Thursday, July 17, 2014

Back in the Day . . .

Do you ever wish you lived in the days of the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker? How about the Cobbler, the Haberdasher, and the Milliner?

Speaking of Milliners . . . I just read this great book about a hatmaker. Carla Stewart’s The Hatmaker’s Heart. Stewart is known for her “nostalgic novels.” They generally have to do with a specific moment in time, and when I read her stories, I want to go back. Ok, keeping it real . . .. I’ve never actually lived in the roaring twenties, but when I read Hatmaker, I felt like I was there. And I wished I could wear one of her hats . . . and go back there.

It’s a story about postwar (between the wars) women and explores the paradigm shift whereby women sought after careers and college education in greater numbers than ever before. It examines the plight of women who lost husbands in the war, and tried to find a way to support families on their own. And how they came up against the old guard who promoted their traditions of women at home. 

The Hatmaker’s Heart follows a girl who loves designing and making hats back in the day when nearly every outfit required a different, matching hat. 1920s high fashion in NYC and then London dominates the scenes and provides a colorful backdrop for the drama which unfolds as Nell discovers who she is and learns to stand up for herself in a male-dominated workforce at a time of great change.

Nowadays, hats are for fun, sun, or warmth. What was the last hat you purchased for yourself? Do you like hats? Would you wear one every day if that was in style? Leave us a comment for a chance to win this week’s drawing.

The Hatmaker’s Heart is a quick and fun read. I hope you’ll give it a try.

Review by Jennifer Fromke


  1. A few years ago I was in a Red Hat's group. Women over 50 wore red hats and went out to dinner together once a month. I never felt comfortable in my hat...always felt like attention was being drawn to me. Wearing a hat would sure take some getting use too!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

  2. I love hats! I wore them in the 80's (1980's that is!) Looking forward to reading the book.

  3. Growing up in the Catholic Church, women wore something on their heads for many years. Whether it was a hat, scarf or veil you had to wear something. I enjoyed wearing hats on Sunday. I felt it made my outfit complete. I wish women still wore hats to church!

    1. Love that hats were part of your Sunday routine!

  4. I never wore hats, but I have old hats that belonged to my grandmothers and great grandmothers. My daughter and I use them when we are in a play or there is an event that calls for a hat--skits, etc.

  5. What a sweet review, Jennifer! Thanks so much :-)

  6. I only wear a hat now and then but I love to collect old hats. I have a small collection and a lovely carved oak mirror to put over my desk... someday! :)