The Splendor of Silence
By Indu Sundaresan
(Washington Square Press, Paperback, 9780743283687, 416pp.)
Publication Date: September 18, 2007
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When Sam Hawthorne, a twenty-five-year-old U.S. Army captain, arrives at the princely state of Rudrakot in May of 1942, it is on a personal quest to find his missing brother. 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. And Mila, unexpectedly attracted to Sam, finds herself torn between loyalty to her family and the man she loves.
A sweeping and poignant story of forbidden love, The Splendor of Silence opens twenty-one years later with Olivia, Sam's daughter, receiving a trunk of treasures from India, along with an anonymous letter that finally fills the silences of her childhood. She finally learns the heartrending story of her parents' passionate and enduring love affair -- throwing them in the path of racial prejudice, nationalist intrigue, and the explosive circumstances of a country on the brink of independence from British rule.
Indu Sundaresan was born in India and came to the US for graduate school at the University of Delaware. She is the author of two acclaimed novels, The Twentieth Wife and The Feast of Roses.
"With her third novel, Indu Sundaresan continues to display her talents as a great novelist of historical fiction. Finely researched and full of evocative details, this sweeping tale of intrigue brings to life a fascinating era with richly drawn characters and a story that is engrossing, deep, and surprising. Sundaresan will certainly please her many enduring fans as well as drawing in a wave of new ones." -- Samina Ali, author of Madras on Rainy Days
"Indu Sundaresan expertly blends together history, memorable characters, and the sights, colors, and smells of India to create a hugely compelling novel. It is, quite literally, a feast for the senses." -- David Davidar, author of The House of Blue Mangoes