Customer Reviews for

The Splendor of Silence

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  • Posted June 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommend

    In 1963 Seattle a grieving daughter opens a mysterious trunk. There she finds buried among silk saris, jewelry, and trinkets, a story. The story she has been waiting all her life to hear. The story of the American father who raised her and the Indian mother she never knew. In the early days of Americas involvement in WWII Captain Sam Hawthorne of the 3rd Burma Rangers embarks on a dangerous mission behind enemy lines to locate a stranded American missionary and escort her through the jungles of Burma to the relative safety of India. Sam arrives in India exahusted and injured but he has another mission; to find his brother, an enlistee with the British Rudrakot Rifles, who has been missing for over 2 months. We soon learn that "Captain Hawthorne" is an officer of the fledgling OSS and plans to use the skills he's learned in the OSS to discover the fate of his brother. He has just 4 days in Rudrakot to accomplish his goal but finds himself drawn into the lives of his hosts family and falling desperately in love with Mila, the daughter of the Indian political agent with whom he is staying. Although the consumation of thier love is a foregone conclusion, after all we meet their daughter in the opening passages, the author so expertly builds the sexual tension between them that it is nearly unbearable. Sam and Mila are like two halves of the same coin, both torn between their feelings and desires, and their familial obligations. The story of their growing love is set against the backdrop of the casual cruelty and bigotry of the British Raj, the growing nationalistic movement for India's independence, and Sam's increasing fear for his brother who he now believes is a prisoner in the nearby Field Punishment Center. The threads of all these stories are expertly woven together, the characters richly and sympathetically drawn, and the writing lyrical. A beautiful story and tremendously satisfying read! I would also highly recommend the authors earlier books: The Twentieth Wife and The Feast of Roses.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 12, 2010

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    Posted July 12, 2011

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