Review: The Dressmaker’s Dowry

Author: Meredith Jaeger

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Book Blurb:

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? 

First: COVER LOVE! I am a sucker for a beautiful cover.

I have to say, I enjoyed this book more than I expected. As with most dual timeline stories, I liked one story better than the other. Hanna’s timeline definitely won the prize of my focus. I couldn’t wait to get back to it.

I liked the different characters. Hanna was a strong character. She relentlessly searched for her friend, Margaret, when Margaret disappeared. Hanna was willing to move mountains to find her. We all need a friend like that.

Sarah’s story-line, while not bad, dragged out the “if you only knew what horrible things I’ve done” sub story for a little too long. I also thought there wasn’t much substance to her story – if the book had just been written about Hanna I would’ve liked it just as much.

The ending left me with all kinds of feelings which meant I was emotionally invested – so a definite win! Also, this book carried me through one of the most stressful weeks at work I have every experienced. It was light enough to not tax me and engrossing enough to give me a break from stress while I was reading it.

Overall- Recommend!

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