Book: The Tailor’s Needle 

Author: Lakshmi Raj Sharma

ISBN: 978-0143416760

Publication: Penguin India; December 11, 2012, Paperback

Genre: Historical, Pre-independence, Social 

Length: 337 page 

Price: 304.02 RS 

Review by: Alka for Ashvamegh


The Tailor's Needle Book Review

The Tailor’s Needle can be termed as a pure fiction which has an interesting plot, a vivid and broad theme and also a purpose ascribed to the novel’s story. Yes, though it has become a rarity in Indian English fiction that we can see some meaningful titles in publication, there is a bench of authors which has been indulged in the production of titles such as The Tailor’s Needle – novels with high-interest quotient and also deep in terms of interpretations, symbolism and seriousness. Before I begin the review, I must appreciate the work that Professor Lakshmi Raj Sharma, the novelist, has done in his novel which also happens to be his debut in Indian fiction back in the year 2012. 

Read an interview with the author here – Author Interviews 

The Tailor’s Needle opens with a day in 1933 in Dehradun and then goes back briefly to the year 1917 in Delhi with a humorous episode before moving back in time to 1918 in Kashinagar where the majority of the first half of the novel’s episodes take place. The central protagonists in the novel come from a Brahmin family of Sir Saraswati Chandra Ranabakshi, including him, Maneka, Yogendra and Sita. There are many other characters, British and Indians, who participate in the novel’s progress before it reaches to a point where another family, a Vaishya family, joins the Ranabakshi Family and the novel revolves around people of these two families, giving away many lessons in social harmony and also suggesting many historical instances or evidence that India was ONE in its fight against the British. 

The Tailor’s Needle is, to me, mainly a social novel with a very good plot that does not let the readers’ interest in the fiction fade away as you must have witnessed with most of the traditional or classical novels written by Indian authors. It has all the elements that make it a part crime thriller, part historical and part social novel. The best thing about this work may be in its being complete with many elements stitched together and that’s what The Tailor’s Needle generally does, doesn’t it? 

The novel has been appreciated by many top Indian book bloggers and critics as well as many readers on its Goodreads and Amazon page. Lakshmi Raj Sharma’s approach in this novel can easily be termed mature, relevant and also contemporary. He has carefully built his narrative around Sir Saraswati Chandra throughout the novel but allowing more than enough space for Maneka and her adventures, Yogendra and his ‘rebellious love’ with Gauri and also the thriller and suspense around Mohan’s death to unfold with its natural pace. The novelist has almost offered, to the modern Indian fiction writers, a chance to understand how to keep a novel serious with many elements of critical importance added to it along with the elements that modern readers would appreciate and love. I liked this approach of the author in particular which makes The Tailor’s Needle a novel for the serious readers as well as a novel that will be read by anyone having an interest in fiction – as simple as that! 

To conclude this review, I will only state that I enjoyed my time with this book. I am only 20 and this was one of the many traditional Indian English fiction that I have read already. I will say that this novel certainly stands there among the top 5… and I strongly recommend it to all the readers of Ashvamegh. Enjoy your time! You can get a copy of this novel in paperback or Kindle version from Amazon India by clicking the link below: 

Buy the work – click here to buy from Amazon 

By Alka Mishra for Ashvamegh 

The Tailor's Needle | Book Review
  • Ashvamegh Critical Rating


The Tailor’s Needle is more a social fiction that is relevant, in the Indian context, all the times rather than being historically confined. The presence of British characters does compel the readers to think about this work as a historical novel taking the thoughts back to pre-independence years.