Based on the life of an actual empress of the Mughal empire, the woman for whom the Taj Mahal was built, "The Twentieth Wife" blends historical reality with the rich imaginings of a fairy tale, providing a fascinating portrait of one woman's defiant life behind the veil.Based on the life of an actual empress of the Mughal empire, the woman for whom the Taj Mahal was built, "The Twentieth Wife" blends historical reality with the rich imaginings of a fairy tale, providing a fascinating portrait of one woman's defiant life behind the veil.Read Less
Good. Connecting readers with great books since 1972. Used books may not include companion materials, some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, and may not include cd-rom or access codes. Customer service is our top priority!
Excellent reading! I found the subject matter and plot very interesting, the quality of writing , superb. Once I started reading, it was hard to put the book down! The fact that it is a historical novel makes it an even more worthwhile read.. I was fascinated with the plot, the characters, the historical period and locale, as well.. ,
Apr 1, 2007
Captivating, romantic and a ride for the senses
i really enjoyed this book. the trip to India was fantastic with the smells and textures and colors that Sundaresan places into her novel. I so enjoyed the strong lead character and the intricate details of court life of the time.
it has peaked my interest in Indian cooking again and interest in learning more about the culture and history. what a fantastic book.
Publishers Weekly, 2001-12-10 Sundaresan's debut is a sweeping, carefully researched tale of desire, sexual mores and political treachery set against the backdrop of 16th- and 17th-century India. It centers on the rise to prominence of Mehrunnisa, the beautiful, intellectually astute daughter of a Persian courtier to the Mughal emperor, Akbar. Mehrunnisa falls in love with Akbar's heir apparent, Salim (who later becomes Emperor Jahangir), in her childhood; although Jahangir comes to share her passion, fate and the dictates of his royal station keep them apart for much of the novel. It isn't until Mehrunnisa has weathered a disastrous, loveless marriage to the brutal soldier Ali Quli, several miscarriages and the jealous plotting of Jahangir's chief wife, Jagat Gosini, that she gets the chance to defy the male-dominated Mughal culture and become a savvy, powerful empress. Like most historical fiction, Sundaresan's novel takes its fair share of liberties with plot and characterization, but still endeavors to be factually accurate as much as possible. Sundaresan charts the chronology of the Mughal Empire, describing life in the royal court in convincing detail and employing authentic period terms throughout. Despite its descriptive strengths, however, the work doesn't quite convince as creative fiction. So much plot is squeezed into the novel that there's little time for character development Mehrunnisa and Jahangir are wooden and one-dimensional creations, and matters aren't helped by the often stilted prose ("restlessness rose over her like tide on a beach"). Regardless of the wealth of edifying historical detail, this tale of palace intrigue is less than intriguing. 5-city West Coast author tour. (Feb.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited, Baker & Taylor, Inc., or by their respective licensors, or by the publishers, or by their respective licensors. For personal use only. All rights reserved. All rights in images of books or other publications are reserved by the original copyright holders.