US & Canada Doubleday (February 2012, Ed. Melissa Danazcko, 387 pages)
UK & Comm Little, Brown & Company (Ed. Dan Mallory)
A young seamstress is hired on the docks by a well-known couturier as the Titanic sets sail.
Thrust into a world of wealth and privilege, Tess is initially overjoyed to leave her old life behind and focuses on the glorious opportunities awaiting her in America. However, as the ill fated ship begins its course towards the iceberg that will destroy it, the true nature of those onboard is revealed.
Amongst the survivors, Tess finally sets foot on American soil accompanied by the famous designer, Lucille Duff-Gordon, her husband Cosmo and Jim Bonney, a sailor from a provincial background whose cheerful demeanour and rugged good looks have caught Tess’s eye.
Greeted at the docks by the world’s press, Tess realises that surviving the tragedy is just the start as investigations begin into what exactly occurred on the ship everyone proclaimed was unsinkable. In the frenzied search for accountability, which is played out in the courtrooms and in the newspaper headlines, Tess finds herself caught between the conflicting worlds of high end couture and the harsh reality of the truth.
Set against a time of great turbulence when the class system was in question, the world of fashion was evolving and the suffragette movement was beginning, The Dressmaker follows a young girl as she struggles to find her place in this new world.