The Splendor of Silence by Indu Sundaresan
A Novel

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Set in India during four searing pre-monsoon days in May 1942, The Splendor of Silence is internationally bestselling author Indu Sundaresan's most unforgettable accomplishment yet, merging her Indian and American backgrounds into a heartrending tale of love and clashing cultures in a time of war.

Sam Hawthorne, a twenty-five-year-old U.S. Army captain, arrives at the princely state of Rudrakot in search of his missing brother, Mike, carrying with him wounds from combat in Burma and several secrets. But Sam's mission is soon threatened by the unlikeliest of sources -- he falls hopelessly in love with Mila, daughter of the local political agent. Mila, unexpectedly attracted to Sam, nurtures a secret of her own and finds herself torn between loyalty to her family and Sam.

The Splendor of Silence opens twenty-one years later with Olivia, Sam's daughter, receiving a trunk of treasures from India, along with a letter from an unknown narrator that finally fills all the silences of her childhood -- telling her the story of her parents' passionate and enduring love for each other that throws them in the path of racial prejudice, nationalist intrigue, and the explosive circumstances of a country and a society on the brink of independence from British rule.

Sweeping and poignant, reminiscent of Paul Scott's Raj Quartet novels, The Splendor of Silence will draw a host of devoted new fans to this hugely gifted storyteller.

About Indu Sundaresan

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Indu Sundaresan was born in India and grew up on Air Force bases all over the country.  Her father, a fighter pilot, was also a storyteller—managing to keep his audiences captive and rapt with his flair for drama and timing.  He got this from his father, Indu's grandfather, whose visits were always eagerly awaited.  Sundaresan’s love of stories comes from both of them, from hearing their stories based on imagination and rich Hindu mythology, and from her father's writings.After an undergraduate degree in economics from India, Sundaresan came to the U.S. for graduate school at the University of Delaware and has an MS in operations research and an MA in economics. But all too soon, the storytelling gene beckoned.The Twentieth Wife, Sundaresan’s first novel, won the 2003 Washington State Book Award.  Her second novel, The Feast of Roses, is a sequel to the first and continues the story of Mehrunnisa, Empress Nur Jahan’s life as the most powerful woman of the Mughal dynasty that ruled India.
Published September 12, 2006 by Atria Books. 416 pages
Genres: History, War, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Splendor of Silence

Historical Novel Society

And on an expedition to visit a desert tomb, trapped overnight by a sandstorm, Sam and Mila fall in love.

| Read Full Review of The Splendor of Silence: A Novel Bestsellers

The heart of the story takes place in pre-Independence India and war-torn Burma.Splendor of Silence is about love, secrets, and the tension between Indians and the British raj.Guide Review - Splendor of Silence by Indu Sundaresan - Book ReviewSplendor of Silence is a beautifully written and movin...

| Read Full Review of The Splendor of Silence: A Novel


Lyrical passionate, visual and charming the story gets etched in your mind as the landscape, the season and customs form a lovely backdrop for the novel.

Dec 23 2010 | Read Full Review of The Splendor of Silence: A Novel

California Literary Review

It’s not easy to analyze your own life when you are actually living it (it takes away from the living of it, destroys any sort of spontaneity) and as a novelist I would not be able to create the distance and so the unprejudiced perspective I would need before writing.

Apr 03 2007 | Read Full Review of The Splendor of Silence: A Novel

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