The Tobacco Wives

The Tobacco Wives

DEBUT NOVEL REVIEW ✨ Thank you, William Morrow, for gifting me a copy of The Tobacco Wives {partner}

Genre: Historical Fiction
Time: 1946
Format: 📖
Pub Date: 3.1.2022
Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆


Maddie Sykes is a burgeoning seamstress who’s just arrived in Bright Leaf, North Carolina—the tobacco capital of the South—where her aunt has a thriving sewing business. After years of war rations and shortages, Bright Leaf is a prosperous wonderland in full technicolor bloom, and Maddie is dazzled by the bustle of the crisply uniformed female factory workers, the palatial homes, and, most of all, her aunt’s glossiest clientele: the wives of the powerful tobacco executives.

When a series of unexpected events thrusts Maddie into the role of lead dressmaker for the town’s most influential women, she scrambles to produce their ornate gowns for the biggest party of the season. But she soon learns that Bright Leaf isn’t quite the carefree paradise that it seems: A trail of misfortune follows many of the women, including substantial health problems. Although Maddie is quick to believe that this is a coincidence, she inadvertently uncovers evidence that suggests otherwise.

Maddie wants to report what she knows, but in a town where everyone depends on Big Tobacco to survive, she doesn’t know who she can trust—and fears that exposing the truth may destroy the lives of the proud, strong women with whom she has forged strong bonds.

Shedding light on the hidden history of women’s activism during the post-war period, at its heart, The Tobacco Wives is a deeply human, emotionally satisfying, and dramatic novel about the power of female connection and the importance of seeking truth.”


“Imagine living like that. Not having to hold your breath every time the checkout girl rings up your groceries, not having the shame when you have to put something back. Not having to worry. “

Adele Myers has such a beautiful way of writing that I couldn’t stop reading; it was full of rich, vibrant details that brought the characters and their stories to light. I devoured this novel in less than 24 hours and knew that it would be a 5 star for me very early on.

One of my favorite sections of the book featured Maddie picking out the color swatches for the wives – the details were perfect and made me feel like I was in the room with her. My ONLY complaint about the book is that I wish Myers had included sketches of the dress and hats. I need to see what inspired all the outfits!

Without giving anything away, I also appreciated the end of the story. Obviously, everything couldn’t be wrapped up in a pretty bow because there was still a lot that would go into (and honestly still is) the awareness and prevention of smoking. But, I loved that Myers gave the readers one more chapter to spend with some of the characters.

🥰 Believable & lovable characters
👌🏽 Ending was well thought out
💜 Cornelia may be one of my favorite characters
🤩 Beautiful descriptions of the people, town, & fashion
🧐 Has a bit of mystery to it
🕰 Post WWII

❌- due to the nature of the book, there were references to infant death, birth defects, and miscarriage. If you have any questions or concerns, please DM me.

This was a debut novel for Adele Myers, and I can’t wait to read what she writes next! I had so many people message me for my review on this book, so I hope I’ve convinced you to go out and pick it up from your local bookstore! 😘

If you could be successful at any hobby, what would it be? I would LOVE to be able to make my own clothes (and it does not look like I made my own clothes…)

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