In Indu Sundaresan’s lush historical romance, The Twentieth Wife, we read of Mumtaz Mahal’s aunt, Mehrunnisa, a woman known to Indian history as Nur. Indu Sundaresan is an Indian-American author of historical fiction. Contents. 1 Career; 2 Personal; 3 Awards; 4 Works; 5 References; 6 External links. Career[ edit]. Her first novel The Twentieth Wife is about how a young widow named. Written by Indu Sundaresan Unfortunately, The Twentieth Wife is less than enthralling, for although its subjects are fascinating people, its setting is exotic, and.

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The Twentieth Wife

Her father, a fighter pilot, was also a storyteller—managing to keep his audiences captive and rapt with his flair for drama and timing. In fact, they ‘meet’ only 3 or 4 times before Mehrunissa gets married to someone else and moves away for more than 15 years, i.

Wikipedia and some Indian History Books less. The less they know, the less they will want of the outside world.

This will be one of the books where I didn’t care much about the sto This is what I like about historical fiction, the power they possess to take us with them. Those readers who like the genre will like The Twentieth Wife. She wins over Jahangir, who had over women in his harem, and who married for sundaresna reasons to expand his empire.

In that instant, even as a royal gala swirls around her in celebration of the future emperor’s first marriage, Mehrunnisa foresees the path of her own destiny.

Detailed Review Summary of The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan

Join the FinPipe community and get the latest updates right to your inbox! Aug 27, K rated it did not like it Recommends it for: The story telling fascinated me.

After all, it cannot be easy to attract the Emperor so much for so long when he has women at his disposal. Quotes from The Twentieth Wife. Mehunrissa, the girl that will eventually become the twentieth wife of Jahangir, the fourth Mughal Emperor, is infatuated from the age of eight with Prince Salim, as he is also called.


It is just totally terrible! But fear not — both Mehrunnisa and her parents are rescued by a benevolent merchant with powerful wjfe. Oh, and even though the story is fictionalized the characters are real people. I believe this is partially due to the fact that all the characters are flat cardboard puppets, two dimensional figures.

The Twentieth Wife: A Novel — book review

Mehrunissa is favorite daughter of Ghias Beg, a refugee from Persia turned respected royal treasurer under Emperor Akbar. Boy is this terrible. Lists with This Book. So much plot sundaresam squeezed into the novel that there’s little time for character development—Mehrunnisa and Jahangir are wooden and one-dimensional creations, and matters aren’t helped by the often stilted prose “restlessness rose over her like tide on a beach”.

But for others, it seems like nothing more than two high school queen bees eife it out over the star quarterback. Mehrunnisa is a newborn and, along with her disgraced and impoverished family, she becomes attached to the court of Emperor Akbar of the Mughal empire.

The Twentieth Wife Indu Sundaresan book reviews: View all 6 comments. May 15, Mizuki rated it really liked it. Don’t make me wade through red tape to get to a beautiful story and quit marginalizing your ind heroine! Came to know that in a ‘zenana’ of few hundred wives and concubines, she was the soulmate of Jahangir and even ruled over the kindgom in his name.

She is a schemer, scheming for someone she doesn’t know and something suundaresan considers her divine right.


He offered to present the fat This is the beginning of the story of a Persian family who was immigrating to an tentieth country due to the loss of position due to a ruler change in Persia. This book is full of sundzresan just the history but insight into the royal life and culture of India during this time.


The author neatly builds the character Mehrunisa, very neatly that there were no heroic strings attached to her characterization, no super powers, nothing extraordinary! It is ultimately a love story of “soul mates” but also gives the reader a peek at life in the Mughal Empire and the harem of its emperor.

Salim and Mehrunnisa fall in love over the years, but are unable to marry because of Mehrunnisa’s bethrothal to a soldier. Indu has used very less almost nothing of the Urdu language in her writing which was a prominent language in the Mughal India. This is a book that truly takes you away. Mehrunnissa has twntieth too good even from the start.

The same copy from has now passed many hands. Eventhough she only became his twentieth -and last- wife, it is said that she was the one he loved the most. Mehrunnisa grows up visiting the harem of the Imperial palace in Lahore as a companion to the Emporess. This is what I like about historical fiction, the power they possess to take us with them.

Her fixation on wanting to marry this man and her desire to become Empress is shallow and revolting.

The Best Books of In fairytales, the average reader wants to root for an underdog, not a pampered rich girl who believes she should have a prince.