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The Dressmaker's Secret

(The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  178 ratings  ·  122 reviews
This is an alternate cover edition for ASIN B01AF700LG.

After a revealing conversation with the first children of her age she’s ever met, curious eight-year-old Alice Chattoway realizes that one ought to have a father … and she doesn’t. Having determined that his absence is making her mother unhappy, Alice resolves to find him and create a family for herself.

However, Alice’
Kindle Edition, 2nd Edition, 214 pages
Published June 14th 2017 by Amazon Digital Services (first published January 10th 2016)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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Kellyn Roth
A few disclaimers:

First, I acknowledge this is a confusing novel! It was published ... then it was not published ... then it was published again. But this is the last relaunch. I promise.

(Long story short, I wrote it in November 2014, published it in January 2016, unpublished it and republished it in summer 2017 with some rewrites and a new cover, and am now publishing it January 10th, 2020 with the final cover and final rewrites!)

Second, after my rewrites, The Dressmaker's Secret is practically
Elizabeth Dragina
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
TBH I don't know how I feel.... I guess mostly just sad.

Being such an emotional reader I began this book feeling very sad. As I ventured deeper into the pages I became more distraught and somber as time passed on. These characters deal with a lot of realistic pain. I'm used to harsh books, but I'm also used to "happily ever after's". Because of my emotions I can't love this book, but I certainly like how well written it is.

The ending was bittersweet....but at the same time the sadness that env
Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer
Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

8-year old Alice starts to wonder why she and her twin sister don't have a father after a revealing conversation with children her own age. Concluding that her mother is unhappy at his absence she determines to find him and create the family she believes her mother always wanted.

This book is quite conflictal for me.

The new covers are quite good and I can see why the author chose those images. Even the title quite works... The historical setting
Grace Johnson
So, I’ve finally generated a formula for proper, contained, not-so-crazy reviews, and Lord knows I’d wanted to stick with it, but after the Queen of Assumptions (who has been known to bet some strange things on said assumptions) got blindsided, I decided to forgo the aforementioned formula.

The Dressmaker’s Secret is insane. I say that from the point-of-view of a reader who just finished being pummeled by plot twist after plot twist after plot twist, so had I given myself a couple days before wr
Angela Watts
A historical novel you won't want to miss!


The story is captivating--a young girl wants to know who her father is and her mother is trying to move on from ghosts of her past. Well-woven and endearing, this story is hard to put down.


Setting is super important to me when it comes to historical fiction. I love seeing a place in history and taking in the lovely details. The setting in this book is beautiful. It makes me want to embrace the European in me and visit London. Or France,
Andrea Cox
I just finished editing this book. It's my favorite of Miss Roth's books so far. Such a charmer! ...more
R.J. Rodda
2.5 stars.

This has a sweet ending and is an overtly Christian tale. The main character is eight year old Alice who is a caring, perceptive, loyal girl who doesn't know who her father is and is determined to find out. When her mother refuses to tell her, she investigates secretly. What she discovers surprised me and about three quarters of the way through this story I wondered if Alice would ever see her dreams come true. To her credit, she wants to see her mother happy but this seems an impossi
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’m so excited to have read this book! I had heard a lot about Kellyn’s books, so I totally jumped at the opportunity to review it. 😉

I love how Kellyn pulled off an eight year old’s POV (actually two! eight year olds’ POVs), though I think (?) she has a sibling around that age, so that might have helped her. Or maybe she has pure talent in writing, which I don’t doubt either. 😉 I loved learning about the characters- good dependable Nessie, curious Alice, and Ivy who everyone thinks is simple but
Amanda Tero
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
4 stars & 4/10 hearts. I honestly don’t know how Kellyn Roth pulled this off. Normally, these type of books would bug me. The characters sounded like Americans, not Britishers. They also sounded very modern and not very 1870-ish. Yet somehow, Roth managed to make them still fit perfectly in their setting.
The plot was really intriguing and kept me questioning right to the very end. Now, it does have some content. A woman is assumed for most of the book to be a single mother. Divorce plays a larg
Olivia Farnsworth
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.

When I first got into this book, I found it intriguing. There was a mystery to unpack--a secret known by one of the characters but hidden from the other POV character and the audience. However, I had to wonder how far Miss Roth could take this plot without either revealing it all too early or dragging it on to the point that readers stopped caring. As it turns out, I had nothing to worry about. Miss R
Michaela Bush
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm still reeling a bit. I just read the newest edition of The Dressmaker's Secret (having not read the original) and while I can't compare this one to the first edition, I can say that this book was an absolute pleasure to read. Unraveling the mystery of Alice and Ivy's birth was one I definitely didn't see coming -- there's a series of twists and turns that keep the reader engaged and curious. The prose for this book was also genuine and wonderful for the genre; readers of Austen and similar R ...more
Merie Shen
Soooo historical fiction is a tricky genre. I can never be sure whether I'll like a certain book written in that genre, even if the author has written other books I've loved. All his-fic books, no matter the author, are always hit-and-miss for me. It's weird but that's how it happens.

So far, I've enjoyed all the books I've read by Kellyn Roth. Including one of the earlier versions of this one. While I didn't love it, I liked it, and I'm so glad she decided to revise it because this new edition
Angie Thompson
I was a bit hesitant to start this book, but I really appreciated the fact that the author took the moral high-road as far as the circumstances that left her characters in their respective positions. Not that everyone had always done the right thing, but the obvious assumptions were usually not the right ones. That was my main worry when I picked this book up, and I appreciated the way it was handled.

Alice was a very interesting character, although sometimes she felt a bit too perceptive for her
Daisy Paquet
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
2. This was an easy read!
3. ..So, is Ivy neurologically atypical (ASD, possibly?) because it was a difficult birth, or is that what the commonly used explanation in history?
4. Not preachy at all so <3
6. The plot was a teeeeensy bit predictable but I LIKED IT.
8. I just got book 2 and am so excited!! (!!!!)
FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of the audiobook from the author in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required. The following review is my honest opinion.

Such a sweet story! I become a bigger fan of Kellyn Roth's writing with every story of hers I read. She has such a talent for telling stories full of heart and well fleshed-out characters. I loved getting to know Claire, Alice, and Ivy and watching their journeys from broken to healing. I also thought Kellyn did a great jo
H. S. Kylian (Hannah Killian)



Kate Willis
FTC DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of this book. A positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.

I loved Alice and Ivy (especially their names!!!!) and their childlike faith and fears. Mrs. Knight was such a darling and acted in a Christlike manner even when life was hard or awkward for her! It was also very revelatory to see that one small decision can affect generations for good or evil, and we are responsible before God for this. The writing style ga
Gracelyn Buckner
5 Stars

I've been wanting to read some of Kellyn Roth's books for a long time now, so when I finally started this, I was really excited! And I was not disappointed.



All of the characters had well-developed personalities. Although I was annoyed with Miss Chattoway until about halfway through, I ended up feeling sorry for her. I really loved Nettie and Jameson's relationship, and Nettie was really sweet to everyone. I was really excited with a the narrator being young, beca
Yay for the ending!

Some advise, people: don't read reviews of books while you're reading the book. It's not a good idea!! (Especially spoilers!)

The Characters
Alice - I liked her!!! All her questions made me smile, but they were for a good cause.
Ivy - Awww, loved her!
Claire - was it wrong for me to be driven mad by her attitude almost the entire time? Yeah, well, that's how I felt with her. I started really liking her after (view spoiler)
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
**This is a review of the second edition of The Dressmaker's Secret, published June 2017**

First off, bravo!!!! Encore!!! Amazing job, Kellyn! These books have to be among my favorite historical novels I've read. I enjoyed Ivy Introspective a bit more than I did The Dressmaker's Secret, but they both reminded me somewhat of A Little Princess. Maybe it's the setting, or the time period, or the sweet little girls (or all three), but I LOVED it. A Little Princess has always been a favorite for me,
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lovely story! As good as the last version of this story was, I can definitely tell Kellyn's writing has improved a bunch in this version and it shows! ...more
Sarah Briel
**This is a review of the second edition of The Dressmaker's Secret, published June 2017. **

This book was bittersweetness from the view of smol curious children all stuffed in the package of a beautiful cover. I'm not even kidding. Like ... what shall I even say about this book?

As I've said, I did read the original edition (original published edition, that is.) which ... will honestly make this hard to review without comparing it to the original so ... I'm not actually going to try that hard to
I loved this book!! I couldn’t put it down once I stopped, and it drew me in.

Few negatives: The story was choppy and fast-paced at times, which is my main downside; there was a lot of time spent telling and not showing, and it dashed around from many different places and times. That said, however, because of this it was able to cover a long timespan, and I felt that aspect was good. I was confused as to who was who at the beginning, but fortunately that didn’t last too long.

All that, though, w
Lisa Elis
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads, hi-fi
In my almost one year of  being acquainted with Indie Books, I've learned two things. First, that there are many hidden gems here. Two, that in spite of that, I can understand why some people are hesitant to read them. Some of them just don't stand up to traditionally published books in writing quality.

I find myself scrutinising the writing style in indie books so much more carefully than other books, even though I feel I shouldn't. I just DO. So I went into The Dressmaker's Secret with editor e
Apr 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Reading more historical fiction was something that I promised myself I'd tackle this year, and so I was very pleased with Kellyn Roth asked me to read The Dressmaker's Secret. I love all things with a classic feel, and this book seemed to fall within that realm. As it stands, both the premise of the story and the mystery woven into it were wonderful. I only had a few qualms, which I'll address below.

First off, I must give credit to Kellyn Roth for excellent character building. Although I felt li
This book reminded me quite a bit of the Lamplighter books. It had the same feel and time period as a lot of them, but unfortunately was sub-par in writing quality. I did make it through the entire book, and some of it was enjoyable, so I gave it two stars for that. However, I had multiple issues with it, which I will get to in a minute.

The Good:
-The characterization was strong, and I felt like I came to know the characters well.
-The Dressmaker's Secret had a classic feel to it, and held to the
I'm always excited to get the chance to read a book for review, and this book was not an exception. It's interesting to me to see the varying style of writings and stories writers choose to write. While this book isn't a favorite, I still was curious to see how it would end!

This story is not from one POV, but more from a narrative POV. I struggle reading a book that doesn't have one or two certain POV's. Alice was the main character and you see her feelings the most. For eight year old she was e
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Victoria Lynn
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. . .

WOW! This book! I was blown away.

The story is complex and it reminded me of books such as The Lamplighter, The Wide Wide World and others from that era that I enjoy. It was written in such a way that younger girls 12+ would enjoy it just as much as I did. And I am in my 20's! The societal and family issues that are portrayed were fascinating.

As a compliment to the author, I fought through an hour of intense eye-strain to finish this book it was so good and I didn't want to leave wi
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Kellyn Roth is a Christian historical women's fiction and romance author. Sound boring? Well, she includes lots of adorable children and mischievous animals—as well as a generous dose of BBC-style drama.

Kell lives on a ranch in North-Eastern Oregon with her family, crazy border collies, conceited fluffy cat, and assorted cows and chickens.

Other than authoring, she blogs, teaches young writers to


Other books in the series

The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy (5 books)
  • Ivy Introspective (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy #2)
  • At Her Fingertips (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, #3)
  • Beyond Her Calling (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, #4)
  • A Prayer Unanswered (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy #5)

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