Sometimes, it is hard to review a book. That is because, while there were a lot of things done right by the author, the truth is that you didn't love the result of their hard work. That was my experience with "The Seamstress."
I want to be gentle with my words because I really do believe that there were bright spots in this novel. It was clear that Allison Pittman put a lot of passion and attention into this project. The descriptions of settings were beautifully done. I never questioned that she was an authority on both the time and place in which she wrote. I also felt that the plot was a compelling one and I loved the tie-in to a beloved character and a little known one from "A Tale of Two Cities." These were highlights.
On the other end of the spectrum, I experienced three major problems that kept me from loving this book as I might have. First, I struggled to love her characters. Even now that the book is done, I wonder, "Who were the heroes?" "Who were the villains?" And most importantly, "Who was I supposed to be rooting for?" Even more confusing was her treatment of Marie Antoinette. I've never seen her treated with such adoration, and the opposing revolution treated with such scorn. Blame it on a deep love of Les Miserables, but this was hard to stomach. My second problem revolved around some of the intimate scenes Pittman (and Tyndale) chose to include in the book. For a book that is supposed to be Christian Fiction, I think they could have rode the edit button a little harder. Lastly, when Pittman's story finally collided with "A Tale of Two Cities," character dialogue suddenly shifted to Dickens English. It felt clunky and I wished that she had chosen to deliver the sentiments of his story with modern language that matched the rest of her book.
Overall, this book was an enjoyable read. I don't want to imply that it wasn't. It was interesting and the setting was breathtaking. Not perfect for me, but that is the beauty of reading. I'm confident there will be many readers who will think it was fantastic.
Tyndale provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.