If you are like Chuck Palahniuk who once said “My policy is to not read any reviews”, you might not really continue with this review, though he might have said that in a different context(which I still don’t think is something that he needs to worry about.)
There we go digressing from the topic again as so happens with me every time I talk, every time I write or well, just every single time.
The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan. Let me tell you how I got to this book first.
So, I was thinking about this book “Omamori” by Richard McGill, which if you have been following me, you would know is my favorite historical romantic fiction of all time. I really don’t want to add the term “romance” in there as it might portray the book to be just another chick lit, which it is very far from. I was wondering if there could be other awesome books as Omamori to have been published by any mortal. To seek answers to my questions I took the help of my best friend.
He pointed me towards different websites which had all sorts of “The best of” lists. A lot of them had this book on their list. Naturally I got curious. I was surprised that I had never come across this author.
Here was the book blurb that I read that got me hooked :
An enchanting historical epic of grand passion and adventure, this debut novel tells the captivating story of one of India’s most controversial empresses — a woman whose brilliance and determination trumped myriad obstacles, and whose love shaped the course of the Mughal Empire. Skillfully blending the textures of historical reality with the rich and sensual imaginings of a timeless fairy tale, The Twentieth Wife sweeps readers up in Mehrunnisa’s embattled love with Prince Salim, and in the bedazzling destiny of a woman — a legend in her own time — who was all but lost to history until now.
Now that you have some idea of what the book is about, tell me how you can say no to it?
I was very impressed by the narrative. Beautifully written and captures the essence of the tale. It is a painful and yet captivating love story of how a little girl falls in love with her prince and over a period of time as she blossoms into a young woman wants no one except him. As cruel as fate is, they have to remain apart from each other due to situations outside their control, all the time craving to be with one another.
The thing with historical fiction is that you have a framework on which your story is built but at the same time, it becomes extremely challenging to get all the details accurately but Indu seems to have pulled this off really well.
It was such a delightful read and heart wrenching at times when the author wanted it to be. Her writing style is flawlessly beautiful and has the power to draw you in. You couldn’t ask for a better setting that the late 1500’s India during the Mughal rule. This was one intoxicating journey that I don’t mind going on again.
The good news is that there are two other books following this and the first thing that I did after reading the final page, of course much after clutching this to my chest and staring into emptiness, was to order the other two from Amazon.
No. of pages : 384
Price : 229 Rs. on Amazon
Rating : 4/5