Book Review: The Seamstress

This is the first book I have read as a recommendation from the Richard and Judy Book Club. Being a crafter I had been intrigued by the title and I wasn’t let down.

The book is a historica fiction piece set in Spain, Morroco and Lisbon which starts just before the Spanish Civil War and ends as World War II is on. It’s about Sira Quiroga who’s mother is a seamstress which she goes onto learning herself. She’s engaged to be married and everything seems to be stable in her life until she goes to a typewriter shop and falls (quite instantly) for salesman Ramiro and without much thought to her poor mother who has been making Sira’s weddding dress or her fiancee she dumps him for Ramiro.

It was at this point I was going to give up as I didn’t like this sudden change of character in her. But I carried on and when Sira is left penniless in Morroco with a mountain of debt run up by Ramiro she becomes a seamstress on her own.

Reading about her starting up the business and cultivating clients was quite enjoyable to read. Her reunion with her mother was also touching as is her realisation of feelings for the man who helps evacuate her mother from Spain.

The problem I found with the book is how Sira goes from seamstress to spy. How she started off going back to Spain and overhearing information from the german wives I didn’t have a problem with. It was her trip to Lisbon that I found outlandish. Having to flirt and actually get an invite to a meeting Manuel has about tungsten which you can’t see him doing as he barely knew her. Although the scene where Marcus rescues Sira on the train from the assassins sent to kill her by Manuel was enjoyable.

In my personal opinion I think the book would have worked better without all the spy stuff and keep it about a seamstress living through Spanish Civil war and World War II.

I give it 3/5


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