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  • The Dressmaker's Secret

  • By: Karen Dickson
  • Narrated by: Jess Nesling
  • Length: 10 hrs and 50 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (100 ratings)

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Summary

Perfect for fans of Dilly Court and Gracie Hart, The Dressmaker’s Secret is a moving and heartfelt family saga from the talented author of The Shop Girl’s Soldier.

Dorset, 1876. When young Beatrice Cullen shows up in the local church with her illegitimate child in her arms, Reverend Michael Redfern takes it upon himself to help her.

He finds her daughter, Lily, a home with a kindly couple. But when, at the age of 9, Lily loses her adopted parents, she is forced to live with her awful Aunt Doris and cousin Jez, who treat her no better than a slave. Lily can only seek solace in her dream of one day escaping her aunt and becoming a seamstress.

Five years later, now aged 14, Lily makes a startling discovery: that her birth father is none other than local aristocrat Sir Frederick Copperfield. Lily is stunned. And when she gets the chance to work for the Copperfields, she can't pass up the opportunity to get to know her half-sister Eleanor.

But will Eleanor ever really get to know her, or will Lily’s true identity forever remain a secret?

©2021 Karen Dickson (P)2021 Simon & Schuster UK

Critic reviews

"A compelling saga that will hold you fast from the first page to the last. Loved it." (Val Wood, author of The Lonely Wife

"This roller coaster of a novel draws you in from the first page. Expertly researched and a fabulous storyline with real heart at the centre.... I devoured this in one sitting and look forward to more from this author. In short a gem of a read." (Fiona Ford, author of Wartime at Liberty's)

"A delight to read...Lily Hayter is a wonderful heroine whose resilience and integrity shine through as she struggles to claim a life of her choosing and find a family. At the heart of the story is a warmth and humanity that makes it a truly uplifting read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was sorry when I reached the end because I wanted to linger in Dickson’s world. I eagerly await more from Karen Dickson." (Vicki Beeby, author of The Ops Room Girls)

"The characters in this novel are so believable that I cared deeply about them from the first chapter. A heartfelt, hopeful account of one young woman’s fight to keep her child safe when all the odds are against her. Atmospheric and beautifully written." (Jan Casey, author of The Women of Waterloo Bridge)

What listeners say about The Dressmaker's Secret

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New to me. Author and narrator. Both brilliant!@

Kept me interested all the way. Another story about a woman’s place in the past. I shed a few tears but there’s no humour. Not depressing though. All was well described. The narrator was truly Brilliant! Would highly recommend. Will look for another by both of them.

2 people found this helpful

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Very emotional!

From the first word to the last word was was extremely emotional.
The narration was good especially Alice. The story was one you want to listen to all threw at once. The Ending made me cry.
I think that the last four words could be better maybe though.
Thankyou Karen Dickson for wonderful story, and to Jess Nesling for bringing it to life.

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enjoyed the narration

enjoyable storyline. kept you guessing how it would pan out. the end was a little predicable although, that is what we would have wanted for the characters !!! x

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Couldn't put it down!

Fab narration, fab story, loved the characters, did not want it to end! Highly recommended.

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  • V
  • 23-07-22

One of my favourite books

I loved everything about this book and the reading by Jess Nesling. The characters and storyline were well developed and they were brought to life so perfectly by Jess. I will definitely be listening to it again soon as it was the best companion for my walks and bike rides!

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Dissapointing

Sadly this book was very disappointing and a waste of money and too full of clichés.

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Good story

Story is pretty good. Spoilt a bit by narrator being a bit 'wooden' sometimes.

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An interesting read

Well written, well narrated. The life of the main character was an uphill struggle but the epilogue was at last gratifyingly up-tempo.

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Great performance

Jess has the perfect voice for this story.
1st time I read anything written by Karen Dickson and I can't fault it.
Think I will try another of her books.

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More feel good needed

More feel good and less doom and gloom for this story. Narration very good. There are better books for this era.