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The Dressmakers of Prospect Heights    by Kitty Zeldis order for
Dressmakers of Prospect Heights
by Kitty Zeldis
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2022 (2022)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Kitty Zeldis, author of Not Our Kind, now brings us an even earlier historical, The Dressmakers of Prospect Heights, that opens in 1924, Brooklyn.

There we meet upper class newlywed Catherine Berrill, desperate to have a child with her husband Stephen, but failing to conceive month after month. Escaping for a walk, she comes upon a new chic dress shop, run by Beatrice with help from young orphaned Alice. She's intrigued and makes a purchase.

It seems that Bea had been seeking Catherine, but readers don't find out why for some time. We learn that she had recently ended her two decades as a successful New Orleans madam. She had hired a detective to get answers to a question that had long haunted her, leading to the move to New York.

Catherine does become pregnant but then tragedy strikes. When she's at her lowest, she meets Bea again, and they become close. Bea shares her own story growing up in a prosperous Jewish family in Russia in the late 1800s. When her father was murdered, the family impoverished, and her mother died, Bea traveled to America.

After Alice becomes jealous of Bea's affection for Catherine, and gives a reporter the scoop on their New Orleans life, Bea has to give up her dress shop and flee to Manhattan. Alice leaves her, but later needs her help. Instead, Catherine gives her shelter and aid. Will they ever meet Bea again?

Read The Dressmakers of Prospect Heights to find out. It's a novel of triumph over adversities, and of the bonds of family in all its forms.

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