About the book: Born into a life of hard work, English housemaid Annie Wood arrives in New York City in 1911 with her wealthy mistress. Wide-eyed with the possibilities America has to offer, Annie wonders if there’s more for her than a life of service. Annie chooses to risk everything, taps into courage she never knew she had, and goes off on her own, finding employment in the sewing department at Macy’s. While at Macy’s Annie catches the eye of a salesman at the Butterick Pattern Company. Through determination, hard work, and God’s leading, Annie discovers a hidden gift: she is a talented fashion designer—a pattern artist of the highest degree. As she runs from ghosts of the past and focuses on the future, Annie enters a creative world that takes her to the fashion houses of Paris and into a life of adventure, purpose, and love.
Kindle Edition, 322 pages Published December 1, 2016, by Shiloh Run Press
My review: I’m not sure how I initially stumbled upon this book but boy am I ever glad I did! Realistic characters, interesting storyline, and wonderful storytelling made this book easy to read. In fact, I enjoyed this book so much I made myself slow down reading it so it would last longer. While I wanted to know what happened I also didn’t want the book to end.
The book opens with Annie just arriving in New York City. It was easy to see the city through the eyes of Annie and feel her excitement. I liked Annie immediately because she just seemed so real. She seemed to be the underdog but didn’t let that get her down. She wasn’t treated the best by the Misses but she kept her chin up and kept going. The relationship she developed with Danny and Iris seemed genuine and I liked how they became a family of sorts. Danny was a favorite of mine and his boyish charm leaped off the page. But my absolute favorite character? Sean Culver. He was down-to-earth, charming, solid, and reliable. I’m not one to have book boyfriends but if I were, Sean would be mine. At times I wanted to shake Annie when I didn’t think she was treating Sean right. I also liked Edna as she was the mother figure the book needed.
This was my first book by this author and I love her ability to tell a story and make you feel as if you are there and a part of it. Her attention to detail made the story so realistic. I felt like I was there with Annie when she was working as a housemaid and then at Macy’s and Buttericks. Reading about pattern making was fun and interesting too. I loved the pace of the story and character development. Annie grew as a character throughout the book but it never seemed too hurried. People grow and change over time and I thought the author presented Annie’s growth as a person naturally and so that everything that happened to her seemed believable.
At one point in the story, something happens to one of the characters that I didn’t expect and wasn’t ready for. I literally had to put the book down and take a few moments to absorb this development. When an author can get that kind of emotion from their readers it says a lot about the story and their writing ability.
I liked the ending of this book and the way it was set up to maybe have a sequel. I really hope it does because I want to read more about Annie, Sean, Maude, Edna, and everyone else in the story. I just have to know what happens to these characters next. I just finished the book and I’m already missing these people.
If you like gripping and emotional stories you will love this book. It’s a bit of a rags to riches love story that will keep you on the edge of your seat and leave you wanting more. A book for everyone’s must-read list.
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions are mine.
About the author: Nancy Moser is the award-winning author of twenty-nine inspirational novels that focus on discovering our unique purpose. Her genres include both contemporary and historical stories.
Her latest historical novels are the Downton Abbey-inspired Manor House Series:”Love of the Summerfields”, “Bride of the Summerfields”, and “Rise of the Summerfields.”
Also new is “The Pattern Artist” about Macy’s and the Butterick Pattern company.
Her historical bio-novels allow real women-of-history to share their life stories:”Just Jane” (Jane Austen), “Mozart’s Sister” (Nannerl Mozart), “Washington’s Lady” (Martha Washington) and “How Do I Love Thee?” (Elizabeth Barrett Browning.)
“An Unlikely Suitor” was named to Booklist’s Top 100 Romance Novels of the last decade.
Nancy’s time-travel novel, “Time Lottery”, won a Christy Award, and “Washington’s Lady” was a finalist.
Her contemporary books are known for their big-casts and intricate plotting. Some titles are “The Invitation”, “John 3: 16”, “Weave of the World”, “The Sister Circle”, “The Seat Beside Me”, and “The Good Nearby”.
Nancy and her husband live in the Midwest. She’s earned a degree in architecture, traveled extensively in Europe, and has performed in numerous theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She knits voraciously, kills all her houseplants, and can wire an electrical fixture without getting shocked. She is a fan of anything antique–humans included.