The Dressmaker’s Gift


Fiona Valpy

For some reason I keep finding novels that are based on women’s efforts during WWII.  The Dressmakers Gift by Fiona Valpy is set during WWII and includes the French Resistance, Paris and Couture Fashion.  I enjoyed this book although there are a few parts that are painful to read based on the horrific acts we all know took place during WWII.  But Paris is such a romantic city, even during war, and reading this novel brought back a flood of memories of visiting the City of Lights with my best friend.  This novel made me want to revisit the sights, eat French pastries and see the fashion museum 

The novel travels back and forth between present day when Harriett arrives in Paris for a year-long internship at a PR agency that specializes in fashion and WWII.  After the death of her mother, Harriett wants to learn more about her grandmother Claire who was French and lived in Paris during the war.

Harriet has a picture of her grandmother Claire and two other young women who turn out to be Mireille and Vivienne.  We follow the lives of these three women from 1941 – 1945 as they participate in the French Resistance. 

The writing is smooth and compelling and covers some sensitive topics.  It is so important that we never forget the atrocities of WWII inflicted upon the Jews, anyone helping them or anyone who was against the Nazi’s.  Although this is a novel, there are so many brave men and women that served their countries in countless ways and the author graciously honors their efforts.  Five stars for The Dressmaker’s Gift.