Book Review: The Pattern Artist

8 Dec

51y8wtodaxl-_sx326_bo1204203200_Born into a life of hard work, English housemaid Annie Wood arrives in New York City in 1911 with her wealthy mistress. Wide-eyed with the possibilities America has to offer, Annie wonders if there’s more for her than a life of service. Annie chooses to risk everything, taps into courage she never knew she had, and goes off on her own, finding employment in the sewing department at Macy’s. While at Macy’s Annie catches the eye of a salesman at the Butterick Pattern Company. Through determination, hard work, and God’s leading, Annie discovers a hidden gift: she is a talented fashion designer—a pattern artist of the highest degree. As she runs from ghosts of the past and focuses on the future, Annie enters a creative world that takes her to the fashion houses of Paris and into a life of adventure, purpose, and love.

71mrtw6rdwl-_ux250_Nancy Moser and her husband Mark live in the Midwest. She’s earned a degree in architecture, traveled extensively in Europe, and has performed in numerous theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She offers a monologue of Martha Washington (in costume) letting Martha share her life story. She also gives “God’s Gifts Workshops” around the country, helping women identify their gifts as they celebrate their sisterhood. She kills all her houseplants, and can wire an electrical fixture without getting shocked. She is a fan of anything antique–humans included.

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My Impressions:

Nancy Moser is a favorite author of mine. Whether it is contemporary women’s fiction or an historical novel, Moser always delivers an entertaining story with engaging characters. The Pattern Artist is no exception. Set in the early years of 20th century America, this novel explores the meaning of independence of spirit and dependence on a sovereign God. This one is a recommended read for fans of an historically-based novel with hints of romance.

Annie Woods has dreams of being more. A lowly housemaid, Annie believes she can work her way up to ladies maid if she works hard and is loyal to her employers. But life in service requires long hours, and efforts often go unnoticed and unappreciated. Faced with the knowledge that her dreams may never be fulfilled, Annie and two of her new friends run away and endeavor to start a new life in exciting New York City.

Characters make The Pattern Artist. Main character Annie is a work in process. As she encounters obstacles and threats, she learns the costs of wrong choices. Annie is not a believer in the beginning, but is wooed by God throughout the novel and is influenced by godly characters who show her what love looks like. Her search for independence is contrasted with the necessity to put full dependence on God for provision and protection. Annie is extremely likable; you’ll find yourself cheering for her even as you cringe at some of her decisions. She is definitely real with flaws galore, but a spirit that cannot be extinguished. Supporting characters compliment and advance Annie’s story as she discovers God’s purpose for her life. Her love interest, Sean, is a great romantic hero. History fans will love the historical figures and events that are woven throughout The Pattern Artist. Moser also provides a wonderful view into the world of fashion and home sewing. An element of danger adds to the tension and creates some welcomed suspense to the novel.

I really liked The Pattern Artist — just the right amount of romance, history and suspense to keep the pages turning!


Audience: older teens to adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to Barbour Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

2 Responses to “Book Review: The Pattern Artist”

  1. thepowerofwords2016 December 8, 2016 at 4:20 pm #

    Beckie, I haven’t finished this book yet, but I really do like it. Talk about nostalgia! I was born in 1947, so I have vivid childhood memories of shopping trips to Davison’s (Macy’s) in Atlanta with my mom and grandmother mid to late 50s. My grandmother loved to sew and was always looking for patterns, fabric, etc. Lots of memories are surfacing!

    Has it gotten cold where you are yet? It’s supposed to dip below freezing here for the first time tonight – three days with nights in the 20s, I think. We don’t get enough cold weather to suit me, so I’m enjoying this. We’ll definitely use our wood stove tomorrow!

    • rbclibrary December 8, 2016 at 4:32 pm #

      It hasn’t been too cold here yet, but we are expecting some low temps over the weekend. We have used the fireplace though. Our Boston terrier loves it!

      This was a memory-evoking novel for me too. No, I wasn’t alive in 1911 (though my children think otherwise), but I can remember looking through the Butterick and Simplicity pattern books and dreaming. I never became a sewer, but my sister was and is very proficient. We had a few pattern books at home that I loved to go through over and over.

      I visited the Macy’s in NYC last December and rode all the escalators to the top floor. They got older and slower as I progressed upward. I imagined Annie riding those old wooden moving stairs as she went to the employee lockers. This is such a great book. I was so excited to be offered it for review.

      Have fun reading and stay warm!!

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