An enchanting tale that transports the reader to the olden days of the Mughal empire, during Jahangir's reign, The Twentieth Wife is the story of one of the most powerful women in Indian history, Nur Jahan.
Summary Of The Book
In 1577, a girl named Mehrunnisa was born to nomadic parents in Afghanistan, while they were en route to the Mughal empire. Mehrunnisa’s father procures a job in the Mughal court in Akbar’s service, and she spends her early years in close proximity of the court. When she first laid eyes upon Jahangir at the age of eight, she vowed to herself that one day she would be his wife. Although she did not know it then, her words proved to be prophetic.
After her first husband, Sher Afghan, was murdered, Mehrunnisa was summoned to Jahangir’s court to serve his step-mother, Akbar’s chief wife. A few years later, when Jahangir laid eyes upon Mehrunnisa at a chance encounter, he was thoroughly smitten and he married her the very same year. To honour the latest and last addition to his harlem, Jahangir bestowed the title of Nur Jahan upon her, which means ‘Light of the world’.
Nur Jahan was well versed in art, literature, music and possessed remarkable courage and strenght. Artfully interspersing factual data with fiction, The Twentieth Wife is an engaging story that follows Mehrunnisa’s journey from modest means, overcoming several obstacles, her foray into motherhood, losing a husband and finally being married to the Emperor, making her one of the most influential women in the Mughal empire by default. It delves into the lives of Jahangir and Nur Jahan, and the immense power of their love. It’s a beautiful and romantic work of fiction that is deeply rooted in historical facts and accuracy.
About Indu Sundaresan
Indu Sundaresan is an author of Indian origin, and is the daughter of an air-force pilot.
She has authored The Feast of Roses, In the Convent of Little Flowers, Shadow Princess and The Splendor of Silence.
After migrating to America for her graduate studies, Indu starting writing and published her first novel, The Twentieth Wife, in 2002, for which she won the Washington State Book Award in 2003. She currently resides in Seattle, Washington, with her husband and their daughter.
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