Songs of Stone by Sujata Sabnis

Neither romance , nor historical fiction as a stand alone interest me much. But something about this book made me pick this one and though i delayed it some days , once i started , it totally was worth the lunches I missed finishing it. Songs of stone is a story of Nilofer and Jagat who are childhood sweethearts , separated by unfortunate events. Nilofer is sent to Jahangir's harem while Jagat plans her escape. The clarity with which Sujata has painted the life of harem and its various nuances is a delight.Love , heartbreak , lust , power play and beneath all this a  longing to belong - all this comes out in the scenes that she created in the book. Absolutely amazing writing and such wonderful details that you can feel a part of some of the outlandish grandeur.

Jagat and Nilofer's love story is inspiring and setting it up in the time when Taj Mahal was being built lends it another level of approval. In so many ways , Taj Mahal though was an expensive burden on the ordinary folks, but such are the things that we need at times to put faith in. In love and its symbols and the epics that are associated to it.  The story and the all the plots in the book seamlessly keep moving forward in time and momentum , never letting my interest waver. The end was where you felt the story was fictionalized and that was some what predictable but still a good closure.

This is one of the best reads for me in the last month. I will surely be checking Sujata's previous books next year. Do read it for the warmth it gives to heart any day.

My rating : 4/5

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