- Title: The Paris Dressmaker
- Author: Kristy Cambron
- Publisher: Thomas Nelson on February 16, 2021
- Genre: Historical Fiction
- Pages: 400
- Formats Available: Paperback, Audiobook, & Digital
- Rating: 5/5
Trigger Warnings: War, Violence, Unwanted Male Attention, Opression
Many thanks to Kristy Cambron, Thomas Nelson, and Netgalley for providing me with a digital copy of The Paris Dressmaker with a request for an honest review.
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The Paris Dressmaker Blurb
Based on true accounts of how Parisiennes resisted the Nazi occupation in World War II—from fashion houses to the city streets—comes a story of two courageous women who risked everything to fight an evil they couldn’t abide.
Paris, 1939. Maison Chanel has closed, thrusting haute couture dressmaker Lila de Laurent out of the world of high fashion as Nazi soldiers invade the streets and the City of Lights slips into darkness. Lila’s life is now a series of rations, brutal restrictions, and carefully controlled propaganda while Paris is cut off from the rest of the world. Yet in hidden corners of the city, the faithful pledge to resist. Lila is drawn to La Resistance and is soon using her skills as a dressmaker to infiltrate the Nazi elite. She takes their measurements and designs masterpieces, all while collecting secrets in the glamorous Hôtel Ritz—the heart of the Nazis’ Parisian headquarters. But when dashing René Touliard suddenly reenters her world, Lila finds her heart tangled between determination to help save his Jewish family and bolstering the fight for liberation.
Paris, 1943. Sandrine Paquet’s job is to catalog the priceless works of art bound for the Führer’s Berlin, masterpieces stolen from prominent Jewish families. But behind closed doors, she secretly forages for information from the underground resistance. Beneath her compliant façade lies a woman bent on uncovering the fate of her missing husband . . . but at what cost? As Hitler’s regime crumbles, Sandrine is drawn in deeper when she uncrates an exquisite blush Chanel gown concealing a cryptic message that may reveal the fate of a dressmaker who vanished from within the fashion elite.
Told across the span of the Nazi occupation, The Paris Dressmaker highlights the brave women who used everything in their power to resist darkness and restore light to their world.Amazon
The Paris Dressmaker is a heartwrenching look back at one of the darkest times in history. Kristy Cambron brings this tale to life by adding inspirational, strong female characters. For those not familiar with Nazi-occupied Paris during WWII, this novel is educational.
Lila de Laurent is a talented up-and-coming designer working under the Chanel name. She dreams of love with Rene until the worst happens and war has taken him away. Sandrine Paquet loves her husband, yet the war takes away her lover as well. Both of these women pulled themselves up and went to work for La Resistance. Even though there is seemingly no connection between these ladies. They both enter the fray as what others considered Nazi collaborators. Though, the effectiveness of the maneuvers speaks for itself.
This story unfolds in a dual timeline, with chapters dedicated to each woman, further split into a then and now format. At first, it was confusing until I got the hang of the unusual style. Once I caught on, the words flowed along gently. But, the gentleness of the flow doesn’t reflect the whirlwind of emotions that the words evoke.
Being from a different generation, I can’t fathom the horrors that occurred during World War II. Apart from the Jewish genocide, which is a horror in itself, the rest of the world also felt the devastation. The Paris that I see on my television screen in no way compares to the images that Cambron paints in this novel.
I award this poignant tale a full 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this book to those readers who enjoy historical fiction. Being told from the perspective of two strong women during a time led by men makes it even more special.
About the Author – Kristy Cambron
KRISTY CAMBRON is a vintage-inspired storyteller writing from the space where art, history, and faith intersect. She’s a Christy Award-winning author of historical fiction, including bestselling novels, THE BUTTERFLY AND THE VIOLIN and THE PARIS DRESSMAKER, and nonfiction, including the Verse Mapping series of Bibles and Bible studies. A self-proclaimed history nerd, she loves to chase all things research, going behind the scenes at a Ringling Bros. Sarasota mansion, touring a former TB sanitarium, making bee friends at a working honey farm, or embarking on a back-roads jaunt across Ireland being a few.
She holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing and spent 15 yrs in education and leadership development for a Fortune-100 corporation, partnering with such companies as the Disney Institute, IBM/Kenexa, and Gallup before stepping away to pursue her passion for storytelling. Her work has been named to Publishers Weekly Religion & Spirituality TOP 10, Library Journal Reviews’ Best Books, RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations, and received a 2020 Christy Award for her novel, THE PAINTED CASTLE. Her work has been featured at: Cosmopolitan, Publishers Weekly, Once Upon a Book Club Box, Frolic, Book Club Girl, BookBub, Country Woman Magazine, Jesus Calling, FaithGateway, CBN, Lifeway Women, MICI Magazine, Faithwire, (in)Courage, and BibleGateway.
Kristy lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, where she can be found penning her next stories in a beloved coffee shop corner with kayaks on the wall. (She’s only bumped her head twice…)