William Morrow - Trade Paperback
ISBN:  978-0-06-249972-1
August 2017
Historical Women's Fiction

Brunskill, Pennsylvania - 1945 to 1952

Jeanne Brink is working as a secretary for the Harris Carton offices.  Her income doesn't pay all the bills but it helps the four of them get by.  Jeanne lives with her sister, Peggy Holliman, and Peggy's mother-in-law, Thelma, who took both the sisters into her home after her son and Peggy were married.  It was World War II and Thelma's son, Thomas, was stationed in the South Pacific, where he died.  He never knew that Peggy was pregnant and that he would be a father.  Their daughter, Thomasina, or Tommie, is now six years old.

Peggy dreams of being a fashion designer.  She meticulously worked to perfect her drawing skills, and she has the unique ability to copy the latest designs, translating them into sketches which Jeanne then uses to sew beautiful clothes that rival any originals from Paris.  Now that the war and the lean years of rationing are over, women are anxious to spend money on designer clothes made out of lush new fabrics, taffeta, tulle, crepe:  the more decadent the better.  Jeanne hates working in an office; she wants to create clothes and open her own shop.  Jeanne and Peggy want to be there on the ground floor of a new industry when it opens up.  But for now, there are only dreams, and the sisters take in what menial sewing jobs they can get.  Still single, Jeanne lost her fiancé, Charles, when he died in Europe five years ago, but still, she grieves.

Thelma's husband Harry died nine years ago, and anyone would think she still mourns.  Thelma spent years raising Thomas and keeping the books for Henry's drayage company, and she still relishes the sense of power her job gave her. She still keeps all of her treasured office equipment in the basement; it represents freedom.  Thelma has little use for women friends, but she took Peggy in after her son married her and went off to war, then she allowed Jeanne to move in as well after the sisters' mother died.  Thelma has plans and secrets she is keeping, and, but only for her granddaughter, Tommie, she'll take care of them all.

THE DRESS IN THE WINDOW is a story of three women who struggle to make ends meet and build a life for themselves during a time when women depended on the men in their lives for sustenance.  Jeanne rebels at working in an office; she longs to open a shop where she can sew, and she detests wearing patched and hand-me-down clothes.  Meanwhile, Peggy stumbles upon a job of her own, working at a department store where her flair for design might put her on the road to her dreams, if only it weren't for her responsibility to six-year-old Tommie.

THE DRESS IN THE WINDOW is the work of author Sophie Littlefield, writing here as Sofia Grant.  THE DRESS IN THE WINDOW is full of wonderfully rich and fully rounded characters, and tells a story of determination and fortitude, along with a cache of mystery, secrets, and lies that make this book a page-turning novel.  Alternating points of view by Jeanne, Peggy, and Thelma as we move through the years give readers a powerful story that will long live in your memory.

Diana Risso