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The Dressmaker
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Previous BRs - Authors; A - D > Alcott, Kate - The Dressmaker - Start Date June 12th 2012

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message 1: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (last edited Sep 13, 2012 04:59PM) (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 30934 comments Mod
description
This topic will be open for discussion of The Dressmaker: A Novel by Kate Alcott on June 12th.

Goodreads Description:
Just in time for the centennial anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic comes a vivid, romantic, and relentlessly compelling historical novel about a spirited young woman who survives the disaster only to find herself embroiled in the media frenzy left in the wake of the tragedy.

Tess, an aspiring seamstress, thinks she's had an incredibly lucky break when she is hired by famous designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon to be a personal maid on the Titanic's doomed voyage. Once on board, Tess catches the eye of two men, one a roughly-hewn but kind sailor and the other an enigmatic Chicago millionaire. But on the fourth night, disaster strikes.

Amidst the chaos and desperate urging of two very different suitors, Tess is one of the last people allowed on a lifeboat. Tess’s sailor also manages to survive unharmed, witness to Lady Duff Gordon’s questionable actions during the tragedy. Others—including the gallant Midwestern tycoon—are not so lucky.

On dry land, rumors about the survivors begin to circulate, and Lady Duff Gordon quickly becomes the subject of media scorn and later, the hearings on the Titanic. Set against a historical tragedy but told from a completely fresh angle, The Dressmaker is an atmospheric delight filled with all the period's glitz and glamour, all the raw feelings of a national tragedy and all the contradictory emotions of young love.


message 2: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 30934 comments Mod
Reading Schedule:
TBD shortly


message 3: by Rachel (last edited Jun 10, 2012 09:02PM) (new)

Rachel (treychel) | 1484 comments How does this look? Too much, doable, just right? The last day is 60 pages. I wasn't sure if we would want to leave the last chapter for another day. All other days are around 50, some are actually less than 50.


Date Chapters Pages

June 12 1-2 pg. 1-46
June 13 3-4 pg. 47-98
June 14 5-7 pg. 99-150
June 15 8-10 pg. 151-194
June 16 11-13 pg. 195-243
June 17 14-17(End) pg. 244-304



Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 15159 comments Looks good to me, Rachel!


Mary (merinwe) | 1043 comments That looks good to me, too! Looking forward to it. I got my copy from the library just in time (today). I'm glad I put it on hold a long time ago, heh.


Laura (lglovett) | 1437 comments I am hoping to get my copy from the library today.


Stefani (steffiebaby140) | 807 comments Woo hoo, my ghost toy monkey made me totally forget this was tomorrow!


message 8: by Sashana (new)

Sashana Lol


Mary (merinwe) | 1043 comments So I borrowed the ebook version of this from my library. Did anyone else get this on Kindle? The very first word is a typo...


message 10: by Mack (new) - added it

Mack | 3 comments I'll be getting it in like 2 days...library


message 11: by Sashana (new)

Sashana Mary wrote: "So I borrowed the ebook version of this from my library. Did anyone else get this on Kindle? The very first word is a typo..."

What was the first word and how was it written?


message 12: by Lisarenee (new)

Lisarenee | 7659 comments Stefani wrote: "Woo hoo, my ghost toy monkey made me totally forget this was tomorrow!"

Too funny.




message 13: by Mary (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mary (merinwe) | 1043 comments The first word was the main character's name, Tess, but it was written as Jess. Heh.


Laura (lglovett) | 1437 comments Mary wrote: "The first word was the main character's name, Tess, but it was written as Jess. Heh."

I am pretty sure that is just the font.


message 15: by Lisarenee (new)

Lisarenee | 7659 comments I don't know which of us mods were slated to write the first days questions so give me a few minutes and I'll put some up.


message 16: by Mary (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mary (merinwe) | 1043 comments Laura wrote: "I am pretty sure that is just the font."

No, it's definitely a typo...I looked the book up on Amazon and clicked on the "Look Inside!" sample. The Kindle version has the typo, not the print version. Ah well. Maybe they saw the big, curly T and got confused when translating.


message 17: by Sashana (new)

Sashana Mary wrote: "No, it's definitely a typo...I looked the book up on Amazon and clicked on the "Look Inside!" sample. The Kindle version has the typo, not th..."

It does look like a J but I'm going to also have to agree with Laura and say it's a font. A confusing, overly fancy, font.


message 18: by Lisarenee (last edited Jun 13, 2012 08:42AM) (new)

Lisarenee | 7659 comments
Questions for Chapter 1 - 2
1) What was your first impression of Tess? Do you think you could leave everything behind to start a new life in another country by yourself?

2) What is your first impression of Lucille? Would you want to work for her?

3) Do you think it was wise of Tess to burn her ties to her former employer?

4) Have you ever seen pictures of what the inside of the Titanic looked like? The first one looks to be part of a museum display. The second may or may not be an old photo:



5) Thoughts of
Jacob Astor Bremerton? Seems to have an unusual interest in Tess.

6) Were you disappointed that a larger portion of the book wasn't spent on the ship before it sunk?

7) What did you think of the chaos of the boats? Were you shocked and/or surprised that Lucille's boat left without Tess?

8) Thoughts on the women taking over the rowing? Did you like the fact Tess ended up in the Unsinkable Molly Brown's lifeboat?



message 19: by Mary (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mary (merinwe) | 1043 comments Sashana wrote: "It does look like a J but I'm going to also have to agree with Laura and say it's a font. A confusing, overly fancy, font. "

I think I'm just confusing everyone, haha. Maybe this issue was fixed quickly and only a few copies have the error. The Kindle copy I have doesn't have the big, fancy, confusing T, nor does the Kindle sample on Amazon (not the sample for the print copy). It just has a regular, plain J, making it Jess. The print copy is the one with the curly T. I think when it was translated from book to ebook, someone mistook the curly T for a J, or something. Anyway, this isn't very important. I just thought it was a pretty funny mistake, as mistakes go.

Did anyone else have an urge to listen to the Titanic soundtrack while reading this? I was pretty obsessed with it (the soundtrack, not the movie) after it came out and it remains one of my favorites.


Laura (lglovett) | 1437 comments Questions for Chapter 1 - 2
1) What was your first impression of Tess? Do you think you could leave everything behind to start a new life in another country by yourself?
I would like to say that I could but I am not sure. I think Tess is a very interesting character. She doesn't seem like your typical flawless main character to me.

2) What is your first impression of Lucille? Would you want to work for her?
Lucille seems to be a complete witch at one time and then she seems to be like a mentor who cares at other times. I am not sure that I would be able to work for someone like her. I like to know exactly how people feel about me and my work. I don't like wishy washyness.

3) Do you think it was wise of Tess to burn her ties to her former employer?
I have done it before and I don't think its going to come back and bite her in this book.

4) Have you ever seen pictures of what the inside of the Titanic looked like? I have always been fascinated by the Titanic and things having to do with it. I have read several books on the subject and I love fiction about it. I have looked up pictures before. I think the second picture is an actual picture of the grand staircase. There was a picture of it that survived.

5) Thoughts of Jacob Astor? Seems to have an unusual interest in Tess.I am going to have to go back and look at this, I don't remember Jacob Astor having an interest in Tess. I must have missed it.

6) Were you disappointed that a larger portion of the book wasn't spent on the ship before it sunk?
I have read plenty of fiction books that deal primarily with the sinking, so I love that this author has decided to focus on a different aspect of the story.

7) What did you think of the chaos of the boats? Were you shocked and/or surprised that Lucille's boat left without Tess?
I wasn't surprised. It seemed like she was all about herself from the get go.

8) Thoughts on the women taking over the rowing? Did you like the fact Tess ended up in the Unsinkable Molly Brown's lifeboat?
I loved it! I am hoping that she shows back up in the book later on. I have always loved the musical "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" and I find her fascinating. I find it a bit pathetic that the sailors on the boat didn't step up to the plate.


Laura (lglovett) | 1437 comments Mary wrote: "Sashana wrote: "It does look like a J but I'm going to also have to agree with Laura and say it's a font. A confusing, overly fancy, font. "

I think I'm just confusing everyone, haha. Maybe this i..."


Thats odd Mary. I am surprised they didn't catch something so simple.


message 22: by Laura (last edited Jun 12, 2012 06:35PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Laura (lglovett) | 1437 comments Here is a picture of Lady Duff Gordon:

description


Stefani (steffiebaby140) | 807 comments Questions for Chapter 1 - 2
1) What was your first impression of Tess? Do you think you could leave everything behind to start a new life in another country by yourself?

I like Tess, she seems bright and witty and crafty. I think I could do it for an adventure, but my old life (namely my mother) would just move with me lol. She's already threatened it if I move out of the state, let alone the country.

2) What is your first impression of Lucille? Would you want to work for her?

I am not quite sure what to make of her yet. She seems like a massive drama queen but I think she has a good heart really.

3) Do you think it was wise of Tess to burn her ties to her former employer?

Not when she had no idea if she could get on the ship, what if she couldn't find anything! But once she had another option it sounds like a good choice to me.

4) Have you ever seen pictures of what the inside of the Titanic looked like? The first one looks to be part of a museum display. The second may or may not be an old photo:

I am a huge Titanic buff, so I have seen all the pictures and recreations and it was just stunning. It always surprises me the most the distinction in treatment and accomodations between the classes. That is how the world worked then, but its still striking when you actually see it. But even in the worst part of the Titanic it was probably grander than anything most of these people had ever seen before.



5) Thoughts of Jacob Astor? Seems to have an unusual interest in Tess.

I must have missed it too, because the only person I noticed taking an interest in Tess was Bremerton. Did I miss something lol.

6) Were you disappointed that a larger portion of the book wasn't spent on the ship before it sunk?

I rather suspected it honestly, but I was most surprised by how quickly the actual sinking was moved over. That is a writer's dream when it comes to drama and tension, and it was over in like 6 pages!

7) What did you think of the chaos of the boats? Were you shocked and/or surprised that Lucille's boat left without Tess?

Not surprised. I imagine it would be complete chaos. They knew they didn't have enough lifeboats for everyone, yet everyone was now in a panic to get on a boat. According to actual accounts more than half of the lifeboats left with only a handful of people rather than their capacity of 65. Sad really that no one took it seriously until it was too late.

8) Thoughts on the women taking over the rowing? Did you like the fact Tess ended up in the Unsinkable Molly Brown's lifeboat?

Molly Brown is a great character seems a lot like Tess in some ways, so I enjoyed seeing the two of them together. I loved seeing them give the men a hypothetical slap in the face that they were not doing their job.


Stefani (steffiebaby140) | 807 comments Mary wrote: "Did anyone else have an urge to listen to the Titanic soundtrack while reading this? I was pretty obsessed with it (the soundtrack, not the movie) after it came out and it remains one of my favorites."

Yes, I did lol. My Heart Will Go On was running through my head for much of today's reading. And a few times I couldn't help thinking, "Okay, but where is Jack!". Titanic buff and fan of the movie, what can I say lol.


message 25: by Mary (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mary (merinwe) | 1043 comments Questions for Chapter 1 - 2
1) What was your first impression of Tess? Do you think you could leave everything behind to start a new life in another country by yourself?
I like Tess, for the most part. She seems like a strong character. I like that, upon realizing how bad her situation was (not being paid for sewing, the mistress's randy son), she decided she would do anything to change it. She was very brave, walking up to Lady Duff Gordon and offering up her services. I don't know if I could have done what she did, but my life is nowhere near as bleak.

2) What is your first impression of Lucille? Would you want to work for her?
Alright, so I had no clue Lady Duff Gordon was not a fictional character until Laura posted that picture of the real Lady Duff Gordon. A lot of things make sense now, namely why the name "Duff Gordon" sounded so familiar. I agree with Laura on this one...I don't think I could work for this lady. I enjoyed reading all of her scenes with Tess, though. I found her interesting and unpredictable.

3) Do you think it was wise of Tess to burn her ties to her former employer?
I don't think it'll matter too much. I have a feeling she's going to make a new start. Could be wrong - I honestly have no idea where this book is headed.

4) Have you ever seen pictures of what the inside of the Titanic looked like? The first one looks to be part of a museum display. The second may or may not be an old photo.
I saw a documentary on the Titanic, but it was ages ago. I love these pictures! :-)

5) Thoughts of Jacob Astor? Seems to have an unusual interest in Tess.
I don't remember Jacob Aster's interest in Tess, either. Do you mean Jack Bremerton? If so, I found him very interesting. I hope we see more of him.

6) Were you disappointed that a larger portion of the book wasn't spent on the ship before it sunk?
Not very, no. I knew that the Titanic (and its sinking, obviously) was coming, but I have no idea what's going to happen next, so the rest of the book is going to be exciting for me.

7) What did you think of the chaos of the boats? Were you shocked and/or surprised that Lucille's boat left without Tess?
Not shocked - Lucille seems to be motivated only by self-preservation, even when she’s being kind. I hope to be wrong about this. I would love for Lucille to be a much deeper character in the long run.

8) Thoughts on the women taking over the rowing? Did you like the fact Tess ended up in the Unsinkable Molly Brown's lifeboat?
I thought it was incredibly pathetic that none of the sailors knew how to row. They’re sailors. Loved that Tess and Molly Brown saved the day.


message 26: by Mary (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mary (merinwe) | 1043 comments Stefani wrote: "Yes, I did lol. My Heart Will Go On was running through my head for much of today's reading. And a few times I couldn't help thinking, "Okay, but where is Jack!". Titanic buff and fan of the movie, what can I say lol. "

I was SO obsessed with that song, you have no idea. I literally had it on repeat for months after the movie came out. My parents developed rules as to how often I could play it in their presence.


message 27: by Sashana (new)

Sashana Can y'all believe Kate Winslet doesn't like the song?

http://omg.yahoo.com/blogs/now/kate-w...


message 28: by Laura (last edited Jun 12, 2012 08:43PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Laura (lglovett) | 1437 comments Sashana wrote: "Can y'all believe Kate Winslet doesn't like the song?

http://omg.yahoo.com/blogs/now/kate-w..."


I used to love this song, now it makes me cringe. I think it was overplayed so much that I just can't even bear to hear it anymore.

Edit: I can only imagine after reading this article how much more Kate Winslet would hate the song.

However, Celine Dion is AMAZING and I love her.


message 29: by Lisarenee (new)

Lisarenee | 7659 comments Guys I think I might have gotten the names mixed up when I looked for the name. I listened to the audio so when I went to the book to get the name I picked the wrong one. Gah! Stefani, when you listed the name Bremerton I did a head smack. I had looked up some of the stories from the titanic out of curiosity and Jacob Astor must have stuck. One of the downfalls when you do the audio instead of the book. Sorry guys. *hangs head in shame* will change question by putting strike through the name so everyone knows I messed up.


Stefani (steffiebaby140) | 807 comments Sashana wrote: "Can y'all believe Kate Winslet doesn't like the song?

http://omg.yahoo.com/blogs/now/kate-w..."


Poor woman lol. I can imagine that she is sooooo burned out with Titanic in general. If I was her I'd want to scream at everyone "I've been in other stuff ya know!!". I can imagine we'll be hearing the same from Daniel Radcliffe about Harry Potter in a few years.


message 31: by Lisarenee (last edited Jun 13, 2012 02:51PM) (new)

Lisarenee | 7659 comments Questions for Chapters 3 - 4

9) The author intertwines a lot of history into her story. She is actually a reporter by profession and did a lot of research before writing this book. Does it show? So while the main character and story is fiction there are parts of nonfiction in it as well.

10) Can't imagine what it would be like to live through such a tragedy. It's so ironic that on it's maiden voyage the ship declared 'unsinkable' sunk. Do you feel the author did a good job of capturing the moment, mood, and atmosphere of what it would be like? Is there anything that really stood out for you?

11) What did you think of the picture Lady Duff Gordon tried to get Tess to take with her? Why do you think she wanted Tess in it?

12) What do you think if Jim Bonney?

13) What do you make of Lady Duff's attack of the Darlings? BTW, I looked up some of the stories from the real accounts of the Titanic and there was supposedly a man who dressed as a woman to save himself. They never did find out who it was. Would you think less of a man for dressing up as a woman to save himself? What do you think of woman and children first? Do you think people would abide by that rule today?

14) What did you think of Lucille wanting to give Tess her earrings? I thought that was weird. Would you have taken them?

15) What did you think of the lifeboat carving Jim did for Tess?



Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 15159 comments Questions for Chapter 1 – 2

1) What was your first impression of Tess? Do you think you could leave everything behind to start a new life in another country by yourself?
I like her. She has spirit and a desire to go after what she wants. If I was her age and in that position, I would have done it.

2) What is your first impression of Lucille? Would you want to work for her?
She seemed a bit snobbish; with a sense of entitlement. She also seemed bipolar, first one way then the other. No, I wouldn’t want to work for her. She appears to have a hidden agenda with regards to Tess; possibly she wants her to be one of her models/mannequins, since she is a gorgeous redhead. Too talkative with Tess (just a maid) at times to be believable, and too critical at other.

3) Do you think it was wise of Tess to burn her ties to her former employer?
Probably not, considering she didn’t have a bird in the hand when she left. Still, I don’t blame her for wanting to get away from that household.

4) Have you ever seen pictures of what the inside of the Titanic looked like? The first one looks to be part of a museum display. The second may or may not be an old photo.
Yes, I’ve seen pictures. It was stunningly beautiful.

5) Thoughts of Bremerton? Seems to have an unusual interest in Tess.
Yes, but I guess she is a beauty. Seems like he was supposed to be representative of those great minds that were lost.

6) Were you disappointed that a larger portion of the book wasn't spent on the ship before it sunk?
I knew this before I started the book.

7) What did you think of the chaos of the boats? Were you shocked and/or surprised that Lucille's boat left without Tess?
This seemed a bit rushed; I think the author could have spent a bit more time on it. So sad, so tragic; made me cry. Lucille was completely out for herself; however, from all that I’ve read of the scandal associate with her and the Titanic, this was not the issue at the time it was that she and her husband supposedly bribed the sailors in the lifeboat with them not to go back and pick up people. Maybe it was in the transcripts.

8) Thoughts on the women taking over the rowing? Did you like the fact Tess ended up in the Unsinkable Molly Brown's lifeboat?
I thought that a bit absurd. Granted, I’ve read they weren’t trained on emergency dismemberment, but one would think instinct would have had the sailors trying to row, even if they didn’t know how. Love the character, Molly Brown.


Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 15159 comments Questions for Chapters 3 – 4

9) The author intertwines a lot of history into her story. She is actually a reporter by profession and did a lot of research before writing this book. Does it show? So while the main character and story is fiction there are parts of nonfiction in it as well.
**shurgs** We’ll see. I don’t know how accurate she is of Lady Lucile Duff Gordon. I do know LLDG did actually take that photo with the sailors and was criticized for it. She is the personification of the ship itself: hubris!

10) Can't imagine what it would be like to live through such a tragedy. It's so ironic that on its maiden voyage the ship declared 'unsinkable' sunk. Do you feel the author did a good job of capturing the moment, mood, and atmosphere of what it would be like? Is there anything that really stood out for you?
The atmosphere and mood were good; however, it was too short. It could be that all the other books and movies I’ve seen played into my feel of this event. Sadly, I think that labeling it “unsinkable” was part of why people didn’t get into the lifeboats sooner; they believed the hype.

11) What did you think of the picture Lady Duff Gordon tried to get Tess to take with her? Why do you think she wanted Tess in it?
Several reasons. I think she (LLDG) started to realize it wasn’t too great of an idea; she wanted Tess to feel ‘included’ – considering she insisted that they take off without Tess; and she wanted Tess’s support; she wanted control over Tess; and she wanted to appear that she wasn’t a snob.

12) What do you think if Jim Bonney?
I like him well enough, but for the fact he likes Lennon. But, he is young, idealist, and impressionable.

13) What do you make of Lady Duff's attack of the Darlings? BTW, I looked up some of the stories from the real accounts of the Titanic and there was supposedly a man who dressed as a woman to save himself. They never did find out who it was. Would you think less of a man for dressing up as a woman to save himself? What do you think of woman and children first? Do you think people would abide by that rule today?
I think she was trying to shift the focus. Yes, I would think less of a man that did that. I think “women and children first” might still hold up for some, but nothing like the way it was back in 1912.

14) What did you think of Lucille wanting to give Tess her earrings? I thought that was weird. Would you have taken them?
Yes, weird. I can figure out if the bipolar personality of Lucille is the way she really was or if the author is afraid to commit to which way she really believed (or researched revealed) her.

15) What did you think of the lifeboat carving Jim did for Tess?
Sweet.


Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 15159 comments @Laura

#2 – Ah! GTK I’m not the only one that feels that way.

#7 – I agree.


Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 15159 comments @Stefani

#6 – Excellent point. A writer’s dream.

#7 – I didn’t particularly like it, as far as the lifeboats went. Where they full or not full? Were people clamoring to get on at the end, what about at the beginning when they were trying to get people in them?


Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 15159 comments @ Mary

#2 – Yeah, unpredictable is right! I think she is bipolar. Of course, a lot of über successful people are.

#7 – Good point about her self-preservation even when being kind.

#8 – This seems to be a very real part of the story; she did pick up oars and start rowing.


Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 15159 comments Questions for Chapters 5 – 7

I'm going to go ahead and post the questions tonight b/c I've been getting migraines every morning (they tend to come in clusters). I don't know when I would be able to post tomorrow. I'll put them under a spoiler! ☺
(view spoiler)


message 38: by Laura (last edited Jun 13, 2012 06:38PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Laura (lglovett) | 1437 comments @ Lisa Kay

#5- I agree about Bremerton being a representative of all the great minds that were lost. I was sad though that he was one of the ones that died. Even though he did have flaws I really liked his character.

#12 - I also don't like the fact that he liked Lenin. He was a crazy man.


message 39: by Lisa Kay (last edited Jun 13, 2012 06:23PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 15159 comments Yes, it was sad, Laura. He was one of my favorite characters, too.


Laura (lglovett) | 1437 comments Questions for Chapters 3 - 4

9) The author intertwines a lot of history into her story. She is actually a reporter by profession and did a lot of research before writing this book. Does it show? So while the main character and story is fiction there are parts of nonfiction in it as well.
I love that about this book and I think that her ability to research and do it well is very evident in her writing. I have read a few other books that are similar to this in that they are based on history with actual people in it but are fictional.

10) Can't imagine what it would be like to live through such a tragedy. It's so ironic that on it's maiden voyage the ship declared 'unsinkable' sunk. Do you feel the author did a good job of capturing the moment, mood, and atmosphere of what it would be like? Is there anything that really stood out for you?
As far as the actual sinking itself, I think she left a little bit to be desired. Even though I think she chose not to focus on the sinking because that is not what she wanted her book to be about, she could have put a little bit more into that part of the story. As far as the feelings of the survivors, I think she did a good job catching the despair and heartache. I think what was the most poignant for me was the cook's wife.

11) What did you think of the picture Lady Duff Gordon tried to get Tess to take with her? Why do you think she wanted Tess in it?
I was mortified. I couldn't believe she would do something so thoughtless and belittling of the people around her. I am wondering if she wanted Tess in the picture to point out later how great she is for saving her maid or something equally as ridiculous? I am so glad that Tess declined.

12) What do you think if Jim Bonney?
He is okay. I think he seems a bit cynical and maybe a bit too judgmental of Tess. I think that he has a good heart and doesn't like snobs, which I can relate to.

13) What do you make of Lady Duff's attack of the Darlings? BTW, I looked up some of the stories from the real accounts of the Titanic and there was supposedly a man who dressed as a woman to save himself. They never did find out who it was. Would you think less of a man for dressing up as a woman to save himself? What do you think of woman and children first? Do you think people would abide by that rule today?
I think that Lady Duff Gordon didn't want to seem as bad as she was so she is stirring up the waters to make others look bad. I am sure the fear of dying makes people do crazy things, but I love chivalry and I don't think we see enough of it today. I would think less of a man who saved himself instead of a woman or child.

14) What did you think of Lucille wanting to give Tess her earrings? I thought that was weird. Would you have taken them?
I think there was an ulterior motive behind the giving of the earrings and Tess was smart not to take them. I wouldn't have taken them either.

15) What did you think of the lifeboat carving Jim did for Tess?
It was a sweet gesture


Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 15159 comments @ Laura

#10 - Yes, the cook's wife broke my heart.

#11 - Yes, I was wondering the same thing... even though she didn't save her... she left her... she could have convinced her to change her story later... but there were too many witnesses to that not being the case (Ms. Brown).

#12 - Yes, he is cutting a fine line, and most on the other side for me with his judgmental attitude toward Tess. I think he wan't to "enlighten" her, but he isn't pulling it off for me. Yet.

#13 - Oh! I totally agree with you on this one, Laura, about Lady DG.

#14 - Glad she didn't take them, too.


Laura (lglovett) | 1437 comments @ Lisa Kay

I am now really wondering about the picture LDG had taken with the survivors. I am dying to know because there has to be something to it.


message 43: by Laura (last edited Jun 13, 2012 06:59PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Laura (lglovett) | 1437 comments I would love to read biographies of these two men. They seem to be very interesting and intelligent men.

description
Mr. Carr Van Anda


description
Mr. William Aldan Smith


Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 15159 comments @ Laura

Well, it was a real life event. Maybe that is one of the great mysteries. Why did she do it? Was she just that callous? Insulated? Did she not grasp the significance of all that loss of life? Personally, I think she was bi-polar.


Laura (lglovett) | 1437 comments Sorry to post so many pictures but here is the real controversial picture for those who want to see it.

description


Stefani (steffiebaby140) | 807 comments Questions for Chapters 3 - 4

9) The author intertwines a lot of history into her story. She is actually a reporter by profession and did a lot of research before writing this book. Does it show? So while the main character and story is fiction there are parts of nonfiction in it as well.

I think it shows in her writing, her prose is very fact based before emotional. And her facts on the ship and what happened after are pretty right on, very good research. It tells a story well but I think that may be why I'm having trouble connecting to the characters.

10) Can't imagine what it would be like to live through such a tragedy. It's so ironic that on it's maiden voyage the ship declared 'unsinkable' sunk. Do you feel the author did a good job of capturing the moment, mood, and atmosphere of what it would be like? Is there anything that really stood out for you?

I really think she missed the mark on capturing the atmosphere. The sinking was rushed through, and the parts after that were used well but since we skipped much of the sinking it lacked as much emotionality as it could have. The stand out moment for me was when Tess pulled that woman and her baby from the water. That left a pang in my heart.

11) What did you think of the picture Lady Duff Gordon tried to get Tess to take with her? Why do you think she wanted Tess in it?

I think she is trying to endear herself to Tess and in some twisted way thought this would be a good idea to include her. Personally the picture was in distaste but clearly this is a woman who is highly narcissistic so its not surprising.

12) What do you think if Jim Bonney?

The Lenin thing was disconcerting, but hey Socialism does look fantastic on paper...but in practice not so much. Young idealistic kids often fall for those kinds of enigmatic people.

13) What do you make of Lady Duff's attack of the Darlings? BTW, I looked up some of the stories from the real accounts of the Titanic and there was supposedly a man who dressed as a woman to save himself. They never did find out who it was. Would you think less of a man for dressing up as a woman to save himself? What do you think of woman and children first? Do you think people would abide by that rule today?

That part was odd, from what I remember of my Titanic history it wasn't until well over half of the boats had been dispatched barely filled that they instituted women and children first. So to see it in the book right off was strange. I was also pondering myself if there are enough real men in this world to stand gallantly by and risk death to protect the children and women. I think there would still be a few, but most would probably elbow grandma in the face to save themselves...there are many boys and not many men these days lol.

14) What did you think of Lucille wanting to give Tess her earrings? I thought that was weird. Would you have taken them?

I would not have taken them. She seems very unstable and would just as likely try and turn it into some manipulation later. I don't trust that woman at all.

15) What did you think of the lifeboat carving Jim did for Tess?

It was very sweet and a real turning point for Tess. That moment in the lifeboat changed her and she wants a way to remember it.


Stefani (steffiebaby140) | 807 comments Lisa Kay wrote: "@ Laura

Well, it was a real life event. Maybe that is one of the great mysteries. Why did she do it? Was she just that callous? Insulated? Did she not grasp the significance of all that loss ..."


I was thinking that too actually. Although usually the moods swings with bi-polar are not so quick as to switch back and forth in a matter of hours or days. Whatever her dysfunction though I think its safe to say she's a terrible narcissist.


Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 15159 comments You are correct, Stefani. Bipolar people do NOT switch back and forth that quickly. However, I think that the author - in her research of interviews and court transcripts - observed this polar opposite behavior/uncharacteristic and applied it to the character's interact with people. What do you think?


Laura (lglovett) | 1437 comments @ Stefani

You are so right. Socialism does seem very good on paper but time and again we have seen countries employ it and then things go down hill from there. I think adding it to a character is a good showing of how people thought at the time too.


Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 15159 comments @ Stefani wrote: "The stand out moment for me was when Tess pulled that woman and her baby from the water. That left a pang in my heart."

Yes, and when the man asked her to take his baby and she couldn't reach her little "peach plump hands". Very sad. I don't know how the survivors got over it.

#12 - LMBO! True.

#13 - Yes, totally agree about the timing of the lifeboats for "W&C1st" and nowadays.


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The Dressmaker (other topics)

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Kate Alcott (other topics)