Add ‘The Forgotten Seamstress’ to your summer reading list

The Forgotten Seamstress, Liz Trenow, historical fiction

“The Forgotten Seamstress” is not your average sewing novel. The story opens in 1970s England as a graduate student researching treatment of the mentally ill, interviews a woman who spent decades of her life in an asylum, she says because she got pregnant with the bastard son of the Prince of Wales.

The medical reports all say the woman, Maria Romano, is delusional, and her tale of an orphan turned seamstress for the royal household, is nothing more than a fantasy. Fast forward to 2008 as Catherine Meadows discovers a quilt with a puzzling message embroidered in the lining and what appears to be rare royal silks used in the fabrics. As Catherine delves into the mystery behind the quilt and its maker, Maria’s story seems less and less fantastical, and more plausible with each turn of the page.

Sophomore novelist Liz Trenow seamlessly weaves together the story of these two women separated by decades and class, but connected by a stunning quilt.

Besides being a masterpiece of design and construction, the Maria has stitched the story of her life and the people she loved into the quilt. It is up to Catherine to decode the meaning to determine the truth behind Maria’s story.

“The Forgotten Seamstress” is both heartbreaking and compelling from the first page to the last. There is intrigue, betrayal, romance and secrets that define and connect both characters. It is a novel you won’t want to put down and will be sad to leave the characters behind when the story is over.

Plus, while not a quilter herself, Trenow worked with internationally acknowledged quilter Lynne Edwards to create Maria’s quilt. The pattern is available for download on Trenow’s website. “The Forgotten Seamstress” is definitely worth adding to your summer reading list.

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