Review: Beneath a Marble Sky

This is one of the books that I ordered for my birthday (Thanks again Kate!).  I really enjoyed it alot.   I’m a big fan of historical fiction (since it makes me feel like somehow I’m learning something!) and this one is set in India, which is different than anything I’ve read before. This book is also about love- not chick-lit love, but real, true love.

The story is told from the perspective of Jahanara, a princess in the empire. Her beloved father is the one who built the Taj Mahal for her Mother after her death in child birth. It is an amazing story of how the Taj Mahal was built and the political strife around the succession to the throne. It is very well written and the story and descriptions are very rich.  I like how he “explains’ foriegn food, clothing and etc. without seeming to come right out with it. It feels like part of the natural flow of things.

One thing I thought was particularly nice about this book was how the author wrote from a woman’s perspective.  I have read several books written by men from a woman’s perspective, and they all seemed “off”. I don’t know what it is exactly, but it seems like usually something is missing in there characters. I don’t want to be sexist, but I think it is harder for men to “get inside the head” of a female, so I think their characters can end up flat, or acting in a way that perhaps a “real” woman might not.

Overall I’d definately recommend this book. It was a good read and an interesting departure for me in the historical fiction category. Be warned, there is some violence and sexuality, but I was OK with it.

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October 25, 2008. Uncategorized.

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