In 1632, the Emperor of Hindustan, Shah Jahan, overwhelmed with grief over the death of his beloved wife, Mumatz Mahal, commissioned the building of a grand mausoleum to symbolize the greatness of their love. The story surrounding the construction of the Taj Mahal occurs, however, against a scrim of fratricidal war, murderous rebellion, unimaginable wealth, and, not least of all, religious fundamentalism ruthlessly opposing tolerance and coexistence between the disparate peoples in the empire. At that time, Hindustan comprised all of modern Pakistan and Kashmir, most of eastern Afghanistan, and two-thirds of the Indian subcontinent (roughly north of Bombay to the Himalayas). Beneath a Marble Sky, narrated by Princess Jahanara, eldest daughter of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, recounts their story, and her own as well, a parallel tale of forbidden love enduring censure and extreme deprivations. Beneath a Marble Sky brims with action and intrigue befitting an epic era when, alongside continuous war, architecture and its attendant arts reached a pinnacle of perfection. In a splendid debut, John Shors has crafted an immensely listenable and well-researched historical novel of surprisingly contemporary relevance.
©2004 John Shors (P)2012 Recorded Books
Yes, with the compelling story and the fantastic narration by Mozhan Marno
Jahanara and her struggle through life
When Jahanara meets the love of her life while building the TajMahal
Perfect Title would not change a thing
I learned about this book several years ago from a friend who loved it and had been wanting to "read" it but it was only released as an audio book 2 years ago and apparently I had stopped checking for it until recently. As soon as I saw it, I purchased it and started listening to it almost immediately. It is a lovely story that keeps you very much engaged. There are so many great relationships - mother/daughter, father/daughter, true love, siblings, best friends. And the language is beautiful too. I wish I had a hard copy of this book just so I could copy down some of the great lines from it. ("I think the glow of motherhood made her beauty brighten." "Somehow even as he died, it was he who soothed me.") I will most definitely listen to it again. Just writing the review makes me excited to do so and I only finished it a week ago!
This book is so aggressively inaccurate it is only annoying. With few exceptions, the only parts of the book that are factually correct are the names. The real story is so interesting, the author had an opportunity to write a fabulous historical fiction. Why do readers accept this kind of nonsense? It is a waste of time.
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