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The Hatmaker's Heart: A Novel

By Carla Stewart


For Nell Marchwold, bliss is seeing the transformation when someone gets a glimpse in the mirror while wearing one of her creations and feels beautiful. Nell has always strived to create hats that bring out a woman's best qualities. She knows she's fortunate to have landed a job as an apprentice designer at the prominent Oscar Fields Millinery in New York City. Yet when Nell's fresh designs begin to catch on, her boss holds her back from the limelight, claiming the stutter she's had since childhood reflects poorly on her and his salon. But it seems Nell's gift won't be hidden by Oscar's efforts. Soon an up-and-coming fashion designer is seeking her out as a partner of his 1922 collection. The publicity leads to an opportunity for Nell to make hats in London for a royal wedding. There, she sees her childhood friend, Quentin, and an unexpected spark kindles between them. But thanks to her success, Oscar is determined to keep her. As her heart tugs in two directions, Nell must decide what she is willing to sacrifice for her dream, and what her dream truly is.

Book Takeaway:

True success and contentment comes from doing that for which we are designed, and being strong in the face of adversity leads to honor.

Why the author wrote this book:

I've long been fascinated with the Jazz Age (Roaring Twenties) and British television and literature. I've recently became enamored with Downton Abbey, so pairing the two was my initial intent. I didn't want to focus on the usual political/social mores of the day (prohibition and the suffrage movement) but expand the story more into the world of fashion and women's roles in business at the time. Although the protagonist hails from noble British birth, WWI robs her family of their assumed position among the landed gentry when her father dies in service to his country. The family relocates to the US, allowing me to utilize both American and British settings. While I hope to capture fans of Downton Abbey with the book, my true desire is that women will understand where their true beauty lies and embrace their God-given uniqueness.


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