Thursday 4 June 2020

The Dream Stitcher

Finished May 26
The Dream Stitcher by Deborah Gaal

This book moves back and forth between World War II in Poland and the present day. A young Jewish teenager shows an aptitude for needlework that is uncanny, as she is inhabited by an old soul. She is taken on as an apprentice by a Polish fabric store owner and tailor, and she begins to make a name for herself as well as providing for her family. But when the war comes, the tailor talks to her parents and insists she live in his house and call him uncle and us a name that will not seem Jewish. She reluctantly agrees and yet works with the resistance in an interesting and unique way.
When the local German commander takes an interest in her work, things get more dangerous, and she also must be careful about the man she works for and cares about like her own family.
There is an interesting tie in to the Bayeux Tapestry that occurs in both timelines.
In the modern day, a woman who has recently lost her husband is in dire financial straits and must take in her older ailing mother and her single pregnant daughter and get a job. Her mother inexplicably comes from the nursing home with a huge tapestry that she is told her mother has made over the past few year, although she's never seen her mother sew, and was discouraged from doing so herself. She tries to get her mother to give her information about her past, and about her father, but it is only through another source that she finds the answers she is looking for, and they are a big surprise.
I really liked the embroidery shown here, and the role it played in the story. There is a touch of magic realism as well that was unexpected.
A very different book.

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