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Sunday, February 17, 2019

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About the Book

The seamstress cover
Title: The Seamstress
Author: Allison Pittman
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release date: February 5, 2019
Publisher: Tyndale
A beautifully crafted story breathes life into the cameo character from the classic novel A Tale of Two Cities.
France, 1788
It is the best of times . . .
On a tranquil farm nestled in the French countryside, two orphaned cousins—Renée and Laurette—have been raised under the caring guardianship of young Émile Gagnon, the last of a once-prosperous family. No longer starving girls, Laurette and Renée now spend days tending Gagnon’s sheep, and nights in their cozy loft, whispering secrets and dreams in this time of waning innocence and peace.
It is the worst of times . . .
Paris groans with a restlessness that can no longer be contained within its city streets. Hunger and hatred fuel her people. Violence seeps into the ornate halls of Versailles. Even Gagnon’s table in the quiet village of Mouton Blanc bears witness to the rumbles of rebellion, where Marcel Moreau embodies its voice and heart.
It is the story that has never been told.
In one night, the best and worst of fate collide. A chance encounter with a fashionable woman will bring Renée’s sewing skills to light and secure a place in the court of Queen Marie Antoinette. An act of reckless passion will throw Laurette into the arms of the increasingly militant Marcel. And Gagnon, steadfast in his faith in God and country, can only watch as those he loves march straight into the heart of the revolution.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

allison PittmanAllison Pittman is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed novels and a three-time Christy finalist—twice for her Sister Wife series and once for All for a Story from her take on the Roaring Twenties. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, blissfully sharing an empty nest with her husband, Mike. Connect with her on Facebook (Allison Pittman Author), Twitter (@allisonkpittman) or her website,

Guest Post from Allison

My dream of being an author began by “finishing” other author’s works, fleshing out the stories of neglected characters. When I read the final books in the Little House series, I was far more interested in Cap Garland than I was in Almonzo Wilder, and I imagined all kinds of stories in which he was the hero.
This, The Seamstress, is one of those stories that came to me in a single burst of thought. I was teaching my sophomore English class, discussing through the final scenes in A Tale of Two Cities, when the little seamstress in those final pages reached out to me. She is a nameless character, seemingly more symbolic than anything. Dickens, however, gives her an entire backstory in a single phrase: I have a cousin who lives in the country. How will she ever know what became of me? I remember pausing right then and there in front of my students and saying, “Now, there’s the story I want to write.”
Now, years later, I have.
While every word of every Charles Dickens novel is a master class in writing, what he gave to me for The Seamstress is the kind of stuff that brings life and breath to fiction. I have to convey the fact that any character on my pages—no matter how much story space he or she is allotted—has a life between them. Every man was once a child; every woman a vulnerable young girl.
So, Dickens gave me the bones of the story. A seamstress. A cousin in the country. A country ripped apart; family torn from family. I did my very best to put flesh on those bones, but no writer can ever bring the life and breath. Only a reader can do that.


This has been one of the most detailed historical books I have ever read. There are twocharacters in the book that are equally important to the story.  Renee and Laurette are cousins and have suffered greatly in poverty in their young years. The author does an exceptional job of drawing readers in with vivid descriptions that made me  feel like I was there as the two cousins leaned on each other. 

The setting takes place during the French Revolution and the hardships it caused. I loved learning more about the Revolution and how it defined people during that time. The author takes two characters that are close and gives them different paths to take. Renee is a likeable character but to me was a bit naive  at times. I think she was ready for something or someone to take her away to a better life. When her chance comes, she is a bit reluctant but seizes the opportunity. I loved reading how she could take a simple piece of fabric and make it into a work of beauty. With Renee suddenly finding herself living in a place with a queen must have been hard to adjust to. I loved when the queen said to Renee, " Never under estimate the value of loyalty." Our word is everything and it speaks volumes to people who come to trust us. Can Renee find happiness living in a grand place away from her cousin? 

Laurette is a little more reserved and follows rule to perfection. She is sad that Renee has left, but prays for her safety and happiness. Laurette seemed to be somewhat ready to change her life. She will find herself having to make difficult choices that could cause her to go down a path not suited to her. I think I related to her because she was always seeking approval from others. Her insecurity was evident and her desire to be needed and loved sometimes made her make poor choices.
I loved the questions certain characters had about God and how one spoke up and said that in his house he would not allow anyone to speak against Him. What a great stance he took and showed how faithful he was to God. There is a strong presence of faith in the book and I liked how the author used it to show how characters needed God in times when they felt lost or alone.

It is a historical adventure with Marie Antoinette making a big splash in the story during the French Revolution. It was hard to read about how people were starving and trying to find ways to survive. There is a sense of hope in the story and it showed as people still believed that God hadn't left them. The time period is during a difficult time in history and the author captures the emotional turmoil with grace.I wanted to give a warning to those who may be sensitive to bad language,  hints of unkind things done to a woman and unthinkable violence.  There are a few of those moments in the book but it is done tastefully and does hinder the story at all.  It is a very well written story that I will not forget.

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher and Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

Fiction Aficionado, February 9
The Lit Addict, February 9
The Power of Words, February 9
Lis Loves Reading, February 10
Maureen’s Musings, February 10
Carpe Diem, February 11
All-of-a-kind Mom, February 12
Emily Yager, February 12
Mary HakeFebruary 12
Stories By GinaFebruary 13
Inspired by fiction, February 14
Remembrancy, February 14
Inklings and Notions, February 16
Bibliophile Reviews, February 17
Texas Book-aholic, February 17
Margaret Kazmierczak, February 18
A Reader’s BrainFebruary 18
By The Book, February 18
Multifarious, February 19
Pause for Tales, February 19
Bigreadersite, February 20
Simple Harvest Reads, February 20
Janices book reviews, February 20
For the Love of Books, February 21
Book by Book, February 21


To celebrate her tour, Allison is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card, a hardcover copy of The Seamstress, and this copy of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


  1. Hello! Thanks so much for sharing your book with us. Always fun reading about another book to enjoy.

  2. Wonderful review, Deana! The Seamstress sounds so fascinating!