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The Splendor of Silence | [Indu Sundaresan]

The Splendor of Silence

In 1942, Sam Hawthorne, a young U.S. Army captain, arrives in a tiny, princely state in western India. He carries combat wounds and several secrets, one of which is the real reason behind his visit: to find his brother Mike, an idealistic American soldier who disappeared after joining the local struggle for independence from the British.
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Publisher's Summary

From internationally best-selling author Indu Sundaresan comes a heartrending tale of tragic love and clashing cultures in World War II India.

In 1942 Sam Hawthorne, a young U.S. Army captain, arrives in a tiny, princely state in western India. He carries combat wounds and several secrets, one of which is the real reason behind his visit: to find his brother Mike, an idealistic American soldier who disappeared after joining the local struggle for independence from the British.

But Sam's mission is soon threatened when he falls in love with Mila, daughter of the local political agent. Betrothed to the local prince, Mila draws Sam into a doomed affair that places them both in the path of dynastic intrigue, racial prejudice, and the explosive circumstances of a country torn between imperialism and nationalism.

©2006 Indu Sundaresan; (P)2006 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (104 )
5 star
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3.7 (71 )
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4.1 (71 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Alice Columbus, OH, United States 11-16-09
    Alice Columbus, OH, United States 11-16-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved this audiobook"

    I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. I read not so great reviews somewhere else. So I was pleasantly surprised. The narrator really makes this book a great listen! I have now heard all of Indu Sundaresan's books on audible and I really enjoyed them.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen Chesterton, IN, United States 06-15-14
    Ellen Chesterton, IN, United States 06-15-14 Member Since 2008

    I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Nice Enough Romance ( and I HATE Romances)"

    This does not start like your standard romance and it doesn't end like it either. Which is to its favor. There is also a subplot ( although I'd have liked to see it developed more) that has nothing romantic about it.
    However, I was terribly weary of how very much these people were attracted to each other. Endlessly.
    All of this need to take into account that I normally never read romance, and I generally loath it as being sadly delusional.
    The accent was charming and appropriate. And the writing was written to be read aloud which I did appreciate.
    It was a very interesting look into India in the Raj days, and that was what got me through. If you like romances, I suspect you'll like it very much.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tricia Edmonton, AB, Canada 12-22-11
    Tricia Edmonton, AB, Canada 12-22-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just loved this book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Splendor of Silence to be better than the print version?

    I absolutely loved this book. I must admit it was a bit slow at first, but when I finished the book I re-listened to the first 2 chapters and they were bitter sweet after hearing the whole book and knowing the ending.
    The narrator is unknown until the end of the book, and is beautifully revealed. It is a really beautiful storey and worth the listen.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the performers various accents, the rich detail of landscape and food in India


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I loved the only real love scene between Mia and Mike.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, after I got through the slow start


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daryl Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 04-10-14
    Daryl Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 04-10-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    123
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    184
    179
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    12
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    Story
    "Lush descriptions"
    What does Sneha Mathan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    her narration is wonderful. Many narrators have atrocious accents, but she is wonderful at all accents, emotions, and even narrative passages. I enjoyed this book, but her narration improved it immensely.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. This book is best savored in bite-sized pieces.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States 02-27-14
    Marie ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States 02-27-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Couldn't finish it"

    Maybe this is better read than listened to. The writing at times is lovely. You get a sense of the exotic and poetic. But the constant shifts in tense, time, and point of view are confusing. The story, set in India during WW II, didn't ring true. The sensibilities are too 21st century. The identity of one of the main narrators is not revealed until the end of the book (I listened to the last chapter.) and though major revelations are summarized at the very end, it shouldn't have taken 15 hours to get there. It would have been better if the reader could have experienced some of what we learn at the end.

    Our hero, Sam, is an American. His is searching for his brother, Mike, who was imprisoned when he began supporting the Indian separatist movement after witnessing the discriminatory treatment of Indians by the British. Sam too sees the way Indians are discriminated against, while falling in love with Mila, a young Indian woman, in a matter of minutes after meeting her. All well and good. But during the many hours I did listen to the book, never once did Sam, who is from Seattle, ever comment on or think about racial discrimination in the US. Wouldn't he have at least thought about the internment of the Japanese Americans from Seattle. Or better yet, the segregation in the armed forces. None of these issues ever cross his mind.

    Sam's story is being told to his daughter, Olivia. It is the early 1960's and Sam has just died. She receives a box and a letter from India. We discover toward the end Mila was Olivia's mother (no big surprise). We never get any sense if Olivia can identify with the story of her parents. It must not have been easy growing up as an Indian-American in the 1950s. How did Sam's mother, Maud, react to having a "mixed race" grandchild? How did people treat her in general? Did she understand any of what her parents must have gone through? I wanted to know but never found out.

    Sneha Mathan is a wonderful narrator. Her voice is perfect for the book. I would listen to other books she read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sherry Kirkland, WA, United States 01-12-14
    sherry Kirkland, WA, United States 01-12-14 Member Since 2004
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    "The book could use more silence"

    In a great book, the author knows what to leave unsaid. This book would be improved by cutting half the overly detailed and sometimes overwrought description. You could practically hear the violins playing in the background when hero and heroine meet. We already know from previous heavy hints that they are to be star-crossed. Description sets scene and mood, but each detail should also serve a purpose in moving the story forward. There may be an engrossing story buried here, but I lost interest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Wesport, CT, United States 12-14-13
    Andrew Wesport, CT, United States 12-14-13 Member Since 2010

    Westport, CT

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ok Story"

    Got this one on the $4.95 sale so was not completely disappointed, the novel was well researched and I did learn about some aspects of Indian culture and history during the World War II era and British Colonialism. The character development was ok but could have been better.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail El Cajon, CA, United States 12-26-09
    Gail El Cajon, CA, United States 12-26-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    227
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    258
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    "Good Listen!"

    This book was not as captivating for me that her other books (the 20th Wife and A feast of roses) was, but it got better halfway through. It's the wonderful job that Sneha Mathan does narrating these books that make them so wonderful to listen too that makes the download worth it. I am looking forward to the next book written by Indu S. to come available.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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