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Spanning the intense years of war, The Dressmaker of Dachau is a dramatic tale of love, conflict, betrayal and survival. It is the compelling story of one young woman’s resolve to endure and of the choices she must make at every turn – choices which will contain truths she must confront.
London, spring 1939. Eighteen-year-old Ada Vaughan, a beautiful and ambitious seamstress, has just started work for a modiste in Dover Street. A career in couture is hers for the taking – she has the skill and the drive – if only she can break free from the dreariness of family life in Lambeth.
A chance meeting with the enigmatic Stanislaus von Lieben catapults Ada into a world of glamour and romance. When he suggests a trip to Paris, Ada is blind to all the warnings of war on the continent: this is her chance for a new start.
Anticipation turns to despair when war is declared and the two are trapped in France. After the Nazis invade, Stanislaus abandons her. Ada is taken prisoner and forced to survive the only way she knows how: by being a dressmaker. It is a decision which will haunt her during the war and its devastating aftermath.
About the author
Mary Chamberlain has lived and worked in England and the Caribbean, and is Emeritus Professor of History at Oxford Brookes University. Her book, Fenwomen, was the first to be published by Virago Press in 1975. Since then she has written many books on women's history, oral history and Caribbean history. She is a graduate of the acclaimed Creative Writing MA at Royal Holloway, University of London and now lives in London with her husband.
‘The Dressmaker of Dachau is a thrilling story, brilliantly told. I couldn’t put it down. Ada Vaughan is a character to fall in love with: utterly real, flawed and beguiling’ Saskia Sarginson, author of R&J pick, The Twins and Without You
‘I found myself completely swept up in this tale of love, ambition and vanity’ Juliet West, author of Before the Fall
‘A powerful and gripping tale of longings and dreams, and how a chance meeting that seems to offer the answers and more, instead comes with devastating consequences. It’s a story about what a person will do and can do under force.
The world before, during and after World War II is amazingly well-drawn. But it is the character of Ada Vaughan that lingers, her resolve, her passion and her flaws’ Cecilia Ekback
‘A book not to be missed’ Shropshire Star