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11
3.7 out of 5 stars
Raj: A Novel
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Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews(4 star)show all reviews
on October 4, 1997
I enjoyed reading the "Raj". It is an impressive price of historical fiction that covers a very eventful period of Indian history. Mehta did an execellent job of painting a vivid and entertaining picture of Rajput kingdoms during the British rule in India. I was however, disappointed by the one dimentionality of the characters. The kings by and large seemed to fall into the stereotypical pleasure loving, wealth squandering lot that were obsessed with somehow hanging onto thier thrones. While this may be an accurate description of most of them, it would have been good to depict one or two positive aspects of the royals, if any! Jaya Devi's long suffering Indian princess character also sadly lacked dimentionality and did not evoke much sympathy or respect. I was also a little bit disappointed with the later part of the book that dealt with events leading upto the Indian indenpendence. It seemed a little rushed and I wish the author spent more time in describing the characters of the freedom fighters better. However, given the complexity of highly eventful period with the British, the Indian royalty and the freedom fighters, the author did a good job telling a compelling and educative narrative. On the whole, a recommended read.
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on July 7, 2003
This novel reads as a chronicle, not only of Princess Jaya's life, but also of an India in transformation from the late 1800s up through the early years following Independence in 1947.
I enjoyed reading this book and found Princess Jaya to be a remarkable woman. She weathers a lot of trying experiences and shows herself to be resilient.
The only fault I found with the novel, however, was in the sequencing of historical events. For instance, some of what the author stated about the placing of some events during the First World War were not accurate. When I read a historical novel, I get a better appreciation for the novel when the historical events it describes are true and placed in the proper sequences. Perhaps for some other readers, that matters little. But for me, that took away from me giving this novel 5 stars.
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on May 13, 1998
I really enjoyed reading this book because I'm interested in the place and era. I also liked the fact that it was written by an Indian and a woman.
The story was shallow; more a vehicle for telling about the times in a way that would make it interesting to a larger group of readers than just those with eclectic taste. I found the character development lacking.
I enjoyed this story anyway and would recommend it to a Westerner with an interest in India's past. It was a quick, engrossing and exotic read.
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on April 30, 2000
"Raj" is a very good novel that provides a panoramic view of the British India from the perspective of a wealthy woman. Mehta has provided a sympathetic narration about the life of the native princes and their family under the watchful eyes of the British. She also portrays the decadence that was brought to this anglican culture developed in India.
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on January 27, 1998
A very good book for those who want an insight into India's past wrapped in a story. The book has been written in a very easy and flowing style. Often you are transported back in time during the age of the British and the Maharajas of India. Altogether the book is a pleasing experience but often the events in the book leave a bad taste in your mouth.
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on April 8, 1999
It's very appealing, and if you have any interest in Indian modern history, or the life of an Indian woman, AND you like a long, slow read, then this is a good book. The author covers a great deal of ground in the novel and at times I found descriptions (of utterly fascinating events) rather superficial.
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