Skillfully blending the textures of historical reality with the rich and sensual imaginings of a timeless fairy tale, The Twentieth Wife sweeps listeners 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.
©2002 Indu Sundaresan; (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"Sundaresan writes in the great tradition of the Indian epic, an art she carries forward with grace and brilliance....This is a remarkably readable book despite the historical basis, with which many readers will not be familiar." (Library Journal)
"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....[She] charts the chronology of the Mughal Empire, describing life in the royal court in convincing detail and employing authentic period terms throughout." (Publishers Weekly)
I like period pieces, esp based in fact. Learned a lot and already listening to the next epic, Feast of Roses, as the lives and legacy continues. It took a while to realize the beginning of each chapter is an actual reading from the original manuscripts. Sometimes I got lost in the characters and who was who and related ,but it did not detract from overall understanding to the central characters. When I learned these people were also ancestors to the Taj Mahal dynasty, my interest was really piqued.
These books are not for everyone.
I picked up this book (audio of course) with no expectation but the one need to get away from my daily routine. The story is "déjà vu" of the story of women in harems and politics but... how wondefully written. Each word creating clear images in your mind. I felt like if my mother was once again reading bed stories to me again. But here I felt the need to write this review mostly to praise the narrator. Sneha Mathan, Oh my God! what a talent she has. I sit at work now still hearing her voice calling me back to the book. Beautiful marriage of talents here. A story of women for women.
based on other reviews I used my credit to purchase. The narrator was excellent. The storyline was slow and long for me and the historical romance I expected wasn't captivating or very interesting.
Wonderfully written historical love story and superb narration. I am going to listen to it again and purchase the squeal. I normally do not like love stories, but this one was truly unique.
The author conjures up the Mughal Empire with skill and feeling, a period story woven through an individual narrative, the best way to enjoy history. The narrator is outstanding -- a factor that can't be underrated.
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