Giff, Patricia Reilly. House of Tailors. New York: Wendy Lamb, 2004.
Dina Kirk's impetuous nature (She just had to have that French hat patten!) causes trouble with the local soldiers. She goes to America in her sister's place. America has always been her dream. There she can escape the endless monotony of her mother's sewing business.
Her dreams of America are dashed when uncle shows her his sewing machine. He expects Dina to earn her keep by sewing. Dina's new dream is to return to Germany. She works hard so she will have enough money for the return passage. Life, however, keeps interfering with her goal.
What I Thought: I enjoyed this book. I thought it well written. I empathized with Dina (the mark of a good character. I wouldn't mind seeing another book about her. Giff realistically captured what life was like for immigrants in the tenements. It was almost painful to read.