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The Paris Seamstress (Free Preview: Chapters 1-4)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  1,135 ratings  ·  132 reviews
For readers of Lilac Girls and The Nightingale comes a World War II novel that spans generations, crosses oceans, and proves just how much two young women are willing to sacrifice for love and family.

1940: As the Germans advance upon Paris, young seamstress Estella Bissette is forced to flee everything she's ever known. She's bound for New York City with her signature
Kindle Edition, 464 pages
Published August 11th 2018 by Forever
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Patricia No, because each time there's a character/time change, it is noted with the date at the top of the section. If I didn't read it for a while, I simply…moreNo, because each time there's a character/time change, it is noted with the date at the top of the section. If I didn't read it for a while, I simply flipped back a few pages if I didn't immediately remember.(less)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,135 ratings  ·  132 reviews

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Dec 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Estella Bissette grew up in Paris dreaming of fashion and design. When she inadvertently becomes involved in transferring secret materials for the resistance, her mother persuades her to flee to America. Starting with almost nothing but determination and a couple of close friends, Estella builds a fashion empire.
Current day, Fabienne Bissette is in NYC to spend time with her grandmother, Estella. As Fabienne celebrates her grandmother's legacy, the secrets, tragedies and loves of her past are
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another look at the fashion industry during WWII and after.
Four named "characters" were indeed real people Harry Thaw (he really did the murder described). Evelyn Nesbit (she was really raped by both Harry and Stanford), John Barrymore (the actor) and Stanford White.

In the days before the Nazis stormed Paris, Estella and her mother worked in a fashion house. Estella's mother insists that Estella leave Paris and go to America to be safe. Crossing the Atlantic the ship (SS Washington) is nearly
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Estella Bissette is forced to flea Paris for America in 1940 as the Germans advance, leaving her mother and everything she knows behind. Arriving in New York City with her sewing machine, a gold dress, and a few new friends, Estella is determined to uphold the promise she made to her mother.

This section of The Paris Seamstress was so enthralling - beautifully descriptive and deeply emotional. The characters are relatable and honest, and Estella is such a strong female protagonist. I can't wait
Georgettenecessities Gmailcom
It seems I am not in the majority with my rating of this book. I purchased it because it was said to be on par with The Nightingale. The similar aspects were...Paris in World War II and women focus characters....but, to me, did not come close to a satisfying read as was The Nightingale. I was tired of all the dialogue which seemed to be merely page fillers. What I did enjoy...since I follow that era of fashion design...was the detail in description of the industry at that time. I found myself ...more
Robin Tobin (On the back porch reading)
The vivid sharing of the making of Couture Fashion and the fashion industry over the years captivated me. I feel I have been allowed a sneak peek into a very special world. This book had it all. Mystery, suspense, colorful characters, Paris and fashion
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
I had high hopes for this novel. For the most part they were not met. The present day Fabienne pages at times were sappy, hard to fathom and poorly written. I more enjoyed the Estella character but there always seemed to be an underlying element of something missing. It wasn’t until near the end that I felt more compelled to want the main characters to come back together. It was a little too late for that after slogging through 394 pages to get there. I contemplated not finishing the book but ...more
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Alleluia!! An absolutely wonderful book. A French seamstress. A British spy. An American heiress. One destiny that begins in war-torn France.
Laura Mauro
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the first historical fiction book I read in awhile and I really enjoyed it. I was really invited in both time lines and also the other characters we read through their eyes. I also really enjoyed the focus on the fashion industry and the complex relationships that we explored. I also really enjoyed the spy craft and war elements that were used throughout this novel. I also really liked how this book wa structured and how it kept swapping time lines. I really did enjoy this book, I felt ...more
Lila Smith
May 14, 2019 rated it liked it
didn't finish

In 1940, young seamstress Estella Bissette is forced to flee Paris as the Nazi’s and German army advance into her beloved city. Leaving everything she loves behind, Estella ends up in New York City with her signature gold dress she designed, a few dollars in her pocket and her dream of opening her own fashion house.

In the present day, Fabienne Bissette, Estella’s granddaughter, helps open up the Met Gala’s exhibit featuring the work of her grandmother within the fashion world. But as Fabienne
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Thought this would be more of a historical novel not a novel about fashion. Not to my liking. Did not finish it.
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
interesting story of a young lady who escapes from france during WWII because she discovers her father was an American and she was born in America-with a passport, her mother tells her to escape and start a new life but it is very hard-very good story, not only of her trials and tribulations of trying to break into the dressmaking/fashion world but her connections to France and the war
Carol Mcgrath
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a well written book with a very interesting story. Estella Bissette was forced to leave her mother in Paris after becoming involved in one incident during the war that could have cost her her life if she hadn't left. The year was 1941. Before leaving Paris she met Alex, a spy, who would play an important part in her future. Estella, while she was en route to America met a man by the name of Sam on the boat. Estella wanted to be a dress designer and Sam wanted to be cutter for a fashion ...more
Eva Thieme
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
I'm glad there are some others who weren't as enthralled with this book as the flap suggested we should. You cannot compare this with The Nightingale or even Lilac Girls. No way. There is hardly any historical fiction in it, other than briefly the fall of Paris in 1940, and some tidbits about the fashion industry in both Paris and New York in those days. Perhaps if fashion interests you, it makes for good enough of a story, but I felt the drama was contrived, the modern-day love story boring ...more
Faith Lindsey
Mar 12, 2019 rated it liked it
The book the Paris Seamstress is a heart wrenching book about a young girl in her 20's trying to make a life for herself. She goes through trials and tribulations on her way to figuring out who she is. Estella grew up in Paris, France in the 1940's during the time of Hitler's rein. Estella ended up helping out a person trying to save France which made her mother question Estella's safety. After thinking it over Estella's mom decides it is not safe for Estella to live there anymore and sends her ...more
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher that gave me the opportunity to read the first 4 chapters of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The books begins with the story of Estella, a young seamstress who, in 1940 Paris, dreams to become a fashion designer With the Germans beginning their invasion of France, and after finding herself helping the Allies, Estella is forced to flee to New York and to leave he mother behind.

These sample chapters swept me off my feet. The setting, the
Jess Brown
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is one of the most engaging books I’ve read in awhile. It wasn’t what I expected, but in all the right ways. Based on a true story during WW2, the Paris Seamstress keeps you turning the page. I fell in love with the characters more and more every chapter. As the book goes back and forth between different generations the answers to your questions slowly unfold and keep you reading to get more.
It starts in the year 1940. Estella is a seamstress in Paris who is forced to leave to America when
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This combination of fashion history, World War II, two love stories, family lost and found and historic figures like Evelyn Nesbitt and Harry Thaw, was engrossing. Using the history of MI9, the Nazi occupation of Paris and the first years of the American fashion industry as a backdrop, Lester imagines a family scarred by repeated tragedies that still built a successful business, kept its secrets, and ultimately triumphed in the fourth generation. Along the way, there are lessons in architecture, ...more
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
After reading the reviews, I thought this was going to be a great addition to my little book club. How wrong I was. 3 out 3 people hated it. The writing is descent but never feels like it's with the correct time frame and rushes through most of the scenery and world building. Also, the author loves the pronoun game of stating "he said" when there is multiple men in the room talking, got confusing ver quickly and I had to re read passages to try and understand what was happening. For a book ...more
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was an unexpected pleasure. I've been reading lots of WWII fiction, but this approaches life during that time from a different angle. It's a romance, a spy novel, historical fiction, a coming-of-age novel in some respects, all focusing on fashion in France and in New York. The writing style is not particularly noteworthy, but it's a true page turner. Were I to read it again, however, I'd keep notes about the characters. That was the one difficulty I had: figuring out who was related to ...more
May 21, 2019 rated it liked it

The Paris Seamstress consists of two alternating plot lines throughout the book. One thread involves Estella Bissette, a young Paris seamstress who must flee to New York during WWII as Nazis invade France. The other thread involves Fabienne Bissette, Estella's granddaughter, who lives in Australia and travels to New York to see her dying grandmother.

Estella's story drives the book forward with dynamic events and developed characters. The plot around Fabienne slows the story's pace and feels like

Sally Stanton
Oct 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Really 3.5 stars not quite 4 stars. First, I will say that I enjoyed listening to this book as the storyline was interesting with lots of different turns throughout the story. I definitely preferred the 1940's characters, plot, and fashion angle over the present day, granddaughter's scenario, which was just a good conduit to discovering the untold mysteries from the past. The modern love story was really underwhelming and probably unnecessary.
I would recommend this book for an fun and
Carolyn Stumpf
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received these 4 chapters to read in advance, and let me tell you, I read them and wanted more, so I purchased the book! Estella is such an inspiring and strong main character and I can’t wait to find out what happens to her. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction set during WWII. I cannot wait to read more and find out how the storylines play out. I’ve not read many books in this genre that are set in the U.S. and am interested to see how the war going on will ...more
Feb 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-books
3.5 stars

Estella Bissette flees Paris in 1940 with little but her custom signature dress, her sewing machine and a few francs leaving behind her mother and her life. In New York she attempts to make a life as a designer, but once in New York she learns the truth about her parents.

In the present day Fabienne, Estella's granddaughter, mourning the recent loss of her father, begins to discover the layers of family secrets.

I enjoyed this book. It was a relatively quick read. Some of the story line
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
From teasing Marie in the atelier, to singing in the jazz club in her newly-made gold dress, Estella quickly drew me in to her story. The tension mounted when she was asked by as dying man man to pass on information to the nightjar. Oh my, the story flew off the page as I read these four chapters in one sitting. As the German army marched into France, her mother packed her off to America, where dreams of being a rising star in the fashion industry awaited.
With her dear Maman and beloved Paris
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a wonderful read! The story that follows several generations of women both in France and in the US during both the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, is an amazing feat. The tale starts in Paris where a mother and daughter work in the fashion industry just as the Nazis are coming into the city. I'm so glad I read this complex and twisted story. I would recommend it to all, and for those who do not favor WWII tales relax, it has less to do with the war and more to do with family history ...more
Jan 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: wwii
The book I read was actually the full book, not sure why this shows preview. Anyway, the story primarily of Estella and her travels from Paris to several parts of the world to be safe from WW2 although she finds herself and her mother intertwined deeply in the movement of the war. Her dreams are to be a famous designer in New York in her pursuit she discovers someone who looks almost exactly like her and thus secrets of the past begin to unravel. Includes flash forward to her grandchildren and ...more
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I couldn’t put this book down! I loved the characters, the rich descriptions of locations, the mystery surrounding the characters, everything! It was a sweeping historical romance. There are lots of WWII books out there, but this one did a great job of placing a beautiful plot line within the context of the war. I loved how fashion was woven throughout the book and enjoyed this fresh approach to viewing an aspect of WWII.
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved that the Paris Seamstress revolves around fashion. At times though I think that the author forgot that maybe not all readers are well versed in French or fashion/sewing terminology. It made for a little confusion at times. However that’s a small detail easily overlooked compared to the novel in whom. This was full of romance and heartache. A few extra characters and plot points were unnecessary I believe but overall this was a enjoyable read
Sarah Siler
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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Natasha Lester is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of THE PARIS ORPHAN / THE FRENCH PHOTOGRAPHER and THE PARIS SEAMSTRESS.

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 novel, the bestselling A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald, was published in 2016. This was