Title: The Dressmaker's Secret
*Series: The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, Book I
Author: Kellyn Roth
Pages: Kindle; 205
Release Date: January 9, 2016
Content Screening: Nothing of note.
HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who are looking for a historically based read, with a little romance.
Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon
London, England, 1870Reading more historical fiction was something that I promised myself I'd tackle this year, and so I was very pleased with Kellyn Roth asked me to read The Dressmaker's Secret. I love all things with a classic feel, and this book seemed to fall within that realm. As it stands, both the premise of the story and the mystery woven into it were wonderful. I only had a few qualms, which I'll address below.
It comes to the attention of curious eight-year-old Alice Chattoway that her father is seemingly nonexistent. After realizing that his absence is making her mother unhappy, Alice becomes determined to find him and pull her family together. But Miss Chattoway’s answers to her daughter’s questions are vague at best and Alice begins to wonder if she will ever discover her mother’s secret.
First off, I must give credit to Kellyn Roth for excellent character building. Although I felt like there could have been a bit less characters introduced, without affecting the overall story, she did succeed quite well in making sure that all of them felt realistic. I felt like I actually knew them, by the time I'd reached the ending. As a reader who always wants to feel invested, I genuinely appreciated that. I also very much enjoyed the atmosphere of this novel.Roth pays homage to the time period excellently. The Chattoways felt perfectly placed in the story that surrounded them.
My biggest issues with this story were fairly simple, the first being the large amount of dialogue that takes place in this book. Although it definitely assisted with my getting to know the characters, I felt like it hampered forward movement. There were large portions of the middle that felt dragged on, due to the dialogue between the characters. The other issue I had was that the plot seemed to rush to resolve itself in the latter half of the book. Things were going rather well at first, but the events that lead to the ending of this book were a bit frustrating to be honest. I felt like the ending was abrupt, and possibly not the best choice for the Chattoway's story. I had enjoyed following them enough that I felt a little let down.
Despite that though, I would definitely recommend this book to readers who are looking for historical fiction that is on the lighter side. There is a good message underlying all of this and, although the time period would dictate otherwise, this book doesn't have much scandal in it at all. It's a rather clean, and quick, read overall. I think Kellyn Roth is just cutting her teeth here, and that's a hopeful thought. I'd love to see what she writes next.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.