Book Review 8 – The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan

Sorry, again, for my absence. As it is now the beginning of April, my goal is to post at least once a week on this blog, so get ready for more constant updates (fingers crossed).

During the month of February (I know, kind of a long time ago), I read The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan. A friend gave me the book as a gift, otherwise I’m not sure I would have picked it up from the bookstore. I was drawn in from the very first page. The book’s premise greatly interests me: a young girl, Mehrunisa, originally of Persian descent, becomes intertwined in the aspects of 16th-century Mughal India, and especially in the affections of Prince Salim. What struck me most about the book, which was packed full of description of Mughal life and ornate and flamboyant finery, was Mehrunisa’s courage and resilience to challenge the notions of women during that period by speaking out against conventions, and daring to advise Prince Salim about what to do in court affairs. Mehrunisa’s eventual marriage to Prince Salim (who becomes Emperor Jahangir after his father’s death) confirms her ability to not only sway him with her beauty but also with her logical reasoning abilities. Sundaresan is a truly gifted writer, and I wouldn’t just recommend this book to those who love historical fiction — I think it’s a book that any woman should read, as it is a real eye-opener.

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