A Novel

Book - 2002
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Set in Burma during the British invasion of 1885, this masterly novel by Amitav Ghosh tells the story of Rajkumar, a poor boy lifted on the tides of political and social chaos, who goes on to create an empire in the Burmese teak forest. When soldiers force the royal family out of the Glass Palace and into exile, Rajkumar befriends Dolly, a young woman in the court of the Burmese Queen, whose love will shape his life. He cannot forget her, and years later, as a rich man, he goes in search of her. The struggles that have made Burma, India, and Malaya the places they are today are illuminated in this wonderful novel by the writer Chitra Divakaruni calls "a master storyteller."
Publisher: New York : Random House Trade Paperbacks, [2002], c2001
ISBN: 9780375758775


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Dec 22, 2016

Feels like it could have, maybe should have been 2 books. Covers a lot of distance and time and characters and, while I enjoyed it immensely, I felt myself getting lost in the modern day parts with trying to keep up with who's kids were who's and such. Not a lot of happiness, but still a very good read.

Mar 02, 2015

Here is a wealth of character, incident, and place still awaiting an interpreter. The tale wants to grow and expand, but, alas, Ghosh keeps it in a box.

WVMLStaffPicks Dec 22, 2014

A novel for readers who like their stories big, bold and full of history, politics and of course love. Set in Burma and India, ranging from WWII to the present day, this is a family saga that should appeal to anyone who enjoyed The Jewel in the Crown or A Passage to India.

Mar 24, 2013

This book was just beautiful. The imagery, the language, the characters, they all came together to paint a very realistic picture of Southeast Asia in the 1900s. More than anything, I felt content to read this book slowly and savor each step of the journey, and when the end came, everything fell into place as it should. I don't think I'll be picking up another book for a while because of the impact this novel has left in me. The topics Ghosh breaches are heavy and controversial, but throughout the novel there was a sense that though there may never be peace in this world, a certain kind of internal calm can be found within oneself.

Jun 01, 2012

I read this in high school. As a teen, I felt that it was a difficult read. Not only is the text dense and much of the action highly detailed, but the majority of plot events have negative consequences for the characters. Character development takes place as the characters struggle to cope with or escape profound and repeated loss, often by traveling across Burma. The writing and imagery is beautiful, but the story is tragic. Although a satisfying and thrilling read peppered with memorably spooky tales, I had to put it down several times and take breaks because it drained my emotion and left me with a profound sense of fatigue and sadness.

Mar 04, 2011

A little bit slow to start but once it gets going, so good. Beautiful writing. I loved the characters.


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