Monday, December 21, 2009

Beneath a Marble Sky Beneath a Marble Sky
by John Shors


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the absolutely exquisitely written tale of the love story between the daughter of the Hindustan Emperor and the man who created the Taj Mahal. Jahanara lives in a time where women are routinely raped and beaten by their husbands with no consequences. She defies the popular view of women as objects to be seen and used and not heard. I admired her strength and courage, putting herself in mortal danger in some situations to try to help a loved one.

I loved reading about the design and building of the Taj Mahal - obviously this is a work of fiction but I believe that the author was true to the techniques used in the 17th century. Every word and situation sparkled with a descriptive language that was a joy to read. This was a time where to be rich was luxurious, jewels, food, cashmere carpets, elephants, etc. And a time where to be poor was wretched, filthy and difficult.

This book was written by a male author, but I think he did a fantastic job of writing this novel in a woman's voice. Her worries about her family, her suffering in childbirth and other physical situations were very believable to me.

I was also inspired by how many times Jaha calls on Allah each day and in every situation where she needs help and guidance and would often pray until she received the answer even if it was several hours.

This book was very close to a 5 for me. The text was alive and beautiful and the story was one to inspire.

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2 comments:

Gerbera Daisy Mom said...

I've heard a lot of good things about this lately. I bought his, "Beside a Burning Sea" a couple of months ago on the discount table -- I hope it is as good.

Corinne said...

I have heard of this one, I want to try it :)