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The Paris Seamstress

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  12,247 ratings  ·  1,376 reviews
How much will a young Parisian seamstress sacrifice to make her mark in the male-dominated world of 1940s New York fashion? From the bestselling author of A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald and Her Mother's Secret.

1940. Parisian seamstress Estella Bissette is forced to flee France as the Germans advance. She is bound for Manhattan with a few francs, one suitcase, her sewing machine
Kindle Edition, 448 pages
Published March 27th 2018 by Hachette Australia
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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Estella Bissette was a seamstress, working with her mother at the atelier in Paris. It was all she had known, having grown up with a needle in her hand and her mother's fashion by her side. But Germany's approach on France in 1940 saw Estella flee the only home she'd known, heading to Manhattan on the SS Washington - the last American ship to leave French waters.

When Fabienne Bissette arrived in Manhattan from Sydney for the Gala of her grandmother, Estella's work in 2015, she was once again sho
Historical fiction is fast becoming my favourite genre and after reading this magnificent book, it's not hard to see why.

The Paris Seamstress by Aussie author Natasha Lester took me on a wonderful journey unlike any other. My warning to anyone who intends to read this book is to prepare yourself for a heartbreaking and emotional roller coaster ride and make sure you hang on tight with both hands. No amount of words will do this book justice, hence I will finish by saying this book was an OUTSTA
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
3.5 stars

Natasha Lester is known for her historical romance novels which feature strong, independent female characters.

 The main character of The Paris Seamstress is Estella Bissette, who in 1940 manages to get out of the soon to be occupied Paris, on the last boat to New York. She's got limited funds but she dreams that one day she'll get to be a clothes designer. During her sea voyage to New York she meets a young man, Sam, who is very interested in clothes cutting. A happy coincidence. Este
Kristin Hackett (Merrily Kristin)
This is my first five star read of the year and it's so well deserved! I really loved this story. It's another dual timeline historical fiction novel and while parts of it take place in Paris, a vast majority takes place in New York. Having gone to college for fashion, I adored getting an inside look at the Garment District in it's heyday. It was so enjoyable to read about all of the different cuts of fabric, the embellishments and how America ripped off French designs and were obsessed with how ...more
Mel (Epic Reading)
I was blown away by The Paris Seamstress. I read a lot of WWII, female perspective fiction. I enjoy learning about the challenges overcome, feel that reading historical fiction helps honour those that came before and teaches us what to do or not to do in the future. Usually in a WWII book you are prepared to be emotionally wrung out by the end or even in the first 10%. The Paris Seamstress is different. It's not any less impactful but it's a very different story from a different outlook on WWII ...more
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was a bit of a slog for me and took me a lot longer to finish it than I thought it would. I found it hard going, one dimensional and flat.

My reasons?

I found the writing clumsy and ham-fisted. Lester was too busy telling us to show us. She was telling us how beautiful dresses were, how beautiful scenery was, how beautiful characters were and how ugly a few were. It is sometimes necessary to tell, but as a general rule, writing is at its best when it shows. There was way too much telli
Dale Harcombe
1940, as the Germans advance towards France, Estelle Bissette has to leave her beloved mother and her homeland and travel to America. She sets out with a sewing machine, a head full of plans and dreams and not a lot else. She wants to bring the flair of Paris fashions to America. But it is not an easy road. Her life is complicated more when she meets a dashing, but enigmatic man. The second story is set in 2015 with Australian curator attending the annual Met gala for her dearly loved grandmothe ...more
Oh, the feels. Oh how I LOVE LOVE LOVE Estella... and at first I loved Estella so much that when Fabienne came into the picture, I was highly disappointed, but by the end, I loved her as well. The wonderfully woven secrets and the journeys I have traveled with these two women. This was beautifully written and had a classical approach to fashion that felt timeless. I loved the language it was told in and descriptive ways that helped connect me to the story. I truly loved this book and the way tha ...more
Karen ⊰✿
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Flipping back and forth between the early years of WWII and 2015, this novel follows the lives of Estella fleeing from occupied France to New York City ; and Fabienne, her granddaughter in Australia who has uncovered a family secret.

Lester first got on my radar with A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald, and at the time we were doing an author Q&A with her so I went back and read her first two novels. I'm disappointed to say that I feel her earlier work was much better. It was emotive and thought provoking.
RoseMary Achey
Oct 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Many authors are using the dual time format, some more effectively than others. Natasha Lester's use of this structure could have been improved. At times it was clumsy and difficult to follow.

In addition, she overused coincidences. I found myself rereading several passages thinking clearly this was way to convenient and highly improbable.

However, that being said-this is a page turner. If nothing more than the reader wants to unravel the mysteries set forth. I wound the male characters a bit to
Kate Forsyth
A dual-timeline novel that moves between the 1940s and contemporary times, The Paris Seamstress is a gorgeously rich and romantic novel about young women finding their way in the world.

The story begins with Estella Bissette, a young apprentice seamstress working with her mother at a fashion designer’s atelier in Paris. Her metier is creating silk flowers, but she dreams of designing her own dresses and takes every opportunity to practise her craft. But the Nazis are closing on France, and no-one
Veronica ⭐️
3.5 stars
I love Natasha Lester’s books so I didn’t even read the blurb. I just jumped straight in. I immediately became engrossed in Estella’s story and was quite shocked when the story jumped to 2015 and Fabienne. I think this, in turn, made me a little less interested in Fabienne’s story.

The Paris Seamstress is a look at fashion during the 1940’s and how many companies copied designs from the big Parisian fashion houses and reproduced them. Paris was the fashion capitol of the world.
The story
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘Always be who you are right now.’

Two women, Estella Bissette and her granddaughter Fabienne Bissette. Two interconnected stories spanning seventy-five years.

In 1940, Estella Bissette flees from Paris as the Germans advance. She leaves for Manhattan with very little money, one suitcase and her sewing machine. Estella dreams of one day having her own atelier. In 2015, Fabienne Bissette travels from Australia to the annual Met Gala for an exhibition of her grandmother’s work. Estella Bissette had
Literary Redhead
I’ve been waiting breathlessly to read THE PARIS SEAMSTRESS and thrilled to finally receive a review copy. Natasha Lester’s lush language and sweeping story from 1940 France to the present captivates from page one. If I could give this wonderful story of two brave women set across generations 10 stars, I gladly would. Most highly recommended!

Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the review copy.

#TheParisSeamstress #NetGalley
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you love being transported back in time to another world, you will fall in love with Natasha Lester’s latest historical fiction, The Paris Seamstress.

The novel plays out like a black and white movie from days gone by, with a mix of class, charm, action, intrigue, and of course, heart. You an almost see stars like Ava Gardner or Cary Grant in the lead roles, with the romantic streets of Paris and sophistication of New York’s Fifth Avenue in 1941 as their backdrop.

The story line switches betwee
Lynn Horton
Nov 18, 2018 rated it liked it
The Paris Seamstress was my first of Lester's books, and I was looking forward to the read after finding glowing reviews here and on Amazon.

Lester's a talented writer, and I have no quarrel with her skill. My problem is with the storyline and characters, whom I struggled to like or relate to.

The young Estelle is selfish, (sometimes) clueless, and unappealingly self-absorbed. I pushed through her shallowness in the beginning of the book because I wanted to see what the hype was about. Thankfull
The Nerd Daily
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Teralyn Mitchell

It took me almost a week to read the first chapter of The Paris Seamstress. For some reason, it took me some time to get into the book but once I did, I found it hard to put this one down. Natasha Lester is a genius at weaving a story full angst, secrets, and such strong characters you can’t help but fall in love with them and root for them. The Paris Seamstress follows Estella and Fabienne and switches between 1940 and 2015. Est
The Cats’ Mother
I’m giving this 4 stars despite not loving it, because it is good, and it’s not the book’s fault that I wasn’t really in the mood for historical fiction and really only want to read thrillers just now. It it weren’t a NetGalley book, I would have left it for another time. I don’t really read much romance, and had I realised that this was in essence a double love story, rather than the tale of a woman entering the man’s world of WW2 era fashion, I would not have requested it.

Told in alternating s
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
Thank you Netgalley and Little Brown Book Group for the ARC.

The Paris Seamstress is a story of fabulous fun and heartbreaking sadness in times of war. Combine this with a good mystery, et voìla: historical fiction at its best!

The book first takes us to 1940's Paris where we get to know Estella and her mother Jeanne and their life as seamstresses for the big names in fashion.
When war is closing in on Paris, Jeanne sends her daughter to New York. Estella soon makes friends and life in the Garment
The Paris Seamstress is a dual time line book, that ranges in setting from Paris to New York to Australia. One era is the war years - and the effects on France especially. The other era is one recent and modern. And through the years there is the mystery of family and friendships. It tracks the endeavours of one woman - Estelle and her love of designing dresses and other clothing. When she finds herself in New York her journey begins.

The story is a huge roller coaster. There are highs and lows,
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Paris Seamstress is a fantastic read by Natasha Lester.

Set in two different time-zones; 1940's Paris, France and New York to 2015.

You'll be swept away into another world of historical fiction, fashion designs, (learn all about cutting and sketching) fashion shows and the finest fabrics of plush velvet and gold to flowers set into the fabric of the 1940's.

It's an era when war is on and hard times hit France and New York starts to take over the Paris fashion scene with new ideas.

There's jazz p
Tanja ~ KT Book Reviews
A beautifully written historical romance filled with all the trappings of the era.

A perfect romanticized look into a relationship during the war and how it's secrets are unfolded in the present. I really loved the duality of the narrative as well.

This would make for one hell of a travel read.

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Kerran Olson
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Well I thought I couldn't become more emotionally invested in Natasha Lester's characters than I did in her previous novels, and yet here I am wiping away tears at midnight having just finished the Paris Seamstress. This book is beautiful, with such strong characters, and such an intricately woven and fascinating premise. The dual narratives worked so well together, and I loved that I learned so much about fashion history. I really think that the characters grew so much throughout the course of ...more
Kali Napier
What Natasha Lester does so well in her books is to create strong, gutsy female characters, who are driven to succeed, not just for the external rewards of fame and fortune, but by a desire to make a mark, to prove to the men of the world that women are worth a damn, and by their faith in love. Natasha has done it again with The Paris Seamstress, and like her previous two books, most of the story takes place in New York – that golden city where dreams can come true. However, unlike her previous ...more
The Paris Seamstress starts in World War Two Paris, on the brink of invasion. Estella continues her work at the atelier without much notice of the war, her attention captured by silks and sketches. Soon she is caught in what we must assume is Resistance operations, and she flees the country on her convenient yet unknown American birth papers, leaving her mother behind without much protestation. She leaves Europe without ever convincingly facing up to the horrors of war, much more interested in h ...more
Fofi Meehan
Jun 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
I really wanted to like this book but unfortunately I didn't. Although there was potential the convoluted and ludicrous back story surrounding the mystery of Estella's background just drove me bananas and about half way through I decided not waste any more brain cells on this book and simply pulled the plug. ...more
Theresa Smith
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aww2018
The Paris Seamstress is my favourite novel from Natasha Lester so far. I loved it, was completely captivated from start to finish, barely even registering the pages that were flying by. There’s a total immersion aspect to this novel that is all too rare. Natasha doesn’t just write about her chosen topic and set it in an arbitrary place; she plunges you into that world, visiting the places and experiencing as much of the life she’s writing about as possible, securing a level of authenticity only ...more
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite-books
Wow Natasha what a novel!
This had me completely engrossed and after indulging in 2 hours of reading this morning to finish it over 2 coffees and my breakfast, I have been in my own world and needed the rest of the day to process, absorb and emotionally recover from this beautiful, at times heartbreaking and fascinating story.
I absolutely loved this historical romance which was told in 2 different time frames and just admired Estella and her grandaughter Fabienne's creativity, talent and strong c
Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

The Paris Seamstress by Natasha Lester. (2018).

In 1940 Estella, a Parisian seamstress, is forced to flee France as the Germans advance. She heads to Manhatten with a dream to have her own atelier (workshop). In 2015 Fabienne, an Australian curator, attends an exhibition of the design work of her beloved grandmother and following this starts to learn more about her grandmother's past which is a tale of love, tragedy, heartbreak and secrets.

This one has quite the rese
Patricia Sands
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Savour this slowly

A well-researched story that needs to be read slowly, in order to absorb the rich details of characters and narrative. Bravo!
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Natasha Lester is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of THE PARIS SEAMSTRESS, THE PARIS ORPHAN / THE FRENCH PHOTOGRAPHER and THE PARIS SECRET. Her new book, THE RIVIERA HOUSE, is coming in August 2021.

Prior to writing, she worked as a marketing executive for L’Oreal, managing the Maybelline brand, before returning to university to study creative writing.

Her first historical nove

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