The Forgotten Seamstress
by Liz Trenow
I stumbled on this book on my library's website. Rather than going to the library to see if they have the book I want on the shelf, I go to their website, sign in and search. Then if they have it, I request it and I get a message when it's at the desk at the branch I use, ready for me to check it out. Often when I sign in there are books shown with a brief synopsis. I saw the one for this book and requested it ... last October! It was that popular but I just waited and read other books in the meantime. Last week I got an email that it was being held for me. Wow! Worth the wait.
Here's the synopsis from the back:
"She kept her secret for a lifetime. A shy girl with no family, Maria knows she's lucky to have landed in the sewing room of the royal household. Before World War I casts its shadow, she catches the eye of the Prince of Wales, a glamorous and intense gentleman. But her life takes a far darker turn, and soon all she has left is a fantastical story about her time at Buckingham Palace.
"Decades late, Caroline Meadows discovers a beautiful quilt in her mother's attic. When she can't figure out the meaning of the message embroidered into its lining, she embarks on a quest to reveal its mystery, a puzzle that only seems to grow more important to her own heart. As Caroline pieces together the secret history of the quilt, she comes closer and closer to the truth about Maria."
The book is written in first person (Caroline's voice) and also Maria's voice but the latter is through transcribed tape recordings of an interview with Maria by a PhD student in the 1970s. It's a wonderful device for this story that draws you in to both their circumstances. Now some of what happens is quite predictable but that's okay by me. It still made a good story.
Marcia at Birds, Blooms, Books, etc