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Raj
     

Raj

4.0 1
by Gita Mehta
 

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Jaya Singh is the intelligent, beautiful, and compassionate daughter of the Maharajah and Maharani of Balmer. Raised in the thousand-year-old tradition of purdah, a strict regime of seclusion, silence, and submission, Jaya is ill-prepared to assume the role of Regent Maharani of Sirpur upon the death of her decadent, Westernized husband. But Jaya bravely fulfills her

Overview

Jaya Singh is the intelligent, beautiful, and compassionate daughter of the Maharajah and Maharani of Balmer. Raised in the thousand-year-old tradition of purdah, a strict regime of seclusion, silence, and submission, Jaya is ill-prepared to assume the role of Regent Maharani of Sirpur upon the death of her decadent, Westernized husband. But Jaya bravely fulfills her duty and soon finds herself thrust into the center of a roiling political battle in which the future of the kingdom is at stake . . . and her own future as well.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In the story of Princess Jaya of Balmer, spanning the first half of this century, the author of Karma Cola (and the wife of Knopf's Sonny Mehta) offers a panoramic view of the pain and pageantry attending the demise of royal India. Raised traditionally, Jaya is also schooled to follow modern politics as the royal houses of India, struggling for autonomy within the British Empire, are drawn into global affairs. After her brother dies fighting at Aleppo and her father is poisoned, Jaya is wed to a prince of another kingdom, who forsakes her for an extravagant life in England and Europe. She bears a son, whom she raises to be Maharajah, but in the paroxysm of the nationalist movement and the bloodshed between Hindus and Muslims, both son and husband are doomed. As Maharani, Jaya signs the Instrument of Accession in 1950; as an individual, she stands for election, hoping to carry out the mission of leadership to which she was born. Grounded in details of ancient royal tradition and Hindu ritual, Jaya's story counterpoints a vanished way of life against the complex political realities involved in the passing of the Raj and the birth of the modern nations of India and Pakistan. Although the rich background detail is engrossing, Jaya remains a remote character to whom one never develops an attachment. This lack of an emotional center ultimately vitiates the novel's effect. (Mar.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780099515937
Publisher:
Knopf Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/22/2007
Pages:
480
Product dimensions:
5.08(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.14(d)

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Raj 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
NGC300 More than 1 year ago
Rich and lush. Has to be on every history buff's bookshelf. A well researched novel.