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The Seamstress of Sardinia: A Novel
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Published:
HarperCollins 2022
Status:
Available from OverDrive

Description

A bestselling Italian writer makes her American debut with this delightful dramedy of manners, family, romance, and fashion that is set on the island of Sardinia at the end of the nineteenth century—a dazzling and original literary blend of Jane Austen and Adriana Trigiani.

In 1900 Sardinia, a young woman's remarkable talent with a needle earns her a position as a seamstress with a wealthy family. Inside this privileged world far different from her own humble beginnings, the skilled sewer quietly takes measurements, sketches designs, mends hems—and in the silence, hears whispered secrets and stories of all those around her.

Through the watchful young seamstress's eyes, this small Italian city and its residents emerge in all their vitality, vanity, and fragility—flawed yet congenial people who are not quite what they pretend to be. There is the Marchesa Esther, who rides horses and studies mechanics and ancient Greek; Miss Lily Rose, a spirited American journalist who commissions a special corset—with pockets to hide more than just her flaws; the Provera sisters with their expensive Parisian fashions that belie their financial hardships; and Assuntina, the wild child. There are men, young, old, and in between; love affairs and broken hearts; and even a murder (or was it suicide?). And at the center, watching and waiting is the seamstress herself, an intelligent, ambitious girl with a tender heart and her own impossible dream.

An irresistible literary confection rich in atmosphere and period detail and packed with compelling characters. The Seamstress of Sardinia transports us to a long-ago world not so removed from our own—to a society rigidly divided by wealth and shaped by passion, hope, ambition, and love—the elemental forces that drive human lives.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
12/06/2022
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780063271708
ASIN:
B09V2ZK4YV

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Citations

APA Citation (style guide)

Bianca Pitzorno. (2022). The Seamstress of Sardinia: A Novel. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Bianca Pitzorno. 2022. The Seamstress of Sardinia: A Novel. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Bianca Pitzorno, The Seamstress of Sardinia: A Novel. HarperCollins, 2022.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Bianca Pitzorno. The Seamstress of Sardinia: A Novel. HarperCollins, 2022.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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Date Added:
Dec 02, 2022 13:43:00
Date Updated:
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Last Metadata Check:
Jul 14, 2024 18:14:52
Last Metadata Change:
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Last Availability Change:
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Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
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fullDescription

A bestselling Italian writer makes her American debut with this delightful dramedy of manners, family, romance, and fashion that is set on the island of Sardinia at the end of the nineteenth century—a dazzling and original literary blend of Jane Austen and Adriana Trigiani.

In 1900 Sardinia, a young woman's remarkable talent with a needle earns her a position as a seamstress with a wealthy family. Inside this privileged world far different from her own humble beginnings, the skilled sewer quietly takes measurements, sketches designs, mends hems—and in the silence, hears whispered secrets and stories of all those around her.

Through the watchful young seamstress's eyes, this small Italian city and its residents emerge in all their vitality, vanity, and fragility—flawed yet congenial people who are not quite what they pretend to be. There is the Marchesa Esther, who rides horses and studies mechanics and ancient Greek; Miss Lily Rose, a spirited American journalist who commissions a special corset—with pockets to hide more than just her flaws; the Provera sisters with their expensive Parisian fashions that belie their financial hardships; and Assuntina, the wild child. There are men, young, old, and in between; love affairs and broken hearts; and even a murder (or was it suicide?). And at the center, watching and waiting is the seamstress herself, an intelligent, ambitious girl with a tender heart and her own impossible dream.

An irresistible literary confection rich in atmosphere and period detail and packed with compelling characters. The Seamstress of Sardinia transports us to a long-ago world not so removed from our own—to a society rigidly divided by wealth and shaped by passion, hope, ambition, and love—the elemental forces that drive human lives.

reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        September 1, 2022

        Italian author Pitzorno makes her U.S. debut with this novel. At the end of the 19th century, only two members of a Sardinian family survive a cholera epidemic: Nonna and her young granddaughter. As the girl grows up, Nonna gives her lessons on being a sartina (a seamstress hired by the day), encompassing both sewing techniques and how to avoid trouble with the upper classes who employ them. A good student, her granddaughter (the novel's unnamed protagonist) employs Nonna's wise advice to navigate difficult decisions (how to save a friend; how to keep one's word; whether to sacrifice another to clear one's own name). The protagonist tells the story from her point of view in self-contained but connected episodic and suspenseful dramas, making readers into trusted confidants. Subtle emotions build connections but don't obscure the matter-of-fact ways in which characters respond to tough issues, as Nonna says that big emotions are a privilege of the wealthy. Small descriptive details build an understanding of Sardinia at the turn of the century, creating a fascinating backdrop and helpfully explaining the characters' actions and reactions. VERDICT Will be a hit with readers seeking a historical novel with a protagonist to root for: a strong young woman who hopes to succeed despite having few advantages.--Stacey Hayman

        Copyright 2022 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from October 3, 2022
        Pitzorno’s sparkling English-language debut follows a poor Sardinian orphan girl’s coming-of-age as she becomes a seamstress, opera lover, and independent young woman. At five, in 1900, the unnamed narrator loses her parents in a cholera epidemic. She’s taken in by her grandmother, Nonna, a seamstress who teaches her to sew. By age seven, the girl is helping with the work, and well-to-do brides teach her to read and offer her novels, periodicals, and opera libretti in exchange for sewing their trousseaux and layettes. Nonna dies when the narrator is 16, and she manages to sidestep the pitfalls awaiting young women of the lower classes thanks to her sewing skills and literacy. Though finding work is sometimes a struggle, she survives the lean times with her dignity intact and catches operas from the nosebleed seats. Independent women—including a bicycle-riding American journalist and the beneficent, globe-trotting Marchesina Ester—provide moral and financial support. A tantalizing suitor appears, but the narrator’s problems are resolved more through courage, self-sacrifice, and honesty than through love or money. Minutely described period clothing and memorable characters conveyed via Maher’s seamless translation add to the charm. This sumptuous costume drama has a great deal of heart. Agent: David Forrer, InkWell Management.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        October 15, 2022
        Before the advent of mass-produced clothing, seamstresses known as sartinas were paid by the day to make (and make over) linens and other clothing at the homes of bourgeois Italian families. Inspired by stories, letters, and newspaper clippings from her sartina grandmother, prolific Italian author Pitzorno's first American release follows a young sartina making her way in early-twentieth-century Sardinia. By learning a trade rather than going into domestic service, she hopes to maintain her independence and avoid the fate of women like her cousin Ofelia, forced into a life of prostitution, and the tragic heroines of the novels and operas she loves. When the young grandson of a wealthy family proposes marriage, these cautionary tales aren't enough to protect her from a scandal of her own, but the independent women in her life, including an expatriate American journalist and art critic and a poor washerwoman raising a young daughter, help her to rise above her circumstances. This feminist fairy tale is sure to be a book-club favorite and will appeal to fans of Laura Esquivel, Adriana Trigiani, and Elena Ferrante.

        COPYRIGHT(2022) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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A bestselling Italian writer makes her American debut with this delightful dramedy of manners, family, romance, and fashion that is set on the island of Sardinia at the end of the nineteenth century—a dazzling and original literary blend of Jane Austen and Adriana Trigiani.

In 1900 Sardinia, a young woman's remarkable talent with a needle earns her a position as a seamstress with a wealthy family. Inside this privileged world far different from her own humble beginnings, the skilled sewer quietly takes measurements, sketches designs, mends hems—and in the silence, hears whispered secrets and stories of all those around her.

Through the watchful young seamstress's eyes, this small Italian city and its residents emerge in all their vitality, vanity, and fragility—flawed yet congenial people who are not quite what they pretend to be. There is the Marchesa Esther, who rides horses and studies mechanics and ancient Greek; Miss Lily...

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