The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan
On the library stacks: Adult Fiction
Series: Book 1 of 3 (Taj Mahal Trilogy)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This historical fiction novel is the story of a girl named Mehrunnisa (also known as Nur Jahan) who was born in 1577. Her family were Persian refugees that made their way into royal court life in India, and Mehrunnisa spends quite a bit of time growing up in the royal harem. Although her life does not go according to her plan, she does eventually marry her childhood crush, Prince Salim, becoming his "twentieth wife."
For a frame of reference, Mehrunnisa is actually the aunt of the woman for whom the Taj Majal was built. This novel stops at the point that Mehrunnisa begins her reign as Empress. While there are moments the book reads like a history book, I appreciated how much of this novel is based on fact.
I was fascinated reading about life during this Golden Age in India. I really liked Mehrunnisa as a person and I felt like the author gave all her characters interesting personalities. I felt like there was a good balance between the story and the history. I would definitely recommend this enjoyable novel for anyone who is interested in India and its rich culture.
Also reviewed by: Shweta's Book Journal ~ Your link here?
3 hours ago