Today it’s over to Mandie who review of The Seamstress of Warsaw by Rebecca Mascull. Our thanks to publisher Spellbound Books for the advance copy for review and the invitation to join the tour. Here’s what the book is all about:
About the Book
Daring, tragic, haunting, and unforgettable – Mascull is a superb writer. – Louisa Treger , author of The Dragon Lady
A man learns a shocking truth about his past.
A mother writes a diary as the ghetto walls go up.
From the bombed streets of London, to occupied Warsaw, to the Polish forests bristling with partisans, will their paths cross? Will their pasts be reconciled? And will they survive the deadly assaults on their freedom and their lives?
THE SEAMSTRESS OF WARSAW is a tale of endurance and loss, family and blood, stories and histories, that questions the nature of who we are and where we are going, when the road ahead is burning.
The Seamstress of Warsaw highlights the stories of two seemingly very different people who are linked by their past. Daniel is a young man living in war hit London who wants to be a part of the fight against the Germans. When his father is killed in a bombing raid he learns that he has a family in Poland that he knows nothing about. As he learns more about his birth he becomes determined to seek out his birth mother no matter what dangers he may face.
Helena is a Polish Jew who finds her life torn apart as she is moved into the Ghetto in Warsaw with her family. They battle to stay alive and make the best of their situation but when her husband is killed she uses her skills as a seamstress to protect both her and her daughter from a worse fate.
Daniel starts out very idealistic as he thinks that he can find his mother without getting involved in the real fighting, but it does not take him long to change his views and as he forges new friendships and sees horrors that will test him, you witness him growing up in so many different ways. At the heart of it all is his determination to try to connect with his family. Helena appears quiet and unassuming however as she deals with one setback after another she shows a strength that helps keep her and her daughter alive. As the story progresses you can’t help but hope that ultimately they will manage to connect with one another and get some kind of closure on everything that has happened.
This book is a little different from some of the others out there that focus on one particular character and their fight for survival during a time that is arguably one of the darkest periods in history. There is no way we can ever truly understand what people suffered during this time but with books like The Seamstress of Warsaw a little more is known. Rebecca Mascull has created two very different characters that are tied together but have very different experiences and it highlights not only the suffering and despair of those who are imprisoned in ghettos and concentration camps, but also those who have managed to stay free and face a different kind of danger fighting for others so they can restore their lives. It is this part of the story that stands out for me as it is a side that is not often told and makes a book that I would happily recommend to others to read.
About the Author
Rebecca Mascull is an author of historical novels. She also writes saga fiction under the pen-name of Mollie Walton.
Rebecca’s latest book under the Mascull name is coming on September 18th 2021, THE SEAMSTRESS OF WARSAW, the powerful tale of two people unknowingly connected to each other, caught up in the whirlwind of World War II, whose perilous journeys we follow from the Blitz to the Warsaw Ghetto and beyond, published by SpellBound.
Mollie Walton’s The Ironbridge Saga series is set in the dangerous world of the iron industry: THE DAUGHTERS OF IRONBRIDGE (2019). The second book in the trilogy is THE SECRETS OF IRONBRIDGE (2020), set in the brickyards of the 1850s. The third book is set in the coalmines and servants’ quarters of the 1870s: THE ORPHAN OF IRONBRIDGE (2021). All three are published by Bonnier Zaffre. Mollie’s next trilogy will be set in WW2 North Yorkshire and the first book of this saga will be out in March 2022, published by Welbeck.
Her first novel as Rebecca Mascull, THE VISITORS (2014) tells the story of Adeliza Golding, a deaf-blind child living on her father’s hop farm in Victorian Kent. Her second novel SONG OF THE SEA MAID (2015) is set in the C18th and concerns an orphan girl who becomes a scientist and makes a remarkable discovery. Her third novel, THE WILD AIR (2017) is about a shy Edwardian girl who learns to fly and becomes a celebrated aviatrix but the shadow of war is looming. All are published by Hodder & Stoughton.
She also completed the finishing chapters of her friend and fellow novelist Vanessa Lafaye’s final work, a novella called MISS MARLEY, a prequel to Dickens’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL. This novella is published by HarperCollins.
Rebecca has worked in education, has a Masters in Writing and lives by the sea in the east of England. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund, based at the University of Lincoln.
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