English housemaid Annie Wood has always worked hard to improve her station in life, and dreams of someday becoming a lady's maid. When her hopes are dashed by the machinations of others, Annie takes the daring step to make a life of her own in New York City. From a night spent on the streets and a crowded room above a bakery, to the sales floor at Macy's, the design department of the Butterick Pattern Company, and eventually the fashion houses of Paris, Annie's talent and optimistic attitude take her on an adventure to achieve the American dream.
Nancy Moser's The Pattern Artist is charmingly packed full of fascinating historical detail. The reader gets a realistic glimpse of life in 1911 New York from a variety of perspectives. Despite the engaging historical flair, however, most of Moser's characters lacked depth. I honestly had a difficult time finding many of them believable, or even likable. Annie is certainly plucky with a good amount of gumption, but also somehow equally insecure and indecisive. Her constant second-guessing of every single choice presented to her not only grew tiresome, but rendered her love story-- which barely deserves to be called such-- completely unsatisfying. I can generally overlook some mechanical and developmental issues for a compelling romance, but The Pattern Artist couldn't even credibly manage that.
I received a free copy from the publisher. No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.