BENEATH THE SEAMS
GENRE: Inspirational Women’s Fiction / Social Impact
PUBLISHER: Scrivenings Press
RELEASE DATE: May 11, 2021
Both a gripping exposé of fashion industry secrets and a heartwarming mother-daughter tale, Beneath the Seams explores love, conscience, hope, and the common threads connecting humanity.
Fashion designer Shelby Lawrence is launching her mother-daughter dresses into retail stores nationwide when she receives a photo of the girl who will change her life forever. Runa, the family’s newly sponsored child, is a clever student growing up near Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Dresses are flying off the racks when a horrifying scene unfolds in Dhaka that threatens to destroy Shelby’s pristine reputation. Even worse―it sends Runa’s life spiraling down a terrifying path. Shelby must decide how far she’s willing to go to right a tragic wrong.
Perfect for book clubs, this social impact novel includes a resource list and discussion questions.
I love fiction that makes me smarter, and I love fiction that makes me more aware of the world around me, putting me in someone else’s shoes for a while. Peyton H. Roberts’s debut novel Beneath the Seams does exactly that.
Readers will immediately connect to Shelby, and the various layers to her character provide many ways in which women from different stages of life can relate to her journey. She’s a young mom with a climbing-the-corporate-ladder husband & a sweet little girl. She’s also a social media influencer and an entrepreneur, on the brink of all her dreams coming true. Her adorable family even sponsors a child overseas. Shelby comes across as genuine and sincere, and all of the dimensions to her story pulled me in and took me through a gamut of emotions.
It’s at that intersection of their sponsored child and Shelby’s dresses that the real crux of this story comes to life. Roberts uses descriptive settings and heart-tugging characters to illuminate the darker side of the garment industry. Even though this is a book and you’re obviously reading the words off the page, there are moments when it’s almost as if you are watching the scenes play out in front of you – and you can’t look away. My heart stayed in my throat for nearly the whole last half of the book, and I’m still thinking about these characters and what I’ve learned.
One thing that did take me out of the story a bit – some of the conversations about what Shelby discovered and her chats with her friends about what they can do to make a difference felt more like I was reading an article than a novel. A very riveting article, but it did stop the story for me nonetheless. Those moments were short-lived, though and didn’t detract from my story-immersion for long. For a book club or small group that is invested in causes related to social justice – or wants to be – these scenes will act as a great springboard for discussion.
Bottom Line: From the busy affluence of shopping malls & morning shows stateside to the unsafe conditions & human rights violations of garment factories across the globe, Peyton Roberts’s debut novel gives you a heartfelt look at the fashion industry – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Based on true accounts of two devastating factory collapses in Bangladesh in 2013, Beneath the Seams will change the way you look at the clothing you buy and give you the tools to start being part of the solution. Along the way you’ll also meet a handful of engaging characters you’re not likely to forget anytime soon. More than just an entertaining story, this is the kind of book that opens our eyes and hearts, changing us for the better in the process.
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / enjoyed it!
Peyton H. Roberts, M.A., is a writer, mom, and military spouse who grew up sewing dresses on the sunny Gulf Coast. Her extensive travels studying abroad, leading mission trips, and living overseas on Guam forged a passion for writing and speaking about social impact causes. To learn more, visit www.peyton-roberts.com.
Peyton H. Roberts is offering a print copy of Beneath the Seams to one of my readers. (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read Beneath the Seams by Peyton H. Roberts?