I mean, who doesn't wish for silence? Like, every single day? Especially when her co-workers just will NOT stop talking?
Okay, sorry, I was probably projecting there a bit.
Anyway! I recently read the book,The Splendor of Silence by Indu Sundaresan as part of a Mother talk book review. Honestly, I didn't know what to expect when the package arrived. All I could keep thinking was, wow, what a beautiful book!
And it is. See?
I mean, really. Doesn't the woman look all mysterious and sexy?
On with the review though. Here is the basic, back of the cover stuff:
Sam Hawthorne, a twenty-five-year-old U.S. Army captain, arrives at the princely state of Rudrakot in search of his missing brother, Mike, carrying with him wounds from combat in Burma and several secrets. But Sam’s mission is soon threatened by the unlikeliest of sources — he falls hopelessly in love with Mila, daughter of the local political agent. Mila, unexpectedly attracted to Sam, nurtures a secret of her own and finds herself torn between loyalty to her family and Sam.
The Splendor of Silence opens twenty-one years later with Olivia, Sam’s daughter, receiving a trunk of treasures from India, along with a letter from an unknown narrator that finally fills all the silences of her childhood — telling her the story of her parents’ passionate and enduring love for each other that throws them in the path of racial prejudice, nationalist intrigue, and the explosive circumstances of a country and a society on the brink of independence from British rule.
I really, really loved the book, and it kind of surprised me that I did. Let's face it; I'm really not a fro-fro girl and this book is, above all, a love story. But in a good, engaging way. I had never read any of Sundaresan's work and I was blown away with her ability to tell a story. The book was really so absorbing that I had a hard time putting it down. And since I have the attention span of a smashed gnat? That's really saying something.
That being said, it does take a while for the plot to develop and the author does move between story lines a bit. But it all seems to meld together delightfully. Sundaresan has a gift, and it is an amazing one. The detail she puts into her writing is simply amazing. The author was born and raised in India and her appreciation for the richness of her culture is evident. You can almost see the sights and hear the sounds, her descriptions are so vivid. Also? I really cared about the characters and became very interested in what happened to them, which hadn't happened to me for years. (Honestly, it made me recall my obsession with Laura Ingalls Wilder's books, and how I used to pray Pa got through the snow storm or whatever).
I didn't even know I liked historical fiction! But I do apparently!
Such an interesting book. I would really recommend it. Read it at a time that you don't have anything else to do though, because you probably won't want to put it down.