The Twentieth Wife is a tough nut to crack. You *want* to like it; it's painstakingly researched and brings the court intrigues of Mughul India to lif..Show More »e. However, the book has a few really critical flaws:
1. It often skips the key events, describing them between-chapter narration, choosing instead to flesh out the areas between key events.
2. It's characters change sometimes without a sense of why. You get the sense that the author saw, in the History, a change in character, and then made the character changed in the novel without a good sense of motivation. A simple non-spoiler example (although by no means the most jarring) is Mehrunnisa suddenly becoming an expert craftswoman.
3. The pacing is very uneven -- threads are suddenly picked up and then dropped as promptly. It seems, again, as though the author were paying close attention to historical accounts and including things simply because they're recorded in the history. The sudden inclusion of the English & Portuguese at the end of the book is very jarring.
4. The story relies on the love between two characters, but that love doesn't feel believable. There is a sense that there is a more subtle story about power, status and money hiding in the facts which the author tries to skirt around in favor of some fairytale concept of love. However, the facts don't seem to fit the emotions the characters are meant to have. I wasn't convinced by being told, again and again, how much the motivation was love. It felt hollow somehow.
It was an enjoyable enough listen -- it got me through re-painting my apartment, but i was never lost in the story. The story and setting are quite interesting, the narration is very good, but the execution of the book is flat and somehow lifeless. I do not regret listening, but I wouldn't wholeheartedly recommend it either.
Another magnificent masterpiece created by Indu Sundaresan with outstanding narration that I loved from beginning to end. The writer's creative techni..Show More »que and the narrator's superb presentation brings ancient India to the 21st century for both history buffs and those not so historically inclined. Every character and event is vividly depicted with grand literary performance and dialogue. The Twentieth Wife is a must read in order to grasp the potency and familiarity with all the amazing characters, and unlike most novel sequels, The Feast of the Roses will not disappoint! Sundaresan certainly raised the bar with these outstanding works of sheer enjoyment so its going to be pretty hard for me to find another author that comes close to measuring up!
Great story. Hated the skips in the recording and repetition of recording in certain areas. Sneha mathan rocks. No one else can read the Indian hist..Show More »orical stories in such a compelling fashion.