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Spotlight: The Dressmaker's War by Mary Chamberlain

About the Dressmaker's War

For readers of Amy Bloom, Sarah Waters, and Anthony Doerr, The Dressmaker’s War is the story of a brilliant English seamstress taken prisoner in Germany during World War II: about her perseverance, the choices she makes to stay alive, and the haunting aftermath of war.
 
London, 1939. Ada Vaughan is a young working-class woman with an unusual skill for dressmaking who dreams of opening her own atelier. When she meets Stanislaus von Lieben, a Hungarian aristocrat, a new, better life seems to arrive. Stanislaus sweeps Ada off her feet and brings her to Paris. But when war breaks out and Stanislaus vanishes, Ada is abandoned and alone, trapped on an increasingly dangerous continent.
 
Taken prisoner by the Germans, Ada does everything she can to survive. In the bleak horror of wartime Germany, Ada’s skill for creating beauty and glamour is the one thing that keeps her safe. But after the war, attempting to rebuild her life in London, Ada finds that no one is interested in the messy truths of what happened to women like her. And though Ada thought she had left the war behind, her past eventually comes to light, with devastating consequences.
 
Gorgeously written and compulsively readable, The Dressmaker’s War introduces us to an unforgettable heroine—Ada Vaughan, a woman whose ambition for a better life ultimately comes at a heartbreaking cost.

About the Author

Mary Chamberlain was born and raised in London. She has lived and worked in England and the Caribbean, and is Emeritus Professor of History at Oxford Brookes University. Her book Fenwomen was the first to be published by the feminist Virago Press in 1975 and was one of the inspirations for Caryl Churchill’s award-winning play Fen. She has written many books on subjects including women’s history, oral history, and Caribbean history. She is a graduate of the acclaimed creative writing master’s degree program at Royal Holloway, University of London, and now lives in London with her husband, the political scientist Stein Ringen.

Connect with Mary: Twitter

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