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The Dressmaker

A Novel

Elizabeth Birkelund Oberbeck

Picador

Claude Reynaud is an old-fashioned tailor, designing his famous gowns by hand in a cluttered studio well outside Paris. But one spring afternoon a woman arrives in search of a wedding dress and shatters all his composure: Valentine de Verlay is charming, beautiful, sophisticated, and, of course, engaged. Though he has long since given up on romance in favor of his work, Claude is instantly smitten.
 
As Valentine's wedding approaches, Claude finds it impossible to keep a safe distance, and everything he's come to rely on in his small, focused life looks ready to collapse. Worse still, it appears that Valentine may share his feelings.
 
The Dressmaker is a perfect gem of a novel, an enchanting portrait of another world, and, above all, a sly and irresistible love story.
Claude Reynaud is an old-fashioned tailor, designing his famous gowns by hand in a cluttered studio well outside Paris. But one spring afternoon a woman arrives in search of a wedding dress and shatters all his composure: Valentine de Verlay is charming, beautiful, sophisticated, and, of course, engaged. Though he has long since given up on romance in favor of his work, Claude is instantly smitten.
 
As Valentine's wedding approaches, Claude finds it impossible to keep a safe distance, and everything he's come to rely on in his small, focused life looks ready to collapse. Worse still, it appears that Valentine may share his feelings.
 
The Dressmaker is a perfect gem of a novel, an enchanting portrait of another world, and, above all, a sly and irresistible love story.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Chapter One
Blossoms fluttered everywhere that morning outside the dressmaker's studio. They cascaded from above, settling at the base of the century-old apple tree like a pool of white satin at the hem of a wedding gown. Wedding gowns. Claude Reynaud had designed and sewn hundreds of them, but still, he thought, as he stitched on a lacy trim, they made him uneasy: the symbolism of the white dress, the secrecy of the veil, the surprise of the bride's sudden appearance before the slow, irrevocable procession down the aisle. . . .
 
A fresh breeze from the wide-open window interrupted
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Praise for The Dressmaker

"Elizabeth Birkelund Oberbeck's romp is as light and frothy as one of Claude's chiffon creations, yet it is also an engaging dissection of high fashion and those who determine its whimsical direction."--Booklist
 
"These two characters are drawn with great color, reflecting the stylish and variegated world of Parisian fashions and providing a textured backdrop for this subtle and well-crafted story."--Library Journal
 
"Oberbeck cleverly portrays Claude's entrée into high fashion. . . . Successfully creates the intrigue one wants for a wedding gown designer who falls in love with his client."--Publishers Weekly
 
"What a pleasure to watch Oberbeck conjure up the world of French haute couture with effortless and playful ease and with the same ease spin her giddy plot."--Margot Livesey, author of Banishing Verona
"Elizabeth Birkelund Oberbeck's romp is as light and frothy as one of Claude's chiffon creations, yet it is also an engaging dissection of high fashion and those who determine its whimsical direction."--Booklist
 
"These two characters are drawn with great color, reflecting the stylish and variegated world of Parisian fashions and providing a textured backdrop for this subtle and well-crafted story."--Library Journal
 
"Oberbeck cleverly portrays Claude's entrée into high fashion. . . . Successfully creates the intrigue one wants for a wedding gown designer who falls in love with his client."--Publishers Weekly
 
"What a pleasure to watch Oberbeck conjure up the world of French haute couture with effortless and playful ease and with the same ease spin her giddy plot."--Margot Livesey, author of Banishing Verona

Reviews from Goodreads

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Dressmaker

A Novel

Elizabeth Birkelund Oberbeck

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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