Note: I am part of a blog tour for THE HATMAKER'S HEART, but am posting my review one day early as family obligations will take me away from the computer for the weekend. When I rely on the automatic schedule feature of blogger, it seems to not work.
About the book:
For Nell Marchwold, bliss is seeing the transformation when someone gets a glimpse in the mirror while wearing one of her creations and feels beautiful. Nell has always strived to create hats that bring out a woman's best qualities. She knows she's fortunate to have landed a job as an apprentice designer at the prominent Oscar Fields Millinery in New York City. Yet when Nell's fresh designs begin to catch on, her boss holds her back from the limelight, claiming the stammer she's had since childhood reflects poorly on her and his salon.
But it seems Nell's gift won't be hidden by Oscar's efforts. Soon an up-and-coming fashion designer is seeking her out as a partner of his 1922 collection. The publicity leads to an opportunity for Nell to make hats in London for a royal wedding. There, she sees her childhood friend, Quentin, and an unexpected spark kindles between them. But thanks to her success, Oscar is determined to keep her. As her heart tugs in two directions, Nell must decide what she is willing to sacrifice for her dream, and what her dream truly is.
Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/xlicl
About the author:
Carla Stewart is the award-winning author of four novels. With a passion for times gone by, it is her desire to take readers back to that warm, familiar place in their hearts called "home." She and her husband live in Tulsa and have four adult sons and six grandchildren (with one on the way!).
Carla is offering a special giveaway at http://www.carlastewart.com/2014/06/01/jazzy-hatmakers-heart-giveaway/
The Hatmaker's Heart by Carla Stewart takes readers to New York City and London in the 1920's era, a time when the world of high couture meant not only wearing fashionable dresses, it also meant topping the outfit with just the right hat, itself a creation worthy of a designer label, much the way the today's fashionistas select elite shoes and bags. Prunella (Nell) Marchwold has been given the opportunity to apprentice at the New York Oscar Fields Millinery. When her unique creations, each styled to flatter a woman's best features, begin to be noticed by the fashion industry, Nell begins to believe that someday she may have her own designer label. Her boss, Oscar Field, has other ideas, and Nell finds herself the subject of first his impatience and criticism, especially regarding her frequent stuttering, but later she becomes the center of his oppressing attention. The tension between the two escalates when Oscar Fields Millinery is summoned to London to create one of a kind hats for the social event of the year, a royal wedding.
Readers will enjoy their look into the millinery world and the twenties in general, as Nell works, travels, and even visits a speakeasy. The story behind her stuttering and her attempts to overcome it add another layer to the story, as does her childhood friendship with Quentin, now a London banker. The part of the book which takes place in 1922 London, with its flutter of excitement over the royal wedding, has the flavor of Downton Abbey, post WWI era, while the New York segments signal the changes women will demand over the next few years. All these social change and cultural references are so smoothly integrated into the overall story that it is only when one stops to discuss the book does a reader realize just how much there is to process.
If you check other books written by Carla Stewart, you'll see she is the type of author who makes each book its own unique creation with characters, plot, and details carefully chosen to best capture that particular story, much the same way Nell selected her fabric and beads to capture each woman's own beauty. I suggest you read them all. I received a copy of The Hatmaker's Heart from Litfuse and the publisher for my honest review.