Book Review- Ladies’ Tailor

On August 15, 2022, India celebrated Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav- its 75th Independence Day. To mark this important year, people celebrated it in various ways. Book lovers celebrated it with books dedicated to that time and era.

A HarperCollins newsletter about Independence Day books had Ladies’ Tailor as one of the recommendations and I instantly knew I wanted to read this book- it had a certain pull that I had to add it to my TBR list. And to my joyous surprise, some days later, the publishing house launched a Freedom Library book giveaway. I participated and received this book.

I just finished reading it and here’s what I think about it.

Book– Ladies’ Tailor

Author– Priya Hajela

Genre– Historical fiction

Pages– 294

Who Should Read It?

  • Those who want to know about that painful time in the history of mankind.
  • Those who like a mix of fiction and non-fiction stories.

The Story

It is a story set around the Indian partition. It starts from the time when India is split into two and Gurdev and his family, like thousands of others, start the great movement and bid adieu to the places they have called home for generations. It is a story of refugees, particularly of Gurdev and his family, and the struggles they face during and after the partition.

You are right to assume that it is a tale of loss and suffering. It would have been one long sad read if it stopped at that. But it is also a story of hope, courage, and taking a risky step to help someone in need.

The Characters

I adored all the central characters- The fierce, forward-thinking, and handsome Gurdev, confident and joyful Noor, and even repressed, hard-working and silent Simrat. Other characters that stood out for me were (both positive and negative)- Nirmal, Jagat Nath, Parveen, Urmao or Urmila and her parents, and Sultan and Samir.

The Writing

The author has a distinctive writing style that takes some time to get accustomed to. But this doesn’t loosen your interest in the story. Priya Hajela’s writing is brilliant and especially shines when her pen is focusing on the characters and their thoughts. The author does a fantastic job of bringing the characters alive with her sharp descriptions.

I adored how the writer created a believable fiction tale out of a real tragedy.

Things That Could Have Been Avoided

The Choice of Title

The title is a little misleading. Throughout the middle till the end, I was curious about the title. I didn’t understand why the author chose this name for the book as it is not about the actual ladies’ tailor i.e. Nirmal, but a partner in the business, Gurdev. I really thought Gurdev learns stitching, sewing and all the other things to become a ladies’ tailor. But he takes care of the other marketing and funding-related stuff of the business.


Wrong spelling and punctuation can ruin a perfect story and this is what happens with this book. I feel the typos in it could have been easily avoided, considering how few they are.

Unanswered Questions

The book ended abruptly with so many questions hanging in the air between me and the pages. For a second, I thought there is a sequel in the making. I so wish there is one just to know what happens to the characters, how the story moves forward once everyone overcomes the dangers to achieve what they set out to, and to again immerse myself in the delightful story rich with romance and terror told in the backdrop of the pre and post-independence era.

Final Verdict

4.5 stars

When I read an impactful book, I cannot immediately start with my next read. I have to let some days pass between that book and the next one to allow what I have read and the world I have been led into to sink in. This was such a book. The story is going to stay with me.

Highly recommended.


6 responses to “Book Review- Ladies’ Tailor”

    • Seeing your comment here feels so wonderful. It means a lot. Thank you for reading and appreciating my review. I immensely enjoyed reading this book and looking forward to your next book.

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