TITLE: Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing
AUTHOR: Kathy Cano-Murillo
INFO: Paperback, Fiction, 323 pages
PUBLISHED: Grand Central, 2011
SOURCE: Received from publisher for review and blog tour
FROM GOODREADS: Scarlet doesn't do things like other people. Unfortunately, this leads to some misunderstandings, like when her manager at the fabric store mistakes her measuring methods for assault. But while she may not be as wealthy as her siblings, or as respected as her grandmothers-strict seamstresses whose criticism left Scarlet permanently pattern-phobic-she will be soon. She's been offered a position with Johnny "Scissors" Tijeras, the hottest young designer in New York. To raise money for her move, Scarlet opens an after-hours sewing school in a local record shop, attracting a surprising mix of students. Future freeform garment makers include a high-strung office manager whose marriage counselor thinks she needs to learn to break some rules, and an elderly seamstress with a secret past. But as friendships grow, the lines between teacher and student blur, proving there is no single pattern for happiness-it is always a custom fit.
MY TAKE: The Goodreads blurb above doesn't do this book justice. It is so much more. The initial reason I chose to review this book is because I love to sew ~ sometimes without using a pattern. The fact that the story is such an enjoyable read was a treat.
The character of Scarlet Santana is quite the hoot. She is vibrant, creative and ambitious. It's too bad her family doesn't support her unorthodox methods of making a living. All of her family that is, except for her beloved grandmother. She is the one who taught Scarlet how to sew and is her biggest fan.
Scarlet's dream is to be a celebrated designer like her idol Daisy de la Flora. Her life and creations have inspired Scarlet since she was a child. When Scarlet is finally accepted into a prestigious training program with the nephew of Daisy, she will do anything to make it happen. Unfortunately Scarlet soon finds out exactly what "anything" entails.
The growth of several of the characters throughout the story really pull the reader in. I became very invested in Mary Therese's marital issues as well as the mystery of Scarlet's oldest student Rosa. They were all well written and full of depth. I warmed to them immediately and really cared about their tale. Scarlet's family wasn't at the top of my list for a while, but they grew as well as the story progressed.
This was one of those stories that makes you feel good, makes you mad, makes you cry and pretty much hits all of the range of emotions. I highly recommend this story and am looking forward to getting my hands on Kathy's first book, Waking Up in the Land of Glitter. Be sure to read my interview with Kathy from earlier today. She's an interesting lady!
~~~~~ Disclaimer: All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own. I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links. I may receive books in order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review - only a completely honest one. Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.