Newport Rhode Island, home of the summer cottages ofthe very wealthy built during the gilded age, inspired the concluding settingfor An Unlikely Suitor a historicalnovel by Nancy Moser. This immigrant story is of the Scapelli’s, a mother andher two daughters newly arrived in New York City in 1895. Their father, Dante Scapelli, lost his life in an accident on the docksshortly after their arrival. Now thesmall family is scraping by as dressmakers to the wealthy.
Lucy Scapelli meets Rowena Langdon when Rowena visits MadameMoreau’s Fashion Emporium to be outfitted with a wardrobe suitable for hersummer in Newport.During a fitting, Lucy sees that she could help crippled Rowena’s clothes tofit better and hide her obvious physical disabilities. The two become friends under the disapprovingeye of Rowena’s mother. While trying toadjust to life with her wealthy friends in Newport Rowena schemes to find a way her dressmaker friend can join her.
This novel treats us to life during the Gilded Age, thesocial mores of that time, beautiful descriptive language of fashion from thatlavish era and the difficult life of immigrants at the turn of the century.