Catherine Berrill is living a life of affluence with her adoring husband in 1924 Brooklyn, New York. The only thing that is missing is a child. While strolling through the neighborhood, she is intrigued by the new dress shop operated by Beatrice Jones and her ward Alice Wilkerson. Unknown to the community, Bea is a Russian Jewish immigrant who has recently left New Orleans and her successful brothel to start a new life with orphaned Alice. As Catherine and Bea get to know one another, teenage Alice feels left out and seeks her own independence putting herself in danger. Bea's journey includes tragedy in Russia, trying to survive in New Orleans and then reinventing herself in New York City. As her story unfolds, it reveals many secrets including Bea's connection to Catherine.
Author Kitty Zeldis has created an excellent sense of place with The Dressmakers of Prospect Heights. The streets of Brooklyn during this era come alive as does New Orleans, with its bordellos. The relationships between Catherine, Bea and Alice are complex and moving. This is a touching story of survival, friendship, motherhood, forgiveness and second chances. Antisemitism, abuse and other difficult subjects are addressed. Fashion was also nicely woven into the story. I'm pleased to recommend this book.
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Historical Fiction. Publication Date: December 6, 2022.
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