Once a bookworm, these days I rarely have time to read any books. Yet, I simply couldn’t put down The Seamstress.
The novel is by Frances de Pontes Peebles, who tells a story about two sisters, the history of Brazil, feminism, womanhood, sisterhood, motherhood, family, deep poverty and graphic violence. This is also a book about the power of sewing, and the usefulness of this craft in a harsh world.
Emilia and Luzia dos Santos are two orphaned sisters from a small village in northeastern Brazil in the 1920s. After the death of their seamstress aunt who taught them how to sew, their lives take two very different paths that eventually come together again.
“The Seamstress” is a fascinating, exotic book, heartwarming and heart-wrenching at the same time. I loved it. It reminded me how lucky I am to have a family, a right to vote, pretty clothes, a warm bed and food to eat. It also reminded me that the only thing I can sew is a button, and that that should probably change.