Title: The Dressmakers Gift
by: Fiona Valpy
This is an intriguing story, mostly set during World War II, but there are flashbacks between Harriet (who is living & working in modern day France) who has traveled to France to learn more about her grandmother Claire's history. Claire's story takes place during WWII when she and 2 other flatmates work as seamstresses, & all join the Resistance at some point. Claire & Vivi get caught when Nazi soldiers track her radio signals, & both women are sent to deplorable concentration camps. Vivi is a code name for a woman actually named Harriet, who is modern-day Harriet's great-aunt & Claire is her grandmother. War-scarred Mireille, the 3rd woman in the trio, is left behind (despite all of her contributions to the Resistance) & has to wait until after the war to be reunited with Claire.
Quotes or Passages:
"I see now that it's one of the paradoxes of life that if we love it so much that we are frightened of losing it, it can make us live a half-life, too scared to get out there & live whole-heartedly because we have too much to lose."
"I'm beginning to see how high the odds were stacked against my mother. Was there a genetic fragility in her make up-- changes to her DNA that she inherited from the trauma Claire suffered--that caused her to snap when life's knocks came?"
MY Rating: 5/5 (It was a page turner for me! I enjoy WWII lit though. There was little to no language, no sexual or overly violent content, even for a book set during the war & it was a fairly clean book over all.)