Christian Fiction Devourers discussion

note: This topic has been closed to new comments.
27 views
Archived Group Buddy Reads 2019 > September's Group Buddy Read - The Seamstress by Allison Pittman

Comments Showing 1-20 of 20 (20 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new)

Staci | 1633 comments Mod
September's Group Buddy Read is The Seamstress by Allison Pittman.

A summary of the novel...

A beautifully crafted story breathes life into the cameo character from the classic novel A Tale of Two Cities.

France, 1788
It is the best of times . . .

On a tranquil farm nestled in the French countryside, two orphaned cousins—Renée and Laurette—have been raised under the caring guardianship of young Émile Gagnon, the last of a once-prosperous family. No longer starving girls, Laurette and Renée now spend days tending Gagnon's sheep, and nights in their cozy loft, whispering secrets and dreams in this time of waning innocence and peace.

It is the worst of times . . .

Paris groans with a restlessness that can no longer be contained within its city streets. Hunger and hatred fuel her people. Violence seeps into the ornate halls of Versailles. Even Gagnon’s table in the quiet village of Mouton Blanc bears witness to the rumbles of rebellion, where Marcel Moreau embodies its voice and heart.

It is the story that has never been told.

In one night, the best and worst of fate collide. A chance encounter with a fashionable woman will bring Renée’s sewing skills to light and secure a place in the court of Queen Marie Antoinette. An act of reckless passion will throw Laurette into the arms of the increasingly militant Marcel. And Gagnon, steadfast in his faith in God and country, can only watch as those he loves march straight into the heart of the revolution.


message 2: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new)

Staci | 1633 comments Mod
I'll be filling in for Beth this month as she focuses on school. Who's in for this month's buddy read? Have you read other Pittman novels?


message 3: by Kate (new)

Kate (liahonagirl) | 380 comments I'm in for this one! I absolutely loved 'Tale of Two Cities' when I read it in high school, and am intrigued to see where the author goes with this novel.
I *thought* I had read an Allison Pittman novel previous to this, but after a look through her author page on GR, I can't find anything. haha


message 4: by Beth, Head Librarian (new)

Beth | 2212 comments Mod
I started this one today in hopes that I can still participate in discussion. :) Good so far.


message 5: by Christine (last edited Sep 08, 2019 07:04PM) (new)

Christine | 463 comments I am reading this now and am having a hard time putting it down :)! This is my first book by Allison Pittman.


message 6: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new)

Staci | 1633 comments Mod
Just started today!


message 7: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new)

Staci | 1633 comments Mod
Good news! It sounds like Allison Pittman will be able to join our discussion!!!


message 8: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new)

Staci | 1633 comments Mod
It's September 15 and time to begin our discussion. I've taken the questions from the end of the novel:

1. The Seamstress was inspired by a minor character in Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities. Have you read that novel? If so, did The Seamstress change anything about your view of that story? Is there another Dickens novel that is a particular favorite of yours?

2. Marie Antoinette is portrayed sympathetically throughout the story. How often do you think there is a difference between a high visible figure's private life and public persona? What effect do you think the passage of time has on our perceptions?

3. Do you think Renee's decision to remain with the queen stemmed from compassion or was it motivated by pride?

4. Patriotism and love of country can take many forms. How would you compare and contract Gagnon, Marcel and Bertrand in terms of their love and dedication to their country?

5. In general should people in positions of power choose their duty to their nation over the well-being of their family? Why or why not?

6. What do you think motivates Marcel to get involved in the revolutionary cause? What motivates him in his relationships with others? Is there anything about him you admire?

7. Despite a series of bad decisions, Laurette fins herself with a safe, blessed life. Can you think of a time when God turned a bad choice into a blessing for you or someone you care about?

8. Suppose Renee's final "confession" could have saved her from the guillotine. Did she made the right decision in refusing this offer of help from Marcel?

9. Should Christians ever consider disobedience to authorities a righteous act?


message 9: by Kate (new)

Kate (liahonagirl) | 380 comments 1. The Seamstress was inspired by a minor character in Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities. Have you read that novel? If so, did The Seamstress change anything about your view of that story? Is there another Dickens novel that is a particular favorite of yours?
~I read 'Tale' around 30 years ago, and I honestly don't remember this character. That said, this novel makes me want to go back and re-read the Dickens so I can figure out how she fits into the story.

2. Marie Antoinette is portrayed sympathetically throughout the story. How often do you think there is a difference between a high visible figure's private life and public persona? What effect do you think the passage of time has on our perceptions?
~I'm not so sure that it's a matter of private life vs public persona as much as an issue of private life vs *PERCEIVED* public persona. I couldn't help but be reminded of the so-called 'gossip rags' we have today that have this and that tidbit about 'celebs' when I read what people were reported as saying about Marie in this novel. So much of what we 'think' we know about a celebrity isn't actually the truth.

3. Do you think Renee's decision to remain with the queen stemmed from compassion or was it motivated by pride?
~I think it was likely a combination of both compassion and pride. She saw the goodness of the queen, but also relished her own place as one of the queen's 'pets'.

9. Should Christians ever consider disobedience to authorities a righteous act?
~I think as Christians, we should absolutely follow the laws of the land to the best of our abilities. However, there may be circumstances where we would be required to break unjust laws. I'm thinking of all the wonderful people who at the peril of their own lives (and breaking the laws of the occupying forces), harboured and saved Jews during WWII. Also along the same lines are those who broke the Fugitive Slave Act during the mid 1800s in the United States so that they (the law breakers) could help slaves reach freedom. Our loyalty is to God and Christ first and forever . . . kingdoms and countries will eventually fail . . . but the Kingdom of God is everlasting.


message 10: by Beth, Head Librarian (new)

Beth | 2212 comments Mod
I finished The Seamstress this past weekend, and I loved it. Five amazing stars from me. Due to some circumstances going on in my life right now, I feel like I finished the book in the exact time that I needed to. The ending was profound for me, and it moved me to tears.

Hopefully I'll be able to come back and answer some questions this weekend! :)


message 11: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new)

Staci | 1633 comments Mod
Kate wrote: "1. The Seamstress was inspired by a minor character in Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities. Have you read that novel? If so, did The Seamstress change anything about your view of that story? Is ..."

Kate, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I completely agree about today's celebrities. We likely know very little about what their lives are truly like.


message 12: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new)

Staci | 1633 comments Mod
Beth wrote: "I finished The Seamstress this past weekend, and I loved it. Five amazing stars from me. Due to some circumstances going on in my life right now, I feel like I finished the book in the exact time t..."

Beth, I am delighted that The Seamstress spoke to you just when you needed it. God has a way of lining up comfort for us. Look forward to your comments.


message 13: by jenn (new)

jenn | 214 comments I just finished this book. I've only read one other story written by this author, The Offering, and I thought both of these stories were good. I definitely plan to read more of her books. I'll be back with responses to the discussion questions.


message 14: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new)

Staci | 1633 comments Mod
Glad you joined Jenn!


message 15: by Allison (new)

Allison (allisonkpittman) | 2 comments Hey, all! I'm late joining the discussion, but first--thank you so much for investing time in reading The Seamstress! I love the comment about Seamstress being the right book, right time, right message--God always has a word for us when we most need it. That's the lovely things about books, right? They never go away, so the words are always there waiting


message 16: by Allison (new)

Allison (allisonkpittman) | 2 comments jenn wrote: "I just finished this book. I've only read one other story written by this author, The Offering, and I thought both of these stories were good. I definitely plan to read more of her books. I'll be b..."

The Offering is a prequel to my novel Loving Luther, which will be a Kindle deal starting october 1 ;)


message 17: by jenn (new)

jenn | 214 comments Oh cool! I've been wanting to read Loving Luther. Thanks :)


message 18: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (lizr8900) | 227 comments I finished this morning and the ending really knocked me off my feet. I love it when a book can make me tear up a bit. Such beautiful writing and the character arcs were so wonderful. I loved the way the "epilogue" was delivered.

I've never read a Tale of Two Cities but I think I have to now. I may binge read a few other books set during the French Revolution.


message 19: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new)

Staci | 1633 comments Mod
We'll soon be wrapping up our discussion. Does anyone have questions or comments for Allison?


message 20: by jenn (last edited Nov 10, 2019 05:31AM) (new)

jenn | 214 comments I loved how we were able to see the Queen in a different light and be able to see her as a more complex person, compassionate towards some that were suffering. I actually haven't read much about her before, though I think she wasn't well-liked, and I'd like to read more about her life and the history of France during this time. Such a sad story.

My favorite person in the story was Gagnon: his steadfastness and faith in God, his strong character. He found his peace and contentment in Him.

I've never read Tale of Two Cities, but I'd like to. The only Dickens novel I've read is Bleak House, which is a favorite.

Anyways, thanks for writing this book. I enjoyed reading about this time period.


back to top
This topic has been frozen by the moderator. No new comments can be posted.