Bianca Pitzorno, an Italian writer known for her books for young readers, makes her adult debut in the U.S. with The Seamstress of Sardinia, a gently paced historical novel, perfect for fans of Adriana Trigiani. A young sartina--a seamstress who works daily in the homes of wealthy patrons--tells of her life's work, which began when she was only seven. She shares stories of learning her stitches from her grandmother and of her interactions with wealthy Sardinian families at the end of the 19th century.
Slow and sweet, The Seamstress of Sardinia spotlights in each chapter a different family the seamstress has worked for. Among them are the lawyer Proyera's family members, who appear to have new dresses straight from Paris but who are hiding a guilty secret; the spirited young marquise who hires the seamstress to make her wedding trousseau; and the American journalist who commissions a special corset. Each of these characters reveals more about the sartina's hopes and dreams and how, as she grows to adulthood and independence, she is determined to rise above her lowly status in the rigidly hierarchical Sardinian society.
The Seamstress of Sardinia--reminiscent of an older style of fiction, in which manners matter and lessons are learned--is sure to appeal to readers of Jane Austen or Louisa May Alcott. Based on the stories of Bianca Pitzorno's own grandmother, the novel captures a long-gone era with fresh eyes. Lovers of historical fiction are sure to find The Seamstress of Sardinia irresistible. --Jessica Howard, freelance book reviewer