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The Tailor's Daughter

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  609 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Set in 1860's Victorian England, Janice Graham's suspenseful new novel tells the story of Veda Grenfell, a passionate young woman with an indomitable spirit. Raised on Savile Row, the enclave of fashionable London tailors, Veda is every inch her father's daughter. She has inherited his talent, his sense of style, and his love of tailoring. When a fever leaves her deaf at t ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published October 17th 2006 by St. Martin's Press (first published April 1st 2006)
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3.68  · 
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 ·  609 ratings  ·  86 reviews

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Jul 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booksfree-com
I found this book to be both captivating and poignant. It is the story of Veda Grenfell, daughter of a London tailor. Veda has been brought up with excellent manners and given a fine education, which sets her apart from her peers in the merchant class. Veda suffers several tragedies as a teenager, one of which is the loss of her hearing. This further cuts Veda off from the world in which she lives. Her passion is that of the business of a tailor, and she persuades her father to let her be his as ...more
Dec 24, 2017 rated it liked it
For the first 100 pages or so I thought this was going to be a 5 star book. I was loving it. Graham's writing is on the formal and flowery side but I found it beautiful. I was so curious to see where it was going to go. However, my interest ebbed as the book went on because this is way too long and it relies too heavily on description in place of action. This is prettily written but so slow. Eventually some interesting, intense stuff does happen but my patience was tested waiting. The big stuff ...more
Jul 06, 2010 rated it liked it
I found this story to be entirely too schizophrenic to enjoy completely. Although it's not formatted this way, I felt like there were three different plots, with fairly significant lulls in between that made it difficult to continue reading. The author couldn't seem to decide if she wanted this to be a coming-of-age story, historical fiction or a mystery. So, she did none of these facets well.

If I were editing this book, I would have reformatted it so that the last 75 pages were the crux of the
Mar 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Nothing overly spectacular about this book but I really enjoyed it. Takes place in England during mid-late 1800's. Three main elements to the story are:

1. Loss of hearing for the main character at the age of sixteen. Finding her place in a society not comfortable with her situation.
2. Her love of tailoring and the social issues of women and work which accompany the time period.
3. Her love life.

This was a nice love story with a little bit of drama, especially towards the end. It was very clean o
Dec 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
This novel took me FOREVER to read, and I often didn't look forward to picking it up; however, when I had large chunks of time to read I found myself really enjoying the story. This is not a book for reading when you have ten minutes to spare. The author's style reminds me of Jane Austen, and you need time to absorb the beauty of her words.

This novel has everything: love, death, deception, etc. The protagonist, Veda, must overcome all obstacles while dealing with becoming deaf in her teen years
Jennifer Mcknight
Mar 28, 2014 rated it liked it
I picked up this historical romance because I craved a well written story set in Victorian England, and several reviews said the writing was outstanding even if the story itself was a little boring.

Unfortunately, the writing annoyed me from the start. Graham tells rather than shows 80% of the time, and if you don’t know the difference between “show vs. tell” in writing, trust me, it’s a big deal. It was so noticeable that the first 1/3 of the book felt like “info dump,” and I suspect that’s why
I really enjoyed Janice Graham's story about the life of Veda Grenfell, a bright and headstrong young woman making her way in a man's world.

Veda lives with her mother, her father and her brother Reggie in Victorian London. Her father is a tailor and Veda too loves making beautiful clothing for people.

Veda suffers many loses in her youth including the loss of her hearing at the age of sixteen. Veda gives up any hope of living a typical life in London's society. And instead pursues her love of t
Apr 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: historical fiction fans
Veda Grenfell comes from a prosperous tailoring family, but her brother longs to be a scholar rather than take over the family business one day. Veda, on the other hand, loves tailoring and has a knack for design, but is stymied by her gender and the societal restrictions of 1860s London. A series of tragedies plague her small family, including the illness that leaves Veda deaf. She struggles against the overwhelming isolation that causes, determined to find a way to communicate and make a life ...more
Tara Chevrestt
Terrific!! This book is very elegant and very realistic. It really tells the life of deaf woman and the troubles she faces from other people's ridicules, being excluded from conversations, the tiring practice of lip reading, and the feelings of hopelessness that accompany the affliction. I am a hearing impaired woman myself and I was shocked that someone out there understands. The heroine is a terrific woman that overcomes everything life throws at her, and life throws A LOT her way. The first q ...more
Jun 26, 2008 rated it liked it
I can't stand these historical romances!! Just when I thought I had found one I liked, it went and threw me. The problem with trying to write with one eye in the past and one in the present is the two eyes have a tendency to cross. I would have been happy if the book had concluded in the same way most Victorian novels did: either tragic or happy-ending Disney-style. This one could never decide which it would be: happy ending or tragedy. And for all the loose ends?? Pure frustration!! I also hate ...more
Sep 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing

This is a very good book. I have to say if you have ever had a family member who is hearing impaired this book will help you to understand what they go through. I only wish I had read this book twenty five years a go. I truly see my own daughters determination in this story and her never give up spirit and her take no crap attitude. The story is so real that you feel all the pain and emotions the character feels. The author did a wonderful job in making you see what the fashions were like for th
Dec 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Though I truly enjoyed Veda's story in The Tailor's Daughter, it wouldn't have been nearly as enjoyable without the author's great artistry. Janice Graham wove this book together with all the care a master tailor would put into a nobleman's coat. (The comparison had to be made). The characters were frustrating in their stubbornness, weakness, and bad judgements, but the majority of them were so loveable; if not loveable, then definitely relateable. I was expecting a different ending than I was g ...more
Amber Gardiner
Feb 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This was one of my bookclub choices that I think was rejected mostly because Firebird was not our favorite books. After the first chapter, I was completely hooked. The story of a girl who is deaf in a Victorian England, struggling to be her fathers only heir. It's a great story with a great love story weaved in but I can say it's definitely not a romance novel. I read in the reviews that it's a retelling of Pride and Prejudice but I'd disagree and say that in comparison it's more like Jane Eyre. ...more
Donna Jo Atwood
1860s/70s Veda Grenfell is the daughter of a tailor who, at age 16, becomes deaf. The only surviving child, she begins working in her father's business, wearing--gasp--men's clothing. She eventually marries Harry, Lord Ormelie, but they are cruelly torn apart by his father. This started out as an interesting historical novel, but turned into a "had-I-but known",
Task 25.4
Rochelle Roman
Sep 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
I am a Janice Graham fan. Positively loved Firebird and Sarah's Window. This book was good but did not have the same emotional intensity as the others. Dont get me wrong, it was emotional but just not true Janice form. Veda was a great character, not your pity her type. Good read if you never read any books from Janice.
April Dinucci
Aug 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This is the first book in a long line of books that has drawn me in to the character's mind, body and soul so completely. The author brings to life the struggles of a young girl forced to adapt to tragedy and the complexities of a disability. There is mystery, heartache, love and redemotion all neatly summed in a too short 400 pages. I highly recommend this book!
Mar 30, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical-novel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
Oh, I wanted to like this book, so much. The premise of a deaf woman trying to make her way in Victorian England sounded like a good premise, and the author did her research when it came to Veda dealing with her disability after her hearing loss. Her struggle to read lips, communicate with people, and deal with the silence are well-illustrated here, as well as her skill and passion for her craft and her struggles in a male and class-dominated world.

As anyone who is fairly versed in history knows
Priscilla Herrington
The Tailor's Daughter is my favorite sort of historical romance - yes, there's a love story involved complete with improbable couple and many pitfalls - and even better, the opportunity to learn something about another time and place.

Janice Graham's heroine, Veda Grenfell, is the daughter of a Saville Row tailor who caters to the gentry and lesser nobility in London in the mid-nineteenth century. Veda's talent with her needle and her keen observations in her father's shop have made her a worthy
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Follows the vicissitudes of Veda Grenfell, the eponymous tailor's daughter of the title, as she struggles to make her way in Victorian London. After becoming deaf due to a devastating fever, it seems that Veda's only future lies in marriage to her father's business partner. But she wants more--recognition of her own tailoring talents, success (in what is, let's be honest, a man's world), and love.

A bit implausible (really, a gently-bred woman of that era tailoring men's sportswear?) but highly
Jun 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Veda is the daughter of a successful tailor in London. Her brother dies in an accident and her mother dies shortly afterward. So Veda is left with her father. Veda becomes sick and looses her hearing. Veda loves being in her father’s shop, watching the work and helping as she can. Veda eventually dresses as a man and begins a successful tailoring career. But then she falls in love, and everything gets complicated.
Jul 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
It was okay, it moved very slow and I felt a lot of the stuff the author included wasn't necessary. She replied very heavily on descriptions and scandals that didn't advance any plot much. The first half was very good, but it teetered off towards the end.
Sara Ormsby
I had a hard time getting into this story. It didn't seem to flow very well for me, and it seemed to include too much information that was irrelevant and made it a little confusing for me. I liked the romantic relationship between the characters, but wish we could have seem them together more.
Laura Shears
May 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
I really wanted to like this book, but...gave up after about an hour. This pertains to the audiobook version.
First, why would a book that takes place in London be read by a narrator with an American accent?
Second, there were many mispronunciations of British words. Sloppy editing.
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
A haunting read. I found it hard to pull myself out of this book even when the book was closed.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 09, 2015 rated it liked it

Confession: I added this book only because I once had a book of poetry that included a print of the same gorgeous painting used on the cover of this book. Yes, I chose a book based on its cover - guilty as charged.

Now for the review. I wonder if this book was written by three separate writers in a bizarre tandem exercise.

It starts of as a somewhat depressing historical drama. Veda is the daughter of a talented London tailor that, thanks to gentrifying their client base, is rising up in social st
Hmmm. . . interesting. It's as if the author wanted to create a faithful reproduction of a 19th century women's novel, complete with formal dialogue and historically accurate attitudes. No complaints here about modern ideas dropped inappropriately into an old-fashioned setting! As a result, 21st C. readers may want to give the heroine a good shake: after all young Veda endures (and this is a potboiler, make no mistake about it) she is content at the end to hide the fact that she sews for her fam ...more
Nora Peevy
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book really illustrates the domestic and second class role women played in Victorian society. We pinned our hopes on a good suitor. We were powerless to do anything if a husband hit us or took our children away. We could not own property. We could not have financial independence with our own jobs. Inheritance went to our male family members or our husband.

But Graham created Veda, this wonderful, strong, determined, woman with a dream to be a tailor and a vision of inheriting her father's b
An enjoyable read. I love a good story that's not ruined with 'mature' content, particularly historical fiction. I did find that the author reused or reworked similar phrases throughout the story, and I did find that tedious. I'm sure they used many words to describe zeal and fervor in the 19th century that were not solely relating to the church or missionaries. I know all too well the excitement of a new convert and the inextinguishable spirit of one who has devoted themselves to the Lord, but ...more
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This relates to the audio version 1 1 Sep 19, 2018 02:11AM  

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The Official Take:

Janice Graham was raised in Kansas and obtained her M.A. in French literature before pursuing graduate film studies at USC and English literature at UCLA in Los Angeles, California. Her screenplay Until September, a romantic comedy situated in Paris, was picked up by MGM and made into a film starring Karen Allen and Thierry Lhermitte. Her first novel, Firebird, became a New York
“Virtue can exist outside of faith, but it walks on shaky legs, and despite the example set by Prince Albert and our Queen, I know that privilege, rank, and wealth sleep fitfully in the same bed with honesty, humility, and faith.” 1 likes
“Perhaps it is in speaking of our falseness that we can be true.” 0 likes
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