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The Garment Maker's Daughter

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4.20  ·  Rating details ·  3,738 ratings  ·  360 reviews
The Garment Maker's Daughter is a multigenerational saga of immigrant dreams and sweatshop realities, labor strikes and women's rights. It is the story of Lena Rothman, a shirtwaist-maker and active suffragette whose plans get derailed when she falls in love with her best friend's boyfriend; Jake Brenner, a passionate labor organizer determined to lead the shirtwaist-maker ...more
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Published November 30th 2016 by Hillary Stern (first published November 23rd 2016)
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Richard There is a sex scene in it, although it is not graphic and does contribute to the plot and the motivations of the protagonists involved. Other than th…moreThere is a sex scene in it, although it is not graphic and does contribute to the plot and the motivations of the protagonists involved. Other than this isolated incident there are no other occurrences of eroticism. There is also little strong language.(less)
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Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,738 ratings  ·  360 reviews


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Lynn McWhorter
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best historical fiction novels I have ever read. The characters are engaging and complex. The writing is polished and lyrical. The plot is delightfully complicated, but never confusing or tedious. Most likely, the best recommendation I can give is that I can't wait for more from this author!! Good work! ...more
Thom Swennes
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love just happens….. It can’t be planned, neither can it be bought nor sold or even traded; it just happens. When it does, for whatever reason, it is pure magic.
Like millions of immigrants before them, Twenty-two-year-old Daniel Cowan and seventeen-year-old Lena Rothman looked on Lady Liberty as their ship, the SS Pretoria made its way to Ellis Island; the gateway to a new life, filled with hope and promise. These two young people weren’t related or friends. It is really quite strange that they
...more
joyce g
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
I very well balanced historical fiction read. The characters are full and lush and the story heroic. I enjoyed it immensely. Thank you Goodreads and author Hillary Adrienne Stern for the opportunity to go back in time.
KBE
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great story. The Author writes extraordinarily well and is especially talented at conveying her characters' thoughts, moods and actions. The story moves incredibly quickly. Among other things, We get snapshots of immigrant life, particularly Jewish immigrant culture, the labor movement, and New York City. But, rather than focus too much on the intricacies of the time period she covers, Ms. Stern says enough to place her characters in a context without letting too many details distract from a lov ...more
Sterlingcindysu
This historical romance is 5% history and 95% romance...so judge accordingly. I'm not a big romance fan (meaning, not at all) so I was disappointed in the last 2/3s of the book. I've read Katharine Weber's Triangle (which I rated 5 stars) so perhaps I've been spoiled for any other book on the subject. (But really, the garment workers' scenes are very brief in this book.)

This was a freebie on Amazon for Kindle (but not today). I can't fault any of the plot, characters or scenes...this just wasn'
...more
Mela
I can hardly tell that I have read it. I had read the first part with my full attention, but the second and third I mostly just skimmed/skipped (and I did it only because I was curious whether it would be as bad as I feared - it was).

At the beginning, it reminded me very much The Tea Rose Series, especially wonderful The Tea Rose. But, not only Jennifer Donnelly's storytelling was better, but first of all, she managed better with a historical background.

Writing historical fiction a writer choose
...more
Emily
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this historical novel. I came in with no expectations, so it exceeded them in every way. A very engaging saga with a strong female protagonist. In fact, the entire story is a celebration of women's drive and ambition. The story spanned many decades of the early 20th century so was interesting to read about women in the garment workers union on through fighting for and gaining the right to vote, and starting their own successful businesses -- in some cases in spite of the men ...more
Patricia Whittington
I can't' believe this is Ms. Steven's first book!

Wonderfully written story with strong characters. I can't say there was any one person I didn't like. Perhaps Lena was my favorite person because she tried to do what was right in all situations. I don't want to give anything away so I will stop right here and just say that I thoroughly enjoyed this author's first book and hope others will read it too.
...more
Kathe Coleman
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Historical Novel Association

"In the early 20th century, three immigrants stand aboard a ship sailing into Ellis Island, each with their own dreams about what coming to America will mean for them: Daniel, a Polish boy with a love of language and law, and Lena and Joe, Jewish siblings hoping for a better life. They are about to meet New Yorkers Jake, a rough labor representative, and his dazzling girlfriend, Sophie. Together, they will change one another’s lives in ways no one could imagine. Over
...more
Kbkberg
Jan 23, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a great story line and I loved the way the characters were developed. But the number of typos made this very distracting for me. At one point, the uncle was even referred to by the wrong name. There's really no excuse for this. I would have given this book 4 stars had it not been for the typos. ...more
Sue Hess
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book! I rarely give 5 stars.
If you are a lover of Historical Fiction, this book is for you! It is relatively new, but I found it as a FREE Kindle book on Amazon.
Marilyn
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A multigenerational saga, those are the words that drew me to this book, however it was not a saga by any means. A well developed book of 30 years of the lives and friendships of smart young people coming together in New York in the 1920’s looking to make a better life for themselves. They all ended up making a difference with their careers, however they let lies get in the way of happiness in their personal lives. Good nonetheless, a few tears shed by me near the end. Good lessons on love and r ...more
Heidi Moss
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down. Honestly I am not a big reader but once I started the book I had to finish. Each character was so brilliantly introduced and revealed throughout the story. Nothing is predictable and each part of the story flows seamlessly into the next. I don't want to say more and ruin the experience for you...I would put it on a must read list! ...more
Marjorie
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Starting with two immigrants arriving at the Ellis Island processing centre this novel looks at how their lives pan out form their inauspicious arrival in 1917. Lena and Daniel's stories become strangely intertwined from his first glimpse of her on the ship to meeting her again at Night School. This is a real relationship so they fall away from each other and reconnect and fall away again - you get the idea.

Whilst the people in this story feel real there is little characterisation. It very much
...more
Michelle M.
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book covers several years Lena Rothman's life. She comes to America to start a new life and in doing so she becomes good friends with 3 people, Sophie, Daniel, and Jake. She and Sophie become really close almost like sisters. Daniel falls for Lena and wants to take the friendship to a new level. Jake and Sophie are in a relationship themselves. One night a tragic event occurs when a fire breaks out that changes Lena's life overnight. Lena soon has to make a decision in order to protect her ...more
Sam
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first downloaded this I wasn't completely sure what to expect other than some kind of historical fiction set across the first half of the 20th Century. What I got was a tale following two generations of the Rothman family, first with Lena as she arrives in America with her brother to start a new life, and the second with her daughter Rachel as she grows up in the Catskill Mountains and tries to find out more about her own and her mother's past. This is as much a love story as it is a hist ...more
Laura
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I chose this historical novel at no cost through Kindle Unlimited. Without too much thought, I picked it out to read at bedtime. I was pleasantly surprised that the story drew me in and that I looked forward to reading it each night.

Lena Rothman, a Jewish immigrant, arrives in New York City at in the early twentieth century. Only her brother is there in America to greet her. With his recommendation she gets a grueling job in a shirtwaist factory.

At the factory, Lena meets Sophie, who becomes he
...more
Gina
Dec 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an Amazon book. Of course I know there is a reason for the zero price tag but occasionally they do look pretty good and get great reviews so I take a chance. I enjoyed the historical aspect of this novel and the story line kept me interested enough to zip through just to see how it ended. I wondered why I was skimming through so much of the dialogue and realized that was the problem. It seemed like I was reading a script. The dialogue was realistic and I felt for the characters but it l ...more
Ariana
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Honestly, I had low expectations going in to this, but I really enjoyed the story (-ies) and the characters. I felt like the author did a great job of keeping things in context and accurate for the time period(s) and the dialogue was written very well, too!
Andrea
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 This book had everything ....well written, great character development , love, friendships, family , betrayal and history ....need I say more!!!! must read!!!!
Ashley
Dec 29, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5? 3.75?

A lot of it was kind of jumpy and didn't fit well together for me. A bit hard to follow at times.. and I'm not really sure how I feel about the ending.
...more
Carla
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a solid 3 until that second to last chapter.
Dave Farr
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An entertaining story with predicable problems, misunderstandings and ending. Characterizations were good. However the death of Sophie at the end felt like a "throw in" which didn't really contribute anything, except a possibility which by then was really no possibility. ...more
Brenda
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a very engrossing. The characters were very real. I did enjoy the book I had a hard time putting it down as I wanted to get to the end and find out if all of the problems that came up would be solved in the manner I thought they should. The characters in this book are working in a sweatshop sewing shirt waists.....they are locked in and there is a fire. Two friends go in completely different directions and don't see each other again until...........can't say it will spoil the ending. Th ...more
Katie
Dec 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bibliocommons
Lena immigrates to the United States in the early 20th century, and then the book follows her and those around her for the next 30 years. The book shows the many different paths immigrants took, and how far reaching their contributions to the United States have been. The book has uneven pacing, and the different perspectives make it even more uneven. There are also some big historical inaccuracies. Both World Wars are glossed over. The Depression doesn't keep anyone from pursuing their dreams. E ...more
Tiffany DeGraff
Nice storyline

This book had a nice storyline but I found it to be a bit juvenile and redundant. The "uncontrollable" lust/ love was unrealistic, as were many parts of the story, which made it so much like a storybook for a younger person. I thought the mention of the gay relationship to be completely unnecessary and distasteful in this story. Overall, nice story for a girl about 15 that still believes in love at first sight and sees the whole world through rose colored glasses.
...more
Larry
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed in this book. It ended up being a chick flick kind of story that just seemed to drag on forever. The closer I got to the end the more I seemed to find myself skimming some of the pages, very strange for me to ever skim read but the book was written at a very basic level and it just kept droning on.
Joyce McKay
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marie Birkbeck
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though I rated it a 4-star, I have mixed emotions about book. With a title like it has, I was expecting the plot and the story line to circulate around Rachel and we all know that that did not happen. In total, I doubt the daughter got more than the equivalent of one chapter throughout the entire story! And honestly, Lena was only a garment maker for less than a year in a story that spans 30 - 35 years or more! So right off the hop, the book was mis-named!
It started out as books should, i
...more
Larissa
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical Romance Fiction
Cacth in full at ♀ Bookworm

So, if you’re looking for a 3-POV (at one point it will turn to 4) set in the ’20s (not too historical as I often turn to) this book is for you. But I ought to inform you it will be painful before it gets any better. It started off with too much promise and maybe a bit foretelling, but I enjoyed it immensely. What threw me off in a U-turn was the mid-book events. Everyone was either too miserable or too much okay with their predicament… that it stalled for a good % of
...more
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Hillary Adrienne Stern is originally from New York City. As a child, she was a voracious and extremely fast reader. Her love of books was coupled with a love of writing, primarily fiction but also poetry.

Hillary wrote her first novel at the tender age of eight and her supportive parents encouraged her to submit it to a publisher. In response, she received a very kind note that, while a rejection
...more

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