One would be forgiven for thinking the focus of this novel is Ada's life and ill-treatment while at Dachau. However, the story offers a broader scope than this and is just as much about how her experiences during the war shaped her life choices afterwards. Ada is a highly sympathetic protagonist, who is repeatedly taken in by men who promise her a better life. While she thinks she is in control of her destiny, it is clear to the reader that she is merely a pawn in a man's world.
Chamberlain's novel is unashamedly dramatic, and readers may be shocked by the final reveal which deftly brings into question Ada's perspective on everything with a satisfying twist.
The Dressmaker of Dachau is an engaging and satisfying novel.