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Summary

A beautifully written, sweeping historical women's fiction novel that spans both time and the globe as we follow one woman's journey from simple country girl to global fashion icon. 

I need to tell you a story, ma chère. My story.

Rosa Kusstatscher has built a global fashion empire upon her ability to find the perfect outfit for any occasion. But tonight, as she prepares for the most important meeting of her life, her usual certainty eludes her. 

What brought her to this moment? As she struggles to select her dress and choose the right shade of lipstick, Rosa begins to tell her incredible story. The story of a poor country girl from a village high in the mountains of Italy. Of Nazi occupation and fleeing in the night. Of hope and heartbreak in Switzerland; ambition, glamour and love in Paris. Of ambition and devastation in Rio de Janeiro; success and self-discovery in New York. 

A life spent running, she sees now. But she will run no longer. 

Breathtaking and utterly enthralling, The Dressmaker of Paris is a stunning debut novel that is perfect for fans of Lucinda Riley, Kate Morton and Dinah Jefferies.

©2021 Georgia Kaufmann (P)2021 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

What listeners say about The Dressmaker of Paris

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The dressmaker in Paris

Written in the style of Lucinda Riley, overall I enjoyed it but just something that didn't captivate me.

1 person found this helpful

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Life's twist and turns

Reminder of how our life's choices can shape the outcome of our whole life's outcome

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Not my favourite

I’ve listened to virtually all Lucinda Riley’s books, the story and narration is always excellent, but I wasn’t so keen on this one. It was written as if the main character is talking to some9nr telling her story and I found that together with the constant use of ‘mon Cher’ really annoying. It’s a much later book, I preferred her earlier styles.

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enjoyable

I really enjoyed this story. painted an amazing picture of her whole life and strengths and hardships. great narration

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Enjoyable story with a few niggles

Overall, I enjoyed this story. I love clothes, designing and travelling, so it ticked all my boxes. However, the continuous repetition of ‘Ma chere’ from the start, was REALLY irritating! It would have been far less so if it had sounded even remotely French. Unfortunately, much of the time, the narrator’s style imbued the heroine with an annoying air of self satisfaction, which is a pity. The chapter titles ‘tweezers’, ‘razor’ and others with accompanying descriptions of body hair and personal hygiene did nothing to elevate the story. Nevertheless it was an interesting and enjoyable listen.

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Fabulous Debut

I really enjoyed this book.
The storyline held my interest and throughout with enough twists and turns to make me keep reading.
I read it quickly and thought about
the many moral dilemmas war must have created for so many people on both sides.

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Lovely narration. Boring, fluffy, story with an extremely shallow main character.

I really struggled to finish this book. The main character is a self-serving, vain, name-dropper, and I found her irritating. She purports to have dragged herself up through the ranks of society but bar an awful event in her teens (won’t spoil it), this does not come across. Obsessed with image, make up, and clothes to the point of idiocy, I hated her by the end. Would not recommend, I’m afraid, and I rarely give bad reviews as I can normally find something good in every story. This just made my teeth itch.

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Sensational

What an absolutely moving and poignant book. I just could not put it down and how many boxes of tissues I got through I don't know. I have never been so engrossed in a book for a long time-just wondering what would happen next. I do hope you continue with your audio books and can't wait for another book.

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  • Heidi von Harscher
  • 27-09-21

Lovely. Vulnerable and visual.

As a fan of Lucinda Riley, I was impressed with the historic, cultural and geographic accuracy with which Cass was able to spin a very visually stimulating tale, as Riley often does. Love the fashion, glamour and beauty references. Made ugly truths seem somehow beautiful with a subtle use of humor. A very nice listen.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-07-22

a truly real family story

I loved this story. Despite the various twists and turns, happi moments and sad moments, it together in a very tangible ebding

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  • Maggie Zadikov
  • 07-07-22

Wonderful, engaging novel

This book had me transfixed from start to finish. The story was so original. The fact that Rosa was referring to "ma chere" throughout, kept me guessing who her dear one was. Karen Cass did a superb performance and I was impressed with her amazing language expertise and flawless pronunciation. I highly recommend this book.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-06-22

Good story, excellent reading

Lovely story wirh good characters really well read. I so much enjoyed all the accents, the voices. Karen Kass us an excellent reader.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Hippiehikerchik
  • 09-06-22

Almost Perfect

This isn’t just a story. It is a multi-decade sweeping saga of one woman’s determination to survive. It is the story of making the best choices given the circumstances at hand, lifelong friendships, trauma, love, and the human heart’s ability to forgive, love, and trust again. Up until the last chapter, I was expecting to give it a rare (for me) 5 star rating. It really is that special of a book. However, I was left needing an epilogue at the end to know what happened at or after the meeting. The meeting at the end is the central thread of the book and I was left wanting to know what happened. Was forgiveness granted? Did the characters resolve, or at least begin to resolve, their issues? I wanted one or two bites of dessert in the form of one more chapter or an epilogue to finalize what was otherwise a delicious, delightful multi course literary meal.

I absolutely recommend this book and am eagerly looking forward to listening to another of Ms. Kaufmann’s books. She is a splendid writer and rightfully deserves to be in the same class as the late Lucinda Riley. Lucinda Riley fans will love this beautiful saga.

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  • Mona-Alisa
  • 16-05-22

The Dressmaker of Paris

Having been to uni for my fashion design degree and having my own design businesses, I thought I had listened to all books on the subject. I also am a Francophile, and a favorite genre is WWII historical fiction. This book ticked all of my boxes.

The beginning was similar to many others. Girl leaves the country to try her luck at getting a job in a Parisian fashion house. Astonishingly, she ends up in an Haute couture atelier as a, most usually, seamstress. The designer sees that special Je ne sais quoi and takes the girl under her wing.

Given the all too familiar beginnings, I was frustrated until a horrific situation happened to the girl child, which got my attention, and I knew that the writer had chops.

I love this book. I love how the protagonist draws you in as though you are who she is talking to by often beginning her stories with; you see chéri or something like that, which is always directed at Chéri.

The story spans from WWII to the Berlin Wall. It touches upon these lightly—more as markers of time periods than direct subjects. You also travel from Paris to Rio de Janeiro to NYC, and back to Europe.

I cannot say enough about how the narrator makes it come alive. I will look for other books by Karen Cass. I have never searched for books by a narrator, and I have literally listened to hundreds of hours on audible.