis. She originally planned to write a novel but when she finds a story about two missing dressmakers from 1876, her interest was sparked and she decided to try to find out what happened to them and then write a story about it. Little did she know that the story of the two missing women from 1876 would circle around and connect back to her family.I thought that the author did a magnificent job of describing San Francisco both modern day and life in 1876. The immigrants of this time were definitely treated as second class citizens and were often forced to work and live in terrible conditions. It was very apparent that the author did significant research into the city both past and present.This is a fantastic debut novel and I look forward to future books from this author. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (5/5)
    An Outstanding Debut Novel!Set in San Francisco, “The Dressmaker’s Dowry” takes place in 1876 and also in present day. Meredith Jaeger does an excellent job weaving both time periods together to tell a story of love, betrayal, tragedy, and triumph. This is the author’s first novel and I found it to be an outstanding read!Sarah Havensworth is married to the son of wealthy parents whose family has played a major role in San Francisco society for generations. She is working on her MFA thesis, but has lost interest in the novel she has chosen to write. While randomly searching the internet for inspiration, she stumbles across a headline from 1876…”Missing Dressmakers Believed to be Murdered.” It immediately captures her attention, so Sarah begins to investigate the unsolved crime. It will be her new thesis.The dressmakers are two immigrants who met while working together at a dress shop. Margaret is a young Irish girl, and Hannelore is German. They became close friends, bonding because they share the experience of caring for their younger siblings, and they both live with the horror of abusive fathers. One day, they meet two wealthy young men from San Francisco’s elite society and their lives are forever changed. Sarah, the present day character, is drawn into their story, unaware that she has a personal connection to both of the woman who lived generations before her. As the story progresses, all of the characters are touched by love and by tragic events. The plot thickens when murder is committed. As Sarah begins to uncover the details of the murder, the wealthy Havensworth family (Sarah’s own in-laws) attempts to cover up a crime committed more than one hundred years ago.Meredith Jaeger has written a page-turning thriller in her debut novel. She tells the story in a riveting way, and the book is spellbinding. I couldn’t wait to discover what would happen to each character and how the story would end. I was not disappointed! If you enjoy history and intrigue, you will love this book!I received a copy of this book from the publisher, through Library Thing's Early Reviewers group, in exchange for my honest review.
  • (4/5)
    This was a delightful diversion for me from my more involved and darker reads – not that a book with the themes that this one uses doesn’t involve some dark acts. It just doesn’t delve into them too deeply. Our heroine, Sarah is married to the man of her dreams and in the middle of writing a novel for her thesis but it’s not all going that well for she is keeping a big secret from her husband and her novel is going nowhere. As she continues her research into San Francisco’s less than savory past she stumbles upon an intriguing headline of two dressmakers who went missing. Little does she know where this one small tidbit of history will lead her.Sarah is a young woman who has come up from nothing to marry into one of the wealthiest families in the San Francisco area. Her husband is nothing liker her cold father in law. While her mother in law welcomes her into the family she never quite feels as if she belongs. She somehow feels adrift until she stumbles upon the story of the two missing seamstresses. Once she decides to investigate their story instead of writing her novel everything changes; she feels alive again but she also starts to receive threatening messages. Why? From whom?This was a book that entertained me, gave me a look into San Francisco’s dark history and let me escape for a while. It’s not a book that required a lot of thought and to be honest it’s better if you don’t think too hard while reading it. It’s an escapist piece of reading and well suited to that realm. I’d pick up another book by the author without hesitation for an enjoyable afternoon’s reading
  • (5/5)
    San Francisco was and is a city of many cultures and has a fascinating history. Thus, being a fan of historical fiction, I was quickly drawn into this story that alternated between present day San Francisco and 1876 San Francisco.Sarah Havensworth, a former journalist, married into the wealthy Havensworth family. They seem to have the perfect marriage; however, as always, one of them has a secret. Sarah had planned to tell Hunter her dark and painful secret before they got married; however, the time just never seemed to be right. And now she is afraid she will lose him when – not if - he finds out. But, unbeknownst to Sarah and Hunter, his family also has a secret.With her husband Hunter’s financial support and encouragement, she planned to write a historical novel set in 1876 San Francisco for her master’s thesis. However, she just can’t find the inspiration she needs to bring her characters to life on the page. But one day, as she is browsing through historical events from 1876, a headline pops up: “January 10: Missing dressmakers believed to be murdered”. This is it! But as she researches the story of Hannelore (Hanna) Schaeffer and Margaret O’Brien she decides she really doesn’t want to write a novel; she wants to fall back on her former skills as a journalist and write a journalistic narrative. Thus begins her search to find out what happened to these two women. And surprisingly, she finds a link to her husband’s family.The lives of Sarah and Hanna revealed such a contrast from chapter to chapter. While Sarah was pampered by her husband and wanted for nothing, when Hanna’s mother died she was left to care for her three younger siblings and endure an alcoholic, abusive father. Fortunately Hanna, unlike many women of the time, could read and she had seamstress skills. Margaret, who could not read, had an even harder time surviving. She had more siblings than did Hanna, and had both a drunken mother and father.Ms. Jaeger’s writing style effortlessly flows back and forth between present day and 1876. Her descriptions allowed me to envision how San Francisco must have been in 1876 – the noise of the street vendors and horses, the smells of fresh – and rotting – fish markets, the society ladies strolling in their finest apparels, the poor immigrants just trying to stay alive another day. I remained in suspense throughout the book wondering what happened to these unfortunate girls, and what the tie between them and Hunter’s family was.This engrossing novel is Meredith Jaeger’s first novel, and I hope it is not her last.
  • (5/5)
    4.5 starsThe Dressmaker’s Dowry is a highly entertaining read. The story takes place in San Francisco, one of my favorite places to visit, in two different time periods, the mid-1870’s and present day. Sarah Havensworth is working on her thesis and struggling to find a topic that spurs her to write. She stumbles upon an article about two missing dressmakers in the 1870’s who were believed to be murdered, decides to pursue the story for her thesis, and begins researching and visiting places from that era. Back in 1876, The Dressmaker’s Dowry follows two women dressmakers, Hannelore and Margaret, through the dirty streets of the Barbary Coast. Margaret vanishes, and Hannelore is determined to find her. As the book progresses, the two stories converge in an entertaining and surprising manner.Meredith Jaeger clearly exhaustively researched her subject matter and presents 1876 San Francisco vividly. I felt like I could envision the streets Hannelore traveled down, the decrepit bars she had to scour, and the beautiful Nob Hill mansion she stayed in briefly. I learned so much about that era, including the existence of Long Bridge and the various immigrant areas that are long gone now. She also portrays places in present day San Francisco that I was unaware of and now plan to visit on my next trip there.I highly recommend this engrossing and engaging novel. I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.