Hello to Liz Trenow and the blog tour for her new novel, The Dressmaker of Draper’s Lane.
As a foundling who rose from poverty and now runs her own successful dressmaking business in the heart of society London, Miss Charlotte is a remarkable woman, admired by many. She has no need, nor desire, to marry. The people she values most are her friend Anna, her recently-found sister Louisa and nephew Peter.
She feels herself fortunate, and should be content with what she has. But something is missing.
A small piece of rare silk discovered in a bundle of scraps at auction triggers a curious sense of familiarity, and prompts her to unpick a past filled with extraordinary secrets and revelations . . .
To celebrate publication day, Liz has shared an extract with us today.
***** beginning of extract*****
She is unaware of her legs moving beneath her, of one foot taking a step and then another, except for the fact that the great gates in the distance seem to be drawing ever closer.
Her mind is blank. She keeps her eyes lowered to the ground, passing silently through the crowds on Gray’s Inn Road like a spectre. No one notices her and she dares not allow herself to look at her surroundings nor even to think, for if she did she would surely turn and flee. The only notion in her head is that where she is going offers the sole hope of saving her child’s life.
The bundle in her arms is still and silent now, having ceased whimpering some hours ago. The baby is too feeble to cry any more. It is of no matter to her that she has not eaten for several days except that it has caused her milk to become thin and weak.
This child is the single most precious thing she has ever known. How can she bear to give her up? Yet how can she bear to let her die?
At first the solution seemed simple. She would end both of their lives together, so they could never be parted. Sev¬eral times she has returned to Blackfriars Bridge, watching the dark, cold waters swirling below and trying to summon the courage to jump. But first she must climb onto the parapet, which means freeing her hands by laying down the bundle on the edge of the bridge, and even this momentary separation seems too dangerous to contemplate. What if the child should slip into the river without her?
Who would hold her tight as she fell, whispering reassurances that although the water would be cold and the journey difficult, everything would be fine when they reached the other side? Would she even have the courage to follow her?by