Dressmaker

The Dressmaker

by Elizabeth Birkelund Oberbeck

I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is The Dressmaker by Elizabeth Birkelund Oberbeck. Claude Reynaud is something of a prodigy — a brilliant dress designer approaching middle age who loves his small town life and passed on job offers from labels in Paris. He’s pretty content — until Valentine walks into his shop. Unfortunately, she’s there to get a wedding dress. The dress becomes his greatest triumph, and Valentine becomes his only desire. His sudden leap into passion — into wanting things for himself leads to fame and success — but all he really wants is the maddeningly indecisive Valentine. In The Dressmaker, we get couture, French food, fine art, and also jealousy, obsession and despair. It’s all so very French. I will not be comparing the lightness of the prose to pastry, although it is tempting. The Dressmaker by Elizabeth Birkelund Oberbeck. I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is The Dressmaker by Elizabeth Birkelund Oberbeck. At first, I thought this book as light as the fabric Claude Reynaud uses to make his glorious dresses, but really, what’s more vital or important than art, love, desire, and great looking clothes? The middle aged Claude is whiling away his life in a small town outside Paris, when his world is rocked by the lovely Valentine, who comes to his shop for a wedding dress. Is her husband to be a lout? Will Claude change the habits of a lifetime and move to the big city, and even on to New York? In The Dressmaker, we see how love and art are so closely tied together and how the song was right — you may not get what you want but sometimes you get what you need. Even though I didn’t understand Valentine’s behavior, I could certainly see what Claude found so irresistible. And I totally wanted to call my travel agent, if I had one. The Dressmaker by Elizabeth Birkelund Oberbeck. I’m Kim Alexander on Fiction Nation on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is The Dressmaker by Elizabeth Birkelund Oberbeck. Claude Reynaud lives on the edge of things — outside Paris in a small town, outside of his marriage, abandoned by his wife because of his lack of ambition, outside the fashion industry, despite the job offers. Then Valentine comes to his shop asking for a wedding dress. Suddenly, Claude is in the middle — Valentine is his muse, his passion, the love of his life and of course about to be married to another man. Claude rises to the challenge, as it were, and finds purpose not only in pursuing Valentine, but living up to his ability and designing dresses in Paris and even New York. In The Dressmaker, Claude’s love for Valentine is almost beside the point, although he himself would probably disagree. This novel is sweet and light, and a little melancholy, with some lovely things to say about the importance of both fashion and family. The Dressmaker by Elizabeth Birkelund Oberbeck. I’m Kim Alexander on Fiction Nation on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


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