I bought this on a whim during an audible sale and am very glad I did. My next credit will go towards purchasing the sequel, The Feast of Roses. It narrates the love story between Mehrunissa, the daughter of a Persian bureaucrat who flees his native land to seek better fortune in India, and Prince Salim (Emperor Jahangir) in late 16th and early 17th century India. The two meet as adolescents and are only able to marry as mature adults. Sundaresan is excellent in the small details - the tastes and smells of exotic foods, the ambiance of street life, of secluded royal courts, and of political intrigue and military campaigns. I imagine this book might appeal more to women than men. However, it provides a fascinating window into this period of Indian history. The narrator is wonderful, very expressive. Mehrunissa, by the way, is the aunt of the woman for whom the Taj Majal was built. She became a powerful political figure in her own right; this story is told in the sequel.
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