I’m a big fan of Historical Fiction books. So when I came across The Dressmaker’s Secret, the new book from award-winning author Lorna Cook, I couldn’t wait to read it. Many thanks to NetGalley, Lorna Cook and Avon Books for kindly sharing an advance copy of this fabulous book for me to review.
Where are we touring?
The Dressmaker’s Secret takes us on a trip to Paris. Set in two time zones, the 1940s and more recently in 2018. It’s a wartime story sharing the captivating tale of Adele the assistant to Coco Chanel.
Book Cover Notes
Paris, 1941: As Coco Chanel’s assistant, Adèle lives side by side with German officers in the splendour of The Ritz hotel. But Adèle has a secret. She is working for the resistance, right under the Germans’ noses.
As occupied Paris becomes more and more dangerous, Adèle will have to decide if she can risk everything to save innocent lives and protect the man she loves…
Present day: Chloé’s grandmother has never spoken about the war and avoids questions about the legendary designer she once worked for. Now Chloé has come to Paris, to uncover the truth about Adèle’s life. But is she prepared for what she will find? And for the power of her grandmother’s secrets to change her family forever…
An absolutely gripping and heartbreaking wartime story of the enduring power of love, for fans of The Lost Girls of Paris and The Nightingale.
In this extraordinary tale we are introduced to Adele, a young french woman arriving in Paris looking for work in the 1940s. Through a lucky (or you may think later unlucky) encounter she is employed by Coco Chanel as her assistant. Adele quickly settles into her new job of running daily errands and organising Chanel’s very busy dressmaker diary. Chanel’s new assistant is a quick learner, hard working and most importantly she’s discreet. The most essential skills that Chanel expects of her assistant.
Next we meet Chloe, who following her divorce decides to take a year out from her job in England and moves to Paris. It’s been 70 years since her Grandmother Adele lived and worked in Paris. Chloe realises she knows very little about her grandmother Adele’s life in Paris before moving to England at the end of the war. When asked, Adele will only tell her granddaughter that she worked for Coco Chanel and that they lived in The Ritz hotel.
On arriving in Paris Chloe is surprised to discover that The Ritz Hotel is having an auction, including some of the items from the suite of Coco Chanel. Intrigued, Chloe attends the auction hoping to glimpse items that may have been used when her grandmother was Chanel’s assistant. Whilst witnessing the frenzied bidding auction by keen collectors, Chloe meets Etienne who’s chance encounter is about to turn Chloe’s world upside down.
With this one conversation, everything Chloe thought about her beloved grandmother had been turned completely on its head. Her grandmother worked for a fashion designer turned Nazi agent in wartime Paris.
At this point in the story I had to stop reading and Google Coco Chanel. I love it when historical fiction authors weave information into the story that makes you stop and think… What? Is this for real?
The author’s vivid descriptions of the world of Chanel was fascinating. Portraying the style icon as a strong, often difficult woman to please. Surrounded by secrets and lies, Adele the dressmaker’s assistant finds herself in impossible situations. Risking her life to support the resistance, whilst living in the same hotel as German officers, reading this had me holding my breath and my heart thumping in my ears.
The story continues at pace and I was gripped and shocked by the brutal account of what life must have been like in France during the 40s. Beautifully written, the author sensitively covers the tragic events that unfolded during the occupation of France. It brings to life the truly awful crimes, the brave resistance efforts and the risks that innocent people took just trying to survive.
Gripping, tense and a book that you can’t put down. The Dressmaker’s Secrets is now in my Top 3 favourite Historical Fiction reads.
If you’re a fan of historical fiction books then I’d highly recommend The Dressmaker’s Secret, published 3rd February 2022 by #AvonBooksUK.
Where To Buy
About The Author
Lorna Cook is the author of the The Girl From the Island, The Forbidden Promise and the Kindle Number 1 Bestseller ‘The Forgotten Village’, which was her debut novel, staying in the Kindle Top 100 for four months.
It has sold over 150,000 copies, has eleven overseas/foreign language editions, won the Romantic Novelists’ Association Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel of the Year Award and the RNA Joan Hessayon Award for New Writers.
Lorna lives in coastal Essex with her husband, two small daughters and a staffy called Socks.
Where To Find Lorna Cook Online
Manu thanks to NetGalley, Lorna Cook and Avon Books for my advance digital copy of The Dressmaker’s Secret. This is an honest review and all views are my own.
Finally, I hope you’ve enjoyed my book review of The Dressmaker’s Secret by Lorna Cook. Go grab yourself a copy of the book today. Don’t forget to check out Lorna’s other great books including:
The Girl From The Island (April 2021)
A world at war. One woman will risk everything. Another will uncover her story.
The Forbidden Promise (March 2020)
Can one promise change the fate of two women decades apart?
The Forgotten Village (April 2019)
Winner of the Romantic Novelists’ Association Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel Award, as well as the Joan Hessayon Award for New Writers
You Might Also Like
Read more Touring Tales Book Reviews (Historical Fiction)
- The Woman In The White Kimono by Ana Johns (My 2021 Top 3 favourite Historical Fiction)
- The Dictionary Of Lost Words by Pip Williams (My 2021 Top 3 favourite Historical Fiction)
- American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
New to Touring Tales? Find out more About Me here