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The Splendor of Silence: A Novel Hardcover – September 12, 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 56 ratings

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From Publishers Weekly

Sundaresan (A Feast of Roses) returns to her native India for a sprawling story of forbidden love set against the backdrop of WWII and the struggle for Indian independence. U.S. Army Capt. Sam Hawthorne comes to the small kingdom of Rudrakot in the Sukh desert of western India, ostensibly to recover from an injury suffered during a rescue mission behind Japanese lines in Burma. Sam has secrets, however. He's a spy, a member of the fledgling OSS, and he's looking for his brother Mike, who disappeared while serving in a local regiment, the Rudrakot Rifles, where "even his name was false." Complicating matters, Sam has a brief but torrid affair with Mila, the daughter of the kingdom's Indian political agent, who is betrothed to the local prince. As Sam plots to free his brother from a nearby detention center, Mila's brother Ashok becomes involved in a nationalist plot to bomb the car of the local British representative in Rudrakot. The myriad subplots and some overwriting detract, but Sundaresan renders Rudrakot vividly and the sympathetic (if doomed) characters generate enough friction to keep the pot boiling. (Sept.)
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About the Author

Indu Sundaresan, born and raised in India, came to the United States for graduate studies and is the author of The Twentieth Wife and The Feast of Roses. She lives in the Seattle, Washington, area. Visit the author's website at

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Atria; 1st edition (September 12, 2006)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 416 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0743283678
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0743283670
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.25 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 56 ratings

About the author

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Indu Sundaresan was born and brought up in India, on Air Force bases around the country. Her father, a fighter pilot with the Indian Air Force, was also an avid storyteller--as was his father, Indu's grandfather. She grew up on their stories on various themes--Hindu mythology and fictional tales of an elephant and a horse living in the wilderness.

She came to the U.S. for graduate school at the University of Delaware and has two degrees; an M.S. in operations research and an M.A. in economics. But, the storytelling gene beckoned and she began writing soon after graduate school.

The Twentieth Wife (2002), based on the life of Mehrunnisa, Empress Nur Jahan, is the tale of one of India's most powerful women. This was her first published novel, but the third one she wrote--the first two still languish on the hard drive of some forgotten old computer and are never to be revived; they were practice runs and taught her how to write a novel.

She is the author of five books so far. The Twentieth Wife (2002); The Feast of Roses (2003); The Splendor of Silence (2006); In the Convent of Little Flowers (2008) and Shadow Princess (2010).

All of Indu's work has been published, in hardcover and paperback, in the U.S. by Pocket Books/Atria Books/Washington Square Press--imprints of Simon & Schuster. Her work has been translated into 17 languages to date.

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4.2 out of 5 stars
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