Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Pattern Artist

Cool weather has returned for a few days to my area.  It is such a nice change from the 80 degree weather we have experiencing (those of you with snow would probably appreciate it).  I apologize in advance for the long review today.  It was hard to summarize The Pattern Artist.  I edited my review three times and this is as short as I could get it!

The Pattern Artist by Nancy Moser shows how one young woman can make her dreams come true.  It is 1911 and Annie Wood has traveled to New York City with her employers, Lady Newley and her daughter, Henrietta.  Annie is employed as an upper housemaid in the Newley home in Summerfield.  Annie has traveled with them to assist the lady’s maids, Miss Miller and the younger Miss Dougard.  It turns out that neither lady’s maid has any sewing ability (I am curious how they ever got their positions).  Annie believes that when Miss Miller retires, she will get a promotion to lady’s maid.  She has been working towards that goal since she joined the Newley household.  The group is staying with the Friesen’s.  Mrs. Friesen is a distant cousin of Viscount Newley.  Annie meets Iris and Danny Dalking in the house and they soon become fast friends.  One day Danny must run an errand and gets time off for Iris and Annie.  Annie gets her first look at Macy’s and a sewing machine.  When Annie finds out that the lady’s maids have been taking credit for her sewing work, she decides to stay in America.  Annie, Iris, and Danny sneak away one day from the Friesen’s to start pursuing their dreams.  Before Annie departs the Friesen household, she gets a little revenge on Oscar Grasston, a footman, who has made her visit unpleasant (he is a letch).  Annie has no idea what she has set in motion with this one act.  Unfortunately, the threesome get off to a bad start when their money is stolen from them.  After spending a night on the street, they wander into the Tuttle’s bakery. The Tuttle’s take them in, provide them with a place to sleep and employment.  Iris gets to look after the Tuttle’s five younger children (they have seven children), Danny gets to make deliveries with the wagon (he wanted to work outside), and Annie is put to washing pots (lucky girl).  After two days of doing pots, Annie decides to find a job that will utilize her strengths.  Annie goes to Macy’s and gets a job in the ladies’ department.  Annie soon excels at helping ladies pick the right fabrics, trims, and patterns.  This is just the beginning for Annie. 

The Pattern Artist is a well-written Christian novel that will capture and hold the reader’s attention.   The book is easy to read with a good pace.  The Pattern Artist has a strong main character (my favorite type) and a good theme.  It teaches us that a person should just be themselves (do not try to be like others).  We each have a unique purpose and if we listen close enough, God will guide us.  The Pattern Artist has suspense with the Oscar Grasston storyline.  It will have you on the edge of your seat.  I give The Pattern Artist 4.5 out of 5 stars (I more than liked it).  The book is a little heavy on prayer in a few sections, otherwise the religious aspect is light throughout the novel.  There is also the requisite romance.  The dresses, fabrics, trims and hats described in the book sound beautiful.  I liked how the book touched on the Reform Dress Movement.  I do not blame women for wanting to discard corsets and hobble skirts (which were impossible to walk in).  It was fascinating to find out more about the Butterick company.  I had no idea that they had stores for patterns at one time in London, Paris, Berlin and Vienna.  If you enjoy historical novels, I hope you will read The Pattern Artist.  I look forward to reading books by Nancy Moser in the future.  

I am off to finish up a few chores before my shows come on at 8 p.m.  I am currently reading Frontline Angel by Genevieve Jordayne.  I sincerely hope all of you have a lovely evening.  Take care, stay warm and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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