Author: Indu Sundaresan
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0143028588
This debut novel tells the story of Mehrunnisa - the Sun of Women - one of India's most legendary and controversial empresses, a woman whose brilliance and determination trumped myriad obstacles, and whose love shaped the course of the Mughal Empire.
This debut novel tells the story of Mehrunnisa - the Sun of Women - one of India's most legendary and controversial empresses, a woman whose brilliance and determination trumped myriad obstacles, and whose love shaped the course3 of the Mughal Empire.
The daughter of refugees from Persia, growing up on the fringes of Emperor Akbar's opulent palace grounds, Mehrunnisa first encounters Prince Salim on his wedding day. All of eight year old, she decides she too will one day become Salim's wife - wholly unaware of the great price she and her family will pay for this dream.
Skillfully blending the textures of historical reality with the rich imagining of a fairy tale, The Twentieth Wife sweeps readers up in the emotional pageant of Salim and Menrunnisa's embattled love. From an ill-fated first marriage through motherhood and into a dangerous maze of power struggles and political machinations, Mehrunnisa searches for the true, redemptive love she has never known. Mehrunnisa's and Salim's quest takes them, and the vast empire that hangs in balance, to places they never dreamed possible.
COMMENT: A Fascinating novel about a fascinating time . . Alive with characters that are at once human and legendary, that move with grace and panache across the brilliant stage the author has reconstructed for them.
- Chitra Banerjee Divakurni, author of The Mistress of Spices and The Unknown Errors of our Lives