Constance and Alice are two women in 1900 who are drawn together after the death of their husbands. Constance is a socialite who lives in New Orleans and her husband is up to his ears in gambling debt to the Black Hand when he is killed. Alice lives in Chicago and is forced to find a new start when her husband disappears while on a business trip. She arrives in New Orleans finding a place teaching sewing at an orphanage. She and Constance cross paths as the women of New Orleans begin to plan a Mardi Gras celebration. They bond as they design an epic dress for the event.

This story has a mystery at its center, but the reader knows where it is going the whole time. We simply get to watch as Constance and Alice come to grips with their realities. The bond that forms between the two is lovely and refreshing to see two women who are not rivals but supporters of one another in their hardest times. My favorite aspects were, of course, the historical ones – pre-voting era women pressing for control of their lives, New Orleans at its height, the glamour of Mardi Gras, the reality of survival in a harsh world. But the designing of the dress was also a lovely highlight, I loved the mythology and history these women brought to the design.This is a perfect historical fiction novel to pick up if you want something a little different for a summer read. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thanks to Netgalley for advanced access to this novel. All opinions above are my own.

Have you ever needed to plan the perfect outfit for a fancy event?

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