The story is about Lucy Scarpelli, a seamstress whose family is being evicted from their home. Her aunt and uncle decide to move from New York to Oklahoma, leaving Lucy and her mother and her sister to figure out on their own a place to live.
Lucy manages to find a man that not only will rent them an apartment, but will also give the three ladies jobs as seamstresses and hat makers at his dress shop! While working in the shop, Lucy meets Rowena, a woman of high society who needs dresses made so that she can court with Edward. Edward and Rowena’s parents want them to marry each other although Rowena is not sure anyone will want to marry her because she is “crippled” (She hurt her hip/leg in an accident and walks with a limp) Rowena goes along with her parents idea even though she is really in love with Morrie – but he is part of “the help” and therefore off limits for her to pursue.
Rowena quickly forms a friendship with Lucy, as Lucy discovers a way to make her dresses quite flattering on Rowena. When Rowena and her family head off to Newport, RI for the summer, Rowena rips apart her dresses and demands that Lucy come out right away to repair them. While there Lucy meets “Dante”, who saves her from the Cliff Walk when she fell. Lucy and Dante sneak out to meet each other and send letters to each other.
Meanwhile, several of the other ladies want Lucy to help make them costumes for the Vanderbilt’s ball, so Lucy’s mom and sister are brought in to help with making them. It seems like once everyone is there – everybody starts falling in love and the story takes some twists and turns! I won’t give any more away 🙂
I liked that at the end of the book the author included a “Fact or Fiction” section where she discussed how things were in the late 1800s and how she decided to pick and choose where people lived, what their apartments looked like, etc. This was a nice touch and was very interesting to read after I had finished the book. She also included some photos of typical outfits for the women in this time period so it made it a bit easier to picture what Lucy was creating and what the women of high society were wearing during the book.