Book Review: The Fashion Designer

9 Jul

The American Dream thrives in 1912 New York City
Annie Wood, the housemaid-turned-pattern designer in The Pattern Artist, jumps at the chance to design her own clothing line when a wealthy New York couple offers to finance her endeavor. Joining the project is Annie’s new husband, Sean Culver, her best friend at Butterick, Maude Nascato, and a mother figure, Edna Holmquist.
Annie and her colleagues give up their careers, risking everything to follow a shared passion: clothes that are both fashionable and functional for modern, busy women in 1912.
Personal and financial setbacks test old relationships and new romances while threatening to keep the business from ever selling a single dress. No one said it would be easy. But the promise of the American Dream holds a deep hope for those who work hard, trust God, and never give up.

Nancy Moser is the award-winning author of thirty-two inspirational novels and novellas that focus on discovering our unique purpose. Her genres include both contemporary and historical stories.

Nancy and her husband 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 knits voraciously, kills all her houseplants, and can wire an electrical fixture without getting shocked. She is a fan of anything antique — humans included.



My Impressions:

The Fashion Designer, by Nancy Moser, completes the American Dream story of Annie Wood Culver that was begun in The Pattern Artist. Seeking to escape a life of service, Annie daringly leaves the only life she has known and sets out on a course to discover God’s plan for her life. This is not a story of a rise to fame and fortune, but a personal quest to follow the purposes God has. Rich in the detail of the early 1900s — customs, manners, and fashions — The Fashion Designer is an interesting read perfect for those who love historical novels. And it is a very satisfying ending to the series! Recommended.

Previous characters from The Pattern Artist are joined by new as Annie endeavors to set up a fashion house geared to the everyday woman. Annie’s story is the main focus, but this novel has a wonderful ensemble cast of women who are seeking to make a new way in the New York of 1912. The characters come from all backgrounds, aristocratic, immigrant, rich and desperately poor, making The Fashion Designer a slice of American life of that time. The author includes familiar New York landmarks, and even an historical figure in the fashion industry to bolster the book’s authenticity.  The plot revolves around a woman’s fashion workshop, but the story expands to include the changing roles of women and their search for independence of thought and action. The novel’s male characters are varied as well, with some very supportive of their wives’ endeavors; others not so much. And speaking of male characters, although Annie and Sean are now happily married, there is some sweet romance afoot for some of Annie’s partners. The faith message is strongly woven throughout the narrative. In spite of obstacles and setbacks (and there are plenty!), the characters set their sights on God and His provision. As they struggle with maintaining faith, God shows them He is indeed in control.

While it is not necessary to read book 1 of the series to enjoy The Fashion Designer, I recommend that you do. You will want to get Annie’s whole story. A quick and easy read, this one is a great addition to your summer reading list.


Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

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



2 Responses to “Book Review: The Fashion Designer”

  1. martyomenko July 14, 2018 at 11:09 am #

    Do you think this would be appropriate for high schoolers?

    • rbclibrary July 14, 2018 at 8:46 pm #

      Martha, I think it would. One of the main characters experienced a rape in her past and one is abused by her husband, but neither is described in graphic terms. All of the action occurs “off stage”.

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