The Seamstress by Frances De Pontes Peebles is a novel that transports readers back to Brazil during the depression of the 1930’s. Two sisters use their sewing skills to take one of them to the wilds of the scrubland and the other to the refined city of Recife. Luzia, who is abducted by the leader of the cangaceiros, endures the cruelty of droughts and the lawlessness of the Brazil’s backcountry. Emilia discovers that being married to the son of a powerful doctor is far from her childhood dreams. The Seamstress is an engaging story that easily draws us into the political climate of the time.
This author’s first novel has shades of Isabel Allende with her mix of family, South America and politics.